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March 8, 2023

5 ways selling is like dating

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By Daniel Ryan. Founding Account Executive at Aligned 08.3.2023


Blog type
Selling tips
Sales efficiency
Digital Strategy
Remote selling
Shortening the sales cycle

As an Account Executive, I’ve been in the selling game for a while now (enough to write this article with confidence at least), and as a 29-year-old guy, I’ve been in the dating world…forever.

The similarities between selling and dating are uncanny. It’s all about the chase, a few casual dates, and then the commitment. Just like dating, you need time to get to know each other and build trust, which doesn’t happen overnight – and before you go all-in, you have to make sure your customer is really into you.

I threw this analogy around the office one day, and I could practically hear the marketing team’s ears prick up. After a couple of bribes, groveling (and eventual emotional blackmail), they convinced me to switch leg day with writing day, and so here I am.

5 ways selling is like dating:

1. Be persistent

Just like in dating, you can’t throw in the towel after one rejection in sales. It usually takes several interactions with a prospective customer before they’re ready to make a purchase. So, if you don’t seal the deal right off the bat, don’t lose heart. Keep reaching out and cultivating that connection. Sales and dating are both a numbers game. You need to be patiently persistent and not let setbacks get you down. Remember, the other person has their own priorities, goals, and objectives. Rejection is par for the course, but don’t worry, your perfect match is out there!

2. Be interested, not interesting

When it comes to both dating and sales, being interested is more important than being interesting. In dating, listening is key to building a connection with someone. We’ve all been on that date where the person talks about themselves, and how great they are the whole time. Don’t be that guy. Instead, focus on the other person and their needs. By doing so, you can determine if you’re a good match and if you have a future. The same goes for sales – if you’re not attentive to your customer’s requirements and goals, you won’t be able to address them efficiently. Take the time to really understand what your customer is seeking and how your product or service can fulfill their needs.

3. Build trust and differentiate yourself

In both dating and sales, it’s crucial to set yourself apart. Instead of boasting about how fantastic you are, try being candid and genuine. This approach can help you stand out from the other frogs out there. Imagine how refreshing it would be, when on your Tinder date, they’re able to talk about their struggles and how they overcame them. It makes them relatable, it makes them human. It makes them attractive. Similarly, in sales, no product is perfect. Don’t pretend otherwise, and be honest about it. You can then talk about areas where your product or service excels, and explain why you’re focusing on that. By doing so, you can differentiate yourself from the competition who may only brag about their product’s greatness. Being honest and transparent builds trust with your customers and makes you stand out as a credible and trustworthy source.

4. Close the deal

The endgame of both sales and dating is ultimately to close the deal. In sales, this means persuading your customer to commit to buying your product or service. Like in dating, this can be nerve-wracking, but with the right mindset and persistence, you can make it happen.

While flirting can be fun, there comes a point where you need to take the next step and make it exclusive. It’s essential to actually explicitly state your intentions and close the deal. No one ever got married without someone actually asking and getting an answer.

And remember…if you’re dishonest throughout the process, it’s not uncommon to end up with a divorce (or churn in sales terms.) Agreements can be canceled!

5. The deal is never done

Just because someone has agreed to be with you or has committed to buying your product doesn’t mean the deal is done. In both dating and sales, it’s crucial to maintain persistence, interest, trust-building, and differentiation throughout the entire relationship.

Even after closing the deal (or tying the knot), you should continue to show interest in your partner’s or customer’s needs and how you can help them. Ask them how their day is going and stay engaged in their life. This ongoing effort can solidify the relationship and build long-term loyalty. Remember, relationships in both dating and sales are ongoing processes that require ongoing attention and investment.

Now that I’ve written this all down, I’ve just realized I’d better text my girlfriend and ask how lunch with her mom went. Oh, and that customer, too.

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