Sales and dating both consist of a journey between two parties that can either result in success or failure.
B2B sales and online dating are like Pepsi and Coke.
I’m sure you’re thinking we’ve gone mad with a statement like this but examine them closely and you’ll see the resemblance.
Swipe right to inbound sales and watch the matches come in.
Attraction & Awareness
To match with anyone online, prospects first have to be aware of who you are. If you don’t have an online presence, game over!
In dating, this presence exists on platforms such as Tinder and Match.com. With inbound sales it’s through content creation in emails, blogs and social media etc. In both cases not only do you have to have a presence, but this presence must attract people. This is where many traditional approaches fail:
‘Hi, I’m Tom and I’ve come to tell you how I can dramatically improve your dating and sex life. Is this a good time to chat?’
Admittedly this isn’t something many would say as a first approach but think of those sales calls you’ve received:
‘Hi, I’m Tom from Company X and I’m calling to tell you how I can treble your sales revenue this month. Is now a good time to talk?’
If you’ve ever made it to the second part of that sentence, a no was probably followed by one or two impolite words.
The awareness and attraction stage isn’t the time to promise your prospect the world when you don’t know each other. It’s the time to educate, understand each other, and build trust in your mutual compatibility. It’s where the start of a new and exciting journey begins.
In B2B sales, this process is known as the buyer's journey. The game is to take your prospect from first sight, to true love but there are a few holes to jump through along the way.
At the awareness stage, build content that your prospects will want to see, then find out who’s viewed and declared an interest in it by capturing their data. Next research their profiles to see if there’s mutual attraction. The more partners you have to chose from and the more you know about each other, the better the chances of success.
Or maybe you’ll learn that you’re not compatible. It’s better to realize this on the first date than six months down the line. Remember, this isn’t just about whether you’re compatible for them, as importantly, it’s about whether they’re compatible for you.
I once watched Maria Sharapova play tennis at Wimbledon, my dream partner. I made every effort for her to notice me, liked her social media pages, shouted her name after each point, but she never acknowledged me. Even at the end when she blew a kiss to the crowd she didn’t even look at me! Probably time to start focusing on people who are more compatible and accessible.
Consider if their values fit yours? Does the size of their bank account match the value you’re offering? Will a long distance relationship work or do you need regular in person contact?
Once a clear mutual connection has been understood, you’ll be in a great place to move things forward.
Dating & Consideration
These are still early days and the focus should remain on building trust and demonstrating how you meet each other's needs.
Finding out and focusing on their pain points can really enhance your chances of success. If you know your prospect hates it when you don’t pay them enough attention, stay in regular contact and tailor your communication to emphasize that with you, there will be ample opportunity to arrange catch ups and calls at times that work for everyone. Turn their concerns to your solutions.
Now is also the time to offer more tailored approaches such as proposing a date to demonstrate your capabilities, or offer testimonials of your past successes in similar situations. As a side note the last point isn’t the best idea when dating…
Greater qualification also occurs here. Find out, will they really become exclusive with you or are they just playing the field? Is now a time in their life when they can commit? Do they need support from other people?
If there are any concerns go about solving these now. If the answers are all positive, continue to build on how you match the prospect's desires and show you really are the partner of their dreams.
Commitment & Decision
Finally there comes a point in any relationship when a decision has to be made. Walk away, or commit and sign the documents. If you have played your cards right, you’re in the perfect place to close. You know what you both want, and it’s time to make it official.
There are lots of tactics you can use here to seal the deal from it’s now or never, to the question close, or the summary.
People then often forget relationships aren’t just for the night, they’re for the long term. After all it is said to cost 5 to 30 times more to attract a new prospect than retain an existing one.
Therefore nurturing any relationship, like lead nurturing for sales, is essential. Ensure you’re matching or exceeding expectations by asking the right questions and keep surprising them with new things they didn’t know about you. A happy relationship makes for a happy business.
Not only this, but if the relationship is going great, your partner is a lot more likely to introduce and promote you to their contacts. Things can get boring when date night is just the two of you every time. Meet their contacts and expand your horizons.
Master the Game & Prosper
With inbound sales and online dating, the game of finding your ideal partner, and the journey of establishing love, are very similar. Create awareness and build attraction, spend time getting to know each other, understand the magic you can offer one another, close the deal, and nurture the relationship.
Be it sales or dating, when you find the perfect partner, things just get that little bit more special.