THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DATING AND SELLING
The word “dating” is a very common word in the world today most especially among youths. Dating can mean different things, there is a difference between dating and dating someone. Dating means you are just going out on dates, meeting people, spending time with them and enjoying yourself. But dating someone means you are seeing somebody specific on a regular basis with purpose. Let me give a simple analogy, because you are dating does not necessarily mean you’re dating somebody but in the other case, if you’re dating someone, you are definitely dating. The dating I am referring to in this context is the second type, the one between a guy and a girl. But even nowadays, you don’t even have to see someone everyday for you to date. Technology has made it more easier. With sites like tinder and others, you can connect with people online which they call ‘online dating’. You hear youths say, ‘I’m dating this girl or guy’. What exactly is the meaning of dating?
Wikipedia defined dating as a stage of romantic relationships in humans whereby two people meet socially with the aim of each accessing each other’s suitability as a prospective partner in an intimate relationship. It is a form of courtship, consisting of social activities done by the couple, either alone or with others.
Dating according to Urban Dictionary can also be referred to as a state where two people attracted to each other spend time together to see if they can stand to be around each other most time, if this is successful, they develop a relationship.
It can also be described as a casual process by which you get to know a person which you may eventually have a romantic relationship with.
You may be wondering that what has dating got to do with selling. Buyer-seller relationship is more or less like dating. When sellers begin to take sales more serious the way they take relationship or marriage serious, their level of sales will increase. Many people see selling as a very easy task, in which you just search for customers and start selling to them but selling is actually a relationship. There must be a relationship between yourself and the buyer.
SIMILARITIES BETWEEN DATING AND SELLING
CUSTOMERS OR PARTNER’S FEELING : A guy and a girl who are in a relationship went out on a date. As they approached the restaurant, the guy saw another lady passing by and he stopped to talk to her and invited her to join them. The lady obliged and they all sat at a round table to eat. During the course of the meal, the guy forgot his girlfriend and gave the lady his full attention. The girlfriend stood up and left in anger-. In a relationship, both parties like to feel special most especially the ladies. Let’s even talk about relationship at the friendship level, both parties feel special because if as your friend, I am not special to you, I will look for another person and move on with my life. In a romantic relationship, the lady always love to be given a special treatment different from any other woman in the guy’s life and vice versa.
This also applies to sales, customers love to be treated special when they patronize you. Customers are king, and they should be treated as one. You must not treat them anyhow. Most business owners are only after the money they will realize after the sales has been made not considering the customers at all. As a business owner, the welfare of your customers should be your utmost priority. You should make sure the goods you sell to them are quality and are affordable by them because your customers are your greatest assets in your business.
LEARN TO ACCEPT NO
No one likes to be rejected but you must learn to accept it and move on. When it comes to dating, people often get rejected. I was having a chat with my colleague at work and he told me how he was rejected by two different ladies before he finally got married. Even in the dating world, people reject each other due to maybe difference in age, status, religion or other things. Many even reject the other partner because he or she is not up to their taste or standard, maybe not beautiful or handsome enough. The same thing applies to business, you can’t get a ‘yes’ at all times. Many will turn you down, many will insult you, some will laugh at your idea and tell you it’s not going to work. In business, you are going to be calling, texting and meeting thousands of people and most of these people will tell you that they are not interested in your business, they will reject your idea. But no matter how much you get rejected, we must always accept the rejection and move on.
SOME CUSTOMERS OR CLIENTS MAY NOT VALUE YOU
George has been desperate about going into a relationship, he met Susan a very beautiful lady and fell in love with her. George is a smart and handsome guy, very educated, he is also very wealthy. He communicated his feelings to Susan and she told him she is not interested. George tried to talk to her about it again like two times but she insulted him and disgraced him. After three weeks, George heard that she got married to a guy who is not up to George’s standard, he is not educated and wealthy as George. This short story make us understand that no matter how beautiful, educated or smart you are, the person you want to date may not value you. They may not even see you as anything and might go for someone cheaper than you. And if you try to force yourself on them, they will end up breaking your heart. It is no different in sales, no matter how quality your product or service is or how reliable or good you are, some customers and clients will not value you and your business and you cannot force your product or service on them. Some business owners feel bad when people don’t value their product or service, but you don’t need to feel bad because it is normal. No matter how good your service and product is, some will still have something negative to say about it, because you cannot satisfy human being.
YOUR CUSTOMERS CAN BREAK UP WITH YOU
In the dating world, relationships break up if it is no longer working or both parties have a better offer. Most time, relationship break up due to lack of effective communication, lack of trust e.t.c. The way a guy or a girl break up is the way your customers or clients can break up with you if you don’t nurture the relationship, if you don’t care about them, they can trust you e.t.c. Therefore, in order to avoid your customers or clients breaking up with you, you must maintain, grow and nurture your relationship with them, you must provide them quality product or service at all time, be ready to listen to their complaints and give answer to their questions.
STAGES OF RELATIONSHIP
SEARCHING FOR THAT SPECIAL PERSON
This is the first stage in both dating and selling. When you finally decide you want to date, the first step to take is to start searching carefully for that person that your heart want. The internet has made dating easier now by making provision for a lot of dating sites also called ‘online dating’, here you can check out people that suit you and connect with them. In sales, you have to make research on your potential customers. You have to search for them. Linkedin is a good avenue to search for your customers.
START TALKING TO THEM : After searching for your customers, the next step is to connect with them. You can send them a text or an email but most times it is always advisable to put a call through to them. Just like a dating relationship, after thinking of the person you want to date or seeing the person you love, the next thing to do is to communicate your feelings to the person and prepare for a date.
ARRANGE FOR A DATE: This stage is very important in relationship as well as in selling. In dating world, after communicating to the person, you might necessarily tell him or her your intentions but it is much better to just inform the person about the date and plan for it. The same applies to selling, after contacting them for the first time, there is need for a follow up email, this does not mean you should continue sending them multiple mails telling them all about your company and products because they might actually end up not reading the multiple emails or text. The best thing to do is to arrange for a date with them.
This is the stage where you are set to meet with your partner. Most people are always nervous about a date especially if it is a blind date because they would be seeing each other for the first time.
On the day of the date, it is very advisable to appear well and be responsible as much as you can because first impression matters a lot. The same applies to selling, you do not want to appear to your clients or customers as one who is not responsible, you have to dress well and smart and carry yourself with confidence. Also, make sure you make yourself comfortable with your clients and chat with them like lovers. Try as much as possible to convince them about your product or service. Make the meeting more about them. Listen more and talk less, and when you talk, make sure your words are aligned with their needs. Remember I said in the beginning of this article that your customers are your greatest asset in the business. So prepare yourself very well to meet them.
CONCLUDE :After going on a date with a guy and the guy has made his intentions known, most ladies do ask the guy to give them time to think about it. Then after giving it a thorough thought, she conclude them matter by either accepting him or rejecting him. This is also the case of a buyer-seller relationship. After meeting with your prospective client or customer, you give them time to think about it and you call them or arrange another date to conclude the matter and seal the deal.
START AND BUILD YOUR RELATIONSHIP : If your customer or client gives you a positive reply, then you guys can start a relationship like lovers where you start the business real and negotiate. You must know that like a dating relationship, there are going to be some challenges in your relationship, bad times are natural, but don’t dwell on their bad side, settle all odds and move on. Also, you must learn to grow and build your relationship. A relationship not built will be stagnant.
One of the ways to build relationship is trust. In the dating world, trust is very important, you must be able to trust your partner and your partner must be able to trust you too.
Lack of trust makes the relationship stagnant and eventually break it up. Even in marriage, it is better to marry someone you trust and the person also trusts you. Trust is a very important tool to keep a relationship.
As a seller, your customers or clients must be able to trust you, your product or service and your business, you must build trust with your customers. This come by being honest with them and being a person of integrity. Many clients or customers cannot sign a deal or work with business that has low value for integrity. Other attributes that build a relationship are effective communication between partners, love, integrity e.t.c.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Damilola Babatunde has a great passion for writing. She write articles on starting a business, how small business owners can grow their business e.t.c and many small business owners have really benefitted from her write ups.