If you are in sales, you are involved in corporate dating. You must understand this because it is critical to your success or business. This concept of dating and sales might seem like an odd pairing but it takes place everyday. It has been a long time since I was on the dating scene as a single person but I’m involved in business match making activities constantly. Businesses and salespeople are searching for the right company and the perfect contact for a life long profitable relationship. This is the same as dating.

The courtship activities

The initial activities of a successful courtship get you noticed by the individual you want a relationship with. If you are like me, you remember how this worked. Well, the dating game of business is not different when we want to get noticed. Although we might not send flowers, we might use candy, donuts, cookies or special mailings. In high school it was joining a special club just to be in the same room with a person we wanted to know better. In business this strategy might be attending a social event or commerce meeting to meet someone.

More frequent contacts during the courtship period are always expected. Here is a question for you, do you increase and vary your contact activities when you are courting a prospect? Do you send notes, letters, and e-mails besides the standard telephone call in increased numbers during this courtship period? If not, why not? You will never get noticed if you don’t apply this courtship strategy with the important prospects you want to know better. It is only after we have a matured relationship that we can reduce the frequency of these contacts.

The investigative work

When you were interested in someone, how did you learn about them? If you are like most of us, you acted like a master detective and learned as much as you could about the individual you were interested in. You probably asked all your friends and their friends about your potential date. Primarily because you wanted to know everything there was to know about them. Things are better today with the Internet, we can learn so much more about our intended when we research correctly.

Finding common interests was your goal with research and this should be the same goal when striving to develop long term relationships with prospects and customers. In business, the difference might be how we search for pain points with our prospects and even our customers. It is the pain points we uncover that will attract our benefits and solutions to prospects. The more pain we discover and make apparent to our contacts the more likely they will desire a solution oriented relationship with us.

Matchmaking and profiling

We can’t ignore the Internet which brings a unique set of matchmaking tools to assist the single person or business. If we use Internet tools we have a chance of finding a great match for a great relationship. We can use these ideas and apply them to our search for the perfect business match. Some of the online dating sites use extensive testing and personality profiling to assist in matchmaking. We can do the same thing with Standard Industrial Classifications (SIC) codes and matching our best customer profiles with potential prospects. I hope you enjoyed this journey down memory lane for dating and will apply the sales courtship strategies to your sales strategies.

Steve Martinez is the leading authority on automating and systematizing the selling process for the Printing Industry. His company, Selling Magic, LLC teaches business how to simplify, balance and automate the complex selling process.


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