How to Turn Dating Agony Into Sales Success

How to Turn Dating Agony Into Sales Success

Reader Comments (46)

  1. Pam:

    We had a good Valentine Day day presentation on how dating is like a business relationship. This presentation continued with that theme and did a great job.

    You know what would be a good future topic (now that you mentioned it)? How to write a good proposal. While I believe I perfected it in my business, I like to gather more great ideas and presentations.

    I wonder if dating and business sometimes has the element of spontaneity? In other words, the two dating or business partners just hit the “right chemistry”?


  2. The post’s introduction gave me flashbacks of awkward first dates! (thankfully behind me, with a wedding in the offing)

    I think this is a great analogy; there are so many parallels between romantic relationships and customer relationships – in how they are developed, how they are cultivated, and where they can ultimately go.

    I agree with Randy that “chemistry” is important in business, too – but I don’t know how spontaneous that has to be; a lot of it is about reading the customer and being attentive to their needs (easily ported to a different context, I know!).

    • Tell me about memories of awkward dates Danny!

      I am with you on “assisted chemistry” – being clear on who you are looking for, and looking in the right places.

      • Oh, I don’t want to go into too much detail… 😉

        Seriously, though – actually, I’ve found that most times that a first date sucks, it’s because one of the parties isn’t trying to do their share of assisting the chemistry (if both sides aren’t, then everyone’s on the same page and the date ends early).

        Much like a customer relationship scenario, when the customer expects you to do all the work (which is possible, and sometimes necessary, but won’t result in great chemistry).

  3. Another great example of how human interaction on a micro level translates perfectly to business on a macro level. It also occurred to me as I was reading that these 5 steps are very close to the lay out a long form sales letter: 1. State the problem. 2. Educate on problem 3. Present solution 4. Establish your expertise / present your deal 5. Call to action.

    This post is thought provoking on a lot of levels, Pamela, thanks.


    • So true Daniel! I am the newcomer to the world of sales letters, learning from my master teachers Sonia and Brian. I am so familiar with selling services since I have done it for 15 years. But it really does translate when selling online — and if you match the needs of the sales cycle with your sales letter, you will be more effective!

  4. Awesome article Pam. This one line (“the goal of an effective sales process is to get rid of bad fits as quickly as you can”) is the answer to most people’s fear of asking for the sale, and getting a ton of unsubscribes from their email newsletter.

    Not everyone will be a right fit. We have to accept the fact that your prospects might not be looking for what you have to offer, or that their circumstances might have changed. The only thing that is unacceptable is losing the sale to your competitors – that really sucks. :0)

    appreciate the info Pam, thanks

    • Sometimes it sucks to lose a sale to a competitor, and sometimes the competitor is just a better fit and you need to find *your* right customers.

      If the positioning is right, I find that true “competitors” sort of disappear. If you’re an iPhone person, the droid isn’t really a competitor … they’re for Droid people. And if I “lose” a customer to Dan Kennedy, for example, it’s because it’s a Dan Kennedy customer, not a Copyblogger Media customer. (There’s a bit of overlap, but just a bit.)

      I’d rather stress over creating a better experience for the people who are a perfect fit for us.

    • So true Hector, getting rid of bad fits up front is a HUGE part of being an effective salesperson. I have really changed my thinking on this one in recent years — I used to get kind of bummed when I saw people unsubscribe after I sent my newsletter out. Now, I see unsubscribes and think “rock on! they were obviously not a good fit for me, and I was not providing value to them, so now I can focus on those who really want what I have to offer.”

      And I am with Sonia — If someone goes with a “competitor,” I have the same feeling as with the unsubscribes — not my person. Or at least right now — I have had many cases where someone chose to hire someone else, but then came back later to get some coaching or training.

      • That’s the attitude we need to have, or we could end up driving ourselves crazy; wondering what the hell am I doing wrong!!?

        Same here. Clients have told me that they’ve bought this and that product, or have gotten coaching from this and that person – The best thing we can do is believe that the timing was right for them and they saw the value in what we had to offer.

        appreciate your response

  5. I had many a terrible date before I was married, thank god my wife came along!

    A very unique twist and tie into dating and selling, and it’s actually very clever and works well.

    I have actually noted down your points, ok I did the layz way and pasted it into a notepad file, but the questions are ones I want to remind myself of when email marketing and selling.

    Thanks for a unique and refreshing post that was actually helpful too.


    • Thanks Alex, so glad you are happily off the market. 🙂

      If you take the time to map out your specific sales process, and what you do at each step, it makes it so much easier! Especially if you use technology to help organize things and keep them efficient.

      I am really glad you found the post helpful. Now go sell! 😉

    • That is how we know we are part of the animal world Eric — dogs can smell fear, and prospective customers can smell desperation.

      The funny thing is the more you truly own the fact that you don’t desperately NEED customers (lots of fish in the sea), the more attractive you are. 🙂

  6. “Maybe Land” 🙂 I’ve sent a lot of customers backpacking in “Maybe Land” because a part of me just can’t bear to ask for the sale. I’m getting better though.
    Great post! Thank you.

    • That is a great point Jax — how funny that WE can be the ones to keep things in “Maybe Land.” The best advice that I can give is that it becomes much easier to ask for a sale the more you practice.

      And it doesn’t have to be dorky like “Jax, I need to know TODAY if you are going to work with me.” it can be “Jax, I really think I could help redesign your website, and would love to do it! In order to set my production schedule, would you mind telling me by Friday if you want to go forward or not?”

  7. I have always loved the dating analogy.

    Now, let’s talk about what happens after a first date. If you’re interested in a long term, wonderful relationship you’ll act in a certain way. If you’re after “one thing” you’ll act in another way.

    I’m thinking of one click upsells. The first “buy” is your first date. And what would you think if a suitor, immediately after the first date was arranged put a proposal in with obviously manufactured pseudo-scarcity?

    “Hey, Darling, I’m SO GLAD you decided to go out on a date with me. That’s what smart people do! However, you know, time’s winged chariot and all, you must ACT NOW if you want to get blissful lovin’….which includes a backrub, but ONLY if you act now. That’s right, you know, I’m going to be middle aged soon, so that backrub won’t be freely given, and you’ll be raked over the coals for it soon. But you’re smart, you’ll make a commitment right now.”

    If we think of people as a long term relationships–instead of one night stands–we’ll act differently.

    And you’re right, the stink of despair is the best repellent ever.

    • So true Chris!

      It feels so yucky to be courted with a breezy, easy style, then to get big, slimy moves as soon as you surrender your email address. 🙂

  8. Great article!

    I have to disagree with asking about kids on the first date, however 🙂
    It’s good to get the deal-breakers out of the way!

    • HAH Joanna — I bet you have no problem screening out “Maybes” early in the sales process by saying “So, Pam, before we get to far, to you actually have money to pay for my services?”

      (the equivalent to the “do you want to have kids” question)

      Deal-breakers are great. The more robust your qualifying questions are, the more success you will have closing the right sales.

  9. Thank you, Pamela, for laying the groundwork for a business plan, or a website. I love your analogy too. I have never seen someone lay the foundation so clearly before – A leads to B leads to C. etc. This article really clicked for me and was one of those “aha!” moments. I didn’t just bookmark it – it’s printed out!

  10. Pamela:

    Cute analogy that is also very appropriate. I kind of already use it in business, so this blog is a nice affirmation that others are thinking & doing as well.

    I think I’ll apply some of it to my dating to see if I have any better luck there. Hah!

    All the best!

  11. Love the question- What does success look like in their view? Sales people, well all employees should ask this question!

    Loved the blog

  12. I agree with the “there are plenty of fish in the sea”. People don’t realize that we do not live in the world of scarcity, but in the world of abundance. It’s important to shift this belief and once we do that, new opportunities begin to rise in front of our eyes.

  13. Nice piece – and dead on about the similarity of the methodologies. For me personally, I find the process very nerve-racking – guess that’s why I was a terrible salesman (and am glad I’m married now!).

  14. Pamela,

    You make some great points. Sales and dating ARE totally tied around the concepts of confidence and an inverse of how much you seem to need it. Desperation is a stink that scares away all potential suitors. Taking the steps to at least seem as is if you are not desperate and full of confidnce can radically improve your chances of success.

  15. Great analogy Pamela.

    I like you saying ‘If there’s no chemistry, there is no need to play out an awkward sales version of a dating dance, where you politely agree to first, second and third meetings even when you both know that you don’t have much to offer one another. ‘ It will save you a lot of time.

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