It is Not Me, It is You: Why Most Sales Pitches Are Like Bad Dates

Posted by Ben Kniffen in Uncategorized

“Ugh! He just kept talking on and on. I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. He didn’t ask a single thing about me. AND after all that he had the nerve to ask when we could speak again! Yeah, like that’s going to happen!”

While that may sound like someone ranting about their recent dating catastrophe, those are actually comments I heard someone make about a sales call they recently received.

That made me realize there are several striking similarities between dating and sales. Just like dating, you now have to woo your prospects. Long gone are the days of a simple cheesy sales pitch that has clients signing on the dotted line.

Let’s examine how these 4 common dating pitfalls can be messing with your sales game.

Bad Date Behavior #1: Being selfish and narcissistic

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You all know the type of person I’m talking about—the person who sits there and goes on and on and on about themselves without bothering to ask a single question about you.

It’s like trying to have a conversation with Ron Burgundy where all he basically says is “Hey everybody, come see how great I look.” Sit down Ron, nobody wants to talk to you.

This is one of the worst mistakes you can make. Just like when you’re on a date, you want to make sure your conversation with prospects is a two way street.

You can, and should, ask them questions. You need to get to know them and their business to see if you would even be a good match.

This leads us to the next mistake you don't want to make…

Bad Dating Behavior #2: Not knowing what you want

Not knowing what you want is a recipe for disaster. You spend all your time and resources dating people that clearly aren’t right for you and end up with nothing to show for it. If you knew what you wanted, you could focus in on those specific qualities and have a much easier time finding the person you want.

This is absolutely true in sales as well. Instead of taking a shotgun approach to selling, make a list of your ideal prospects. Think of the types of people who could really benefit from your product or service and write down their specific qualities.

Once you have your ideal prospect profile you can then tailor your efforts so you only spend time on quality leads, ones that actually have a better chance of success.

Bad Dating Behavior #3: Jumping the gun

No one gets married on a blind date. If you’ve just met someone and you know they would be the perfect match for you, you probably wouldn’t drop to one knee and pop the question after only five minutes of knowing them.

If you’re trying to close a deal on the first call you need to slow it down, Romeo. They don’t know you, so how can you expect them to make that big of a commitment without even establishing a relationship with you yet?

Your prospect needs to get to know you, trust you, and view you as a helpful resource. Don’t focus on the sale, focus on being helpful and building a strong relationship. If you do this, when it comes time to “pop the question” your potential client will be much more inclined to say yes.

Bad Dating Behavior #4: Not calling back

So you went out on a date, the conversation was good, and your date was interested in seeing you again. However, you never called them back! How rude!

If you would’ve calle10054022524_16f35a4ac7d them back in a timely matter things could’ve been different. But you didn’t, so now they have no interest in talking to you again and have already moved on.

This is one of the most common problems I see in sales. You start pursuing a lead just to drop it midway through. You had a rather successful first call, but forget to call them back until a month or two later. This is a major mistake.

By that time your prospect has already forgotten about you and moved on to someone else. They’re probably thinking, “Who is this flaky salesperson that’s try to talk to me? No thanks.” Do yourself a favor and follow-up in a timely manner.

It can take 8 or more times reaching out to a prospect before you can close the deal, so be persistent and it’ll pay off.

~

While sales and dating are two very different activities, they still come down to the same thing, building a relationship from the ground up with someone you just met.

Both activities can be scary, challenging, and difficult to get the hang of at first. By putting your bad behaviors in check, you’re well on your way to more successful interactions.

Just remember “It’s not me, it’s you.” Keep the focus more on THEM, the prospect, not on you and you’ll be just fine.

  • LOL, I absolutely love this post. In all reality, sales is a lot like dating, and unfortunately most sales people do take the all about me approach. You make some great points here, thanks!