Recently, I went to a pre-game (a gathering at an apartment or house where you meet up prior to going to a bar/club) and was chatting with a friend of a friend who I had just met. Let’s call her Cara, for anonymity's sake.
Following the conversation, I started thinking to myself, "Is my sales job affecting my dating life?"
Here’s the conversation I had that led me to ask myself this question:
John (me): You just started law school and you want to be an immigration attorney? That’s great.
Cara: Yeah, thanks, I’m excited.
John: Where do you want to want to practice after you graduate?
Cara: Boston, my whole family is here.
John: Very nice. What is your plan if you don’t graduate?
Cara: Umm ...
That was pretty much the end of our conversation -- and what convinced me my sales job is affecting my dating life. I chatted with my peers in the field to see if they had the same thought process as me. It turns out many others in sales feel the same as I do.
5 Ways Your Dating Life Could Be Affected By Your Sales Position
Here are the five ways your sales job may be affecting your dating life.
What it is: Qualifying in sales is the practice of researching and questioning a prospect or lead to determine if they would be a good fit as a customer. Qualifying is practiced on every sales call in order to ensure you are spending your time with the highest-quality prospects (in other words, the people most likely to buy and stay on as a customer).
In dating, you qualify another person based on their characteristics, hobbies, and interest in you. This information helps you determine if they are a potential good fit. However, is your sales practice of deeply qualifying prospects leading you to question dating prospects in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable ... or challenged?
Pros: If you know what kind of person you like, using questions to understand if they are your type can help you identify good fits while out and about.
Cons:Using a series of qualifying questions with a dating prospect may come off as too aggressive and pushy and end up being a huge turnoff.
2) Using Positioning Statements
What it is: A positioning statement is a short remark used to describe the way in which you want to be perceived. You can use a positioning statement to describe what your firm does. The best positioning statements incorporate what you know about your prospect in order to portray your value in a fashion that your prospect will understand and be excited to learn more about.
In dating, a good and well-timed positioning statement can increase your prospect's interest in you and help you get closer to a next step.
Pros:Positioning statements give you a great opportunity to project your strengths. A good and common opportunity to use a positioning statement is when a dating prospect asks you what you did this weekend. Respond to this question in a way that projects something that should increase your value, such as: "I went sailing with my buddies, on my sailboat."
Cons: Sometimes, positioning statements can backfire if you haven't qualified or actively listened well enough. Maybe you are on a date with a prospect and they ask you what you did this weekend and you reply: "I went hunting with a few colleagues." As it turns out, your date is a vegetarian and your weekend hobby is a bit of a turnoff at this early stage in the game.
3) Leveraging Price
What it is:Sometimes, in competitive situations, you need to leverage your competitive advantages. In certain circumstances, price can used to your advantage. If you come in at a lower price point than your competitor, you will want to emphasize the savings you can bring to the table.
In dating, using monetary levers, such as buying drinks or dinner, can be used to increase your value in your prospect's eyes.
Pros: Using your cash flow leverage to buy a drink will give you the opportunity for increased face time with a prospect. By buying your date a drink, you get the time it takes to get the bartender’s attention, the time it takes to make the drink, and, if you're smooth, the time it takes to consume it.
Cons:Getting too liberal with leveraging price could get you burnt. You may, in fact, be getting used for free drinks. A telltale sign is when the prospect asks you to buy drinks for their friends after having just met.
4) Relying on Inbound Leads
What it is:If your marketing team effectively generates inbound leads for you and your sales team, you may not have made a cold call in months. This is great, as inbound leads close at a higher percentage.
In your dating life, when your friends introduce you to people they know, you are more likely to get a number. If your friends have been setting you up with good introductions, you may not have made a cold intro for a while.
Pros: If you are used to inbound leads, and your friends are good at making introductions, being T'd up works great. Your friends know you and the people they introduce you to should be more qualified prospects.
Cons: If your funnel is dry, and you are used to getting fed, getting left to cold call (introduce yourself to randoms) may leave you unpracticed and ineffective. You may need to strike out a few times before you can get your groove back.
5) Taking the Sale Away
What it is:During an exploratory call, oftentimes, a sales prospect will question the value of what you do and tell you that they do not need your services. When this happens, an effective strategy is to take the sale away, and simply state, "Mr. Prospect, maybe you are not a good fit for our services. I don’t want to waste your time, but if things change, please reach back out to me."
Often, a prospect will respond with a rebuttal, stating why they are a good fit for your services. In dating, this can be hit or miss.
Pros: It can be a great technique to test a prospect's true interest and be diligent with your time. Walking away show’s someone you have other options, which could boost your market value.
Cons: Maybe you’re not on your best conversation game one night and walking away gives someone else the chance to swoop in and leave you forgotten.
Something to Consider Moving Forward
If you are facing any of these challenges in your dating life, it likely means you are crushing it on the sales end. So ... good job keeping up with best practices.
In sales, not all deals are won on the phone or in-person. Email follow-up and correspondence can go a long way in helping a prospect become a customer.
The same goes for dating -- things like texts and Facebook messages play out as a factor in the dating world.