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The Truth About Dating and Sales

Dating and Sales both require insight, skill, and discretion to know when people are truly interested.

On a recent trip back from New Jersey, I had a conversation with another sales professionals at the airport about dating and sales. He boldly stated that selling is no different than dating. His remark reminded of a movie I’d watched called, “He’s Just Not That Into You.” I began to see the parallels between dating and sales.

Consider the things salespeople tend to worry about on first time appointments and initial meetings. Will they:

  • agree to a second meeting?
  • return your calls?
  • tell you the truth?
  • be honest about their selection process?
  • agree to take the next step?
  • play hard to get?
  • lead you on?
  • work with you until someone better comes along?

Here are Five Ways to Know if Your Prospect is Into You

They’re open to sharing information about themselves and their company.

Good Sign: When potential customers are willing to answer questions about their needs, wants, pains and struggles, they’re telling you that they have a problem and might need you to fix it. That is a really good sign they are interested in you.

Bad Sign: If they are unwilling to answer your questions openly and honestly, they may be playing hard to get or just not “into” you.

They’re willing to engage in conversation and return your calls and emails.

Good Sign: If they have respect for you, they will listen to what you have to say and trust that your information is worthy of hearing. When you are successful at this, your potential customers are showing signs they are interested in you.

Bad Sign: If they are avoiding you, not getting back to you, being vague or not telling you the truth, they are either not interested or leading you on. You might need to dump them.

They’re willing to go to the next step, set up another appointment and continue the conversation.

Good Sign: When they agree to the next meeting, show up to that meeting, and keep their promises it is a clear signal that they are engaged and the process is important to them.

Bad Sign: Should they push off next meetings and tell you to call them but, you go into the “voicemail abyss,” it is the clearest sign of all that they are not that into you. If they do happen to pick up the phone, you will hear, “I will give you a call sometime,” “I am really busy can you get back to me back in a week” or “I am still interested, just not making a decision right now.”

They’re willing to ask and answer tough questions.

Good Sign: If they are open to a dialogue that flushes out their real agenda, reasons for meeting and what their bottom line is, then they might be interested in you.

Bad Sign: If you ask tough questions that they’re not ready or willing to answer and get irritated, they most likely are trying to hide their true intentions or using your for free information. Clearly they only want you for one thing and not interested in you.

They are excited to meet you.

Good Sign: When you meet them in person, they shake your hand, smile and make eye contact. When your potential customers ask you questions and keep the conversation going chances are they’re interested in you and might be open to second meeting.

Bad Sign: Body language is an important cue and if potential customers speak to you with their arms folded and answer you with short “yes” and “no” answers, they are just not interested in you.

In Dating and Sales Sometimes You Need to Walk Away

Just like with dating, in sales your potential customers may lose interest and reject you. They may:

  • be shopping around to make your competitor jealous or they may simply change their mind.
  • already be committed to someone else.
  • have an alternative solution but stringing you along.

In dating and sales, when you get a bad vibe, trust your intuition. When you see the signs that your prospect is just not that into you, walk away. Stop calling, stop emailing, stop begging for one more meeting and stop acting desperate. Dump them and move on.

When you are creating value, being honest, sharing information and showing respect but your potential customer is unwilling to reciprocate, it’s not worth it to spend your time on a relationship that is going nowhere.


Learn to read and flex to your prospect’s preferred communication style in our FREE sales training guide: A.C.E.D. Buyer Style Playbook

About the author

Liz Wendling

Liz Wendling

Liz Wendling is the president of Insight Business Consultants, a nationally recognized business consultant,…

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