Valentine’s day conversations led me to the realization that both single and coupled people I know use terms and strategies similar to those used in my sales organization for prospecting and maintaining lasting relationships. Whether pursuing new prospects, or maintaining long-term relationships through attention to detail and follow-through, understanding parallels between the sales and romantic relationships is a great way to improve communication and happiness.
Becoming a more effective negotiator, business partner, or romantic partner is something that can always be improved upon, so I reached out to some of our sales experts and top business speakers for their advice on how to best approach professional or romantic relationships.
Small things lead to big results. It’s not just showing up in a sharp, classy outfit or going to dinner at fancy restaurant. It’s about being polite, on time, asking questions, and focusing. Be genuinely interested in the other person and allow them to talk. Finally—be yourself. Show your humanity and don’t try to be someone you’re not. Authenticity sells.
Be a Good Listener:
The number one skill that will make a difference in romantic relationships and sales is listening. I mean really listening to what that person says (and sometimes how they say it) without judging them, defending yourself, or explaining your point of view. It is about focusing on that other person and demonstrating a genuine effort to understand them. Once you do that, you establish trust which is the basis for both relationships.
This is going to sound strange coming from someone with a degree in mathematics, but what I have found is the most important thing in sales and personal relationships is empathy. In our study of 12,000 people we identified that one of the behaviors demonstrated by the top 10% performers was the ability to listen without jumping to conclusions. Listening for and validating the emotions that drive the behavior of others will increase your success in selling and dating.
Live Up to Your Promises:
Reputation and character are everything. People who buy from you or date you have to believe in you and trust you—in both situations, actions definitely speak louder than words! This is true for how you act, how you handle difficult situations, how you treat people, and even how you show respect for yourself. Without this trust neither relationship will go very far.
Own the Experience:
In business, we build relationships by “owning the customer experience.” That means staying in touch long after a sale to ensure our company is meeting our clients’ expectations and helping them achieve their visions of success. In successful personal relationships, we take the same approach, fulfilling our commitments and continually looking for new ways to help our partners achieve their dreams.
When you’re desperate everyone knows it. Unfortunately, you’re the last to figure it out. The best power tool you possess is confidence. Unfortunately, most people confuse this word with being conceited. Confidence is an understated ability that enables you to influence others. Everyone is attracted both personally and professionally to those who master this trait.
Don’t focus so much on the “close”, but determine if you’re moving forward with the right person. You want to close a big sale and earn the commission, or close a relationship and get married, but while every “close” ends one step, it also begins another. If you take things too far with the wrong customer or spouse, you may get that commission check or wedding, but end up in a bigger pile of trouble afterwards.
As our thought leaders have shown, whether dealing with professional or personal relationships, the same principles apply. Ultimately, your partner needs to know that you are going to be trustworthy, dependable, and have their interests in mind for a mutually beneficial arrangement. If you are not committed to the vision, they will take their business elsewhere.
The BigSpeak Team
The content writers at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau are Experts on the Experts. They hold doctoral, masters, and bachelors’ degrees in business, writing, literature, and education. Their business thought pieces are published regularly in leading business publications. Working in close association with the top business, entrepreneur, and motivational speakers, BigSpeak content writers are at the forefront of industry trends and research.