Everything I learned about dating I learned in sales.
Just kidding, I just wanted to write that. How much do you hate the title of this blog? It's OK. Me too.
But I did learn some incredibly valuable lessons in my career as a sales professional that have greatly improved my dating. Here are the top 4.
Dating Is a Skill, Just Like Sales
And like any skill, the more you do it, the better you get at it.
Was I always great at sales? No.
I was miserable at first because I didn't know what I was doing. But over time, I got better.
My first real sales job was as an inside sales rep for Yahoo!. I was tasked with selling advertisement to recruiters in Los Angeles. I'd always sold in some capacity in my old jobs, but this time I was tied to a quota. If I didn’t meet that quota, I was canned.
When I sat down at my desk my first day on the job, I didn’t know what to do. I was terrified. The phone weighted a 1000 pounds and I could swear everyone was looking at me, waiting for me to fail.
Not unlike my first 50 dates.
I don’t like to fail, I never have and I never will. Failure isn't something I'll ever get used to.
I Put Myself Out There, Time and Time Again
Success in sales at Yahoo! was 80 phone calls a day and 3 hours of talk time. To people who hate talking on the phone, and introverts, this sounds like a nightmare.
To an extrovert, it’s another day at the office.
So that’s what I did. I made 80 phone calls a day, and I spoke to people for at least 3 hours a day. And I made sales. Lots of them. I quickly became a top performer because I followed the blueprint for success. 80 calls a day, and 3 hours of talk time. Plus a healthy fear of failure.
We had a tracking system that would post everyones phone calls and talk time the following morning. If you weren’t on track to hit your quarterly quota, and your stats weren’t up to par, you’d face the grilling from your manager.
I never wanted to be grilled so I made calls. And I learned a lot about sales. Then I took everything I learned in sales and applied it to dating. And it worked.
Dating Is Not a Numbers Game. Or Is It?
It’s a numbers game. It is. The more people you date, the higher your chances of meeting someone you're compatible with. It's true.
Also, the more dates you go on, the better you are at going on dates. You get more comfortable, you understand the dynamics of dating more, and you learn to relax a little bit.
I’m a hopeless romantic, but I'm also pragmatic.
The hopeless romantic in me believes that if you’re supposed to be with someone, nothing can keep you apart. The universe will conspire with you to make it happen.
At the same time the pragmatist in me knows that if you want to meet someone, you need to take charge of your dating destiny and get off your couch.
You won't find love sitting in front of your computer in your apartment. You'll need to step outside your comfort zone and interact with people.
The first step in going out with someone is approaching them. If you can’t approach them, you’re dead in the water.
Same with sales.
If you want to make a sale, you'll have to approach prospects, qualify them, pitch them the product, and close the deal.
Here's what I learned by doing sales at Yahoo! and how it's made me better dater.
4 Lessons I Learned About Dating By Being a Salesman
1. Rejection Isn't Personal
I used to take every no personally. I would go home dejected after having been turned down by tens of prospects every day. It took it's toll on me and I didn't dig myself out of the depression until I realized that rejection is not personal.
When a potential client, or a potential mate, says no to me, they're simply saying they're not interested. They're expressing their personal preference, and unfortunately, I'm not it.
But that's OK, because I'd rather know right off the bat if someone isn't interested. Why keep spinning my wheels when I could just brush my shoulder off and move on?
I don't have to do anything differently after rejection. I just have to keep picking up the phone and keep doing my job. No matter how many times I got rejected, I didn't take it personally and I kept doing the work.
I could however, qualify my prospects just a little more.
2. Stop Spinning Your Wheels For Nothing
I used to try and sell to everyone. It didn't matter if you were a fisherman in Alaska without an internet connection, I would try to convince you that you needed Yahoo! advertising.
I didn't know I was spinning my wheels, I was desperate for a sale. We called it the shotgun approach. If you try to sell to everyone, eventually someone will buy.
That's true. But at what cost? My sanity, my energy, and my resilience.
When I started qualifying my prospects to find out if they were in the market, a good fit for my product, and interested in finding out more, my sales skyrocketed and my workload decreased.
I had traded my shotgun in for a sniper rifle.
When I meet a woman I'd like to get to know more, I qualify her by finding out these three thing:
Qualify Your Prospect By Finding Out These Three Things:
- Is she single?
- Is she interested in men?
- Does she seem interested in me?
If I can answer yes to those three questions, then it may be worth exploring if we have chemistry or a connection.
Not sure how to ask someone if they're single? Watch the video below for tips on exactly what to say to find out if someone is single or not.
3. Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
I was courting a client that I just knew was going to buy before the deadline. He had until midnight on the 31st to return the contract, so I became complacent. I stopped calling new prospect and started mentally coasting to the finish line.
Then I started obsessing over this client. It was too late to find new business so I put all my energy into this client. I emailed him, left voicemails, tried cutesy ways of getting an answer from him.
The deadline came and went and the prospect never signed the contract. In fact, he never called, or returned any of my phone calls. I'd hounded him into disappearing.
When I focus all my energies on one prospect, or one new person I'm dating, I place undue importance on that one single relationship.
And when it doesn't work in my favor? I'm devastated and disappointed.
When I stay busy, keep calling other prospects, keep working on myself, keep engaged with friends and family, it's not a big deal when someone doesn't come through.
Life is full, there's no huge expectations for new person to come in and make me happy because I'm busy and I'm connection with other people who bring me happiness.
4. Never Stop Perfecting The Product
When a company launches a product and makes it available to potential customers, the work isn't over. Great companies know that great products can always be improved upon.
In this case, YOU are the product. Just because you think you're ready for the showcase showdown, it doesn't mean you can stop working on yourself.
Always continue to build upon yourself, keep growing, and refuse to be complacent.
Learn new skills and deepen your mastery of your existing skills.
Strive to be a better friend, child, sibling, employee, parents, and human.
Never stop growing and keep making the product, YOU, more desirable. The better the product, the more interesting you become to your prospects.
And there's something really satisfying about prospects calling YOU because they're interested.
Do The Work, Let Go Of The Results
This is my philosophy in life, and it should be yours too.
It took me awhile to realize that I'm in the business of action, not in the business of results.
This applies to everything in my life. Work. Love. Relationships.
I can't control the outcome. I can't control whether someone is going to sign the contract as much as I can't control if someone is going to like me, sleep with me, or say yes to marrying me.
The best I can do in any given moment is to do whatever work needs doing, and to let go of the results.
Everyday I wake up and I keep perfecting the product and the pitch. I put myself out there and I make phone calls. I meet people and I become curious about who they are and what they're interested in.
Deep down I understand that while rejection might feel personal, it's far from personal. And I remember to stay active in all aspects of my life. With work. With friends. With myself. And with others.