“A Mutual Friend Thought We Should Meet”
A few weeks ago, the CEO of a communications agency connected with me on LinkedIn. A friend of his had suggested we meet, which we did early the following week.
I started the conversation with, “A sale is a love affair, you know.”
His eyes lit up. “I’ve always seen a connection between selling and dating. Always!”
Throughout the meeting, we didn’t shy away from expressions like prospects wanting to kiss on the first date and even getting in bed with our clients.
“That’s when we know the relationship is serious,” said the CEO. “When we finally get into bed together, when we land a first project, we know more work is coming. Our work has to be good, of course.”
“So you have to be good in bed,” I said.
The Fertile Seed Takes Root
As I draft the last third of my book, I found this CEO’s acceptance encouraging, of course.
But what really floated my boat was seeing the concept synthesize in his own mind, hearing him create his own analogies between the complex B2B sales process and finding love.
“So I guess you and I are on a blind date,” he laughed. “A referral is like a blind date, don’t you think?”
“I love it!” Now my eyes lit up. “And this where I come up with ideas like this. Referrals and Blind Dates will be a chapter in my book now. Thanks!”
As I discuss this concept out in the marketplace, from client workshops to networking events, I find there are two types of reactions when I suggest any connection between love and sales.
Some people feel it’s crass. I knew that would happen from the start. As a salesperson, rejection of proposals and concepts comes with the territory. That’s fine. I’d rather have strong reactions that are polarized positively and negatively, than a lot of neutral ones.
Those who react negatively usually have not been too involved with the discipline of selling… the excitement, the seduction, the customer-focus, the disappointments, the wins… and the release of hormones throughout their systems that sales gives you. (Sounds a bit like love, doesn’t it?)
Love Is A Higher Power. Love Is For Those That Open Their Heart.
But what I’m also finding is that a certain profile almost always sees it. The more senior the manager, or the more seasoned the salesperson, the more “A Sale Is A Love Affair” resonates.
Those that have had their proposals rejected and their hearts broken, those that have developed happy customers and enjoyed deep relationships… they get it immediately!
Just like this CEO.
“I think we’re falling in love,” he said as we put a next date in the calendar, and he walked me to reception. “But don’t worry, outside of running this agency, I’m a happily married, straight man.”
I laughed. “And don’t you worry… I won’t kiss you on the lips.”
Then we said goodbye… with a very firm handshake.
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I help sales teams improve their performance by putting the “love” into the sales process. The tools and techniques vary, but the mindset is simply a heart-set.
Let’s talk about love and sales. Contact me here and let’s set up a call.
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Photo by Tamarind Silverfall: https://www.flickr.com/photos/103061805@N07/11166405646