As the mom of 2 teenagers, the subject of dating is rampant in my house.  One book I found for my kids to read is titled, “Are You Dateable?”.  In it, the author poses questions to the reader about whether someone else would consider the reader to be “dateable”. It got me thinking about salespeople and the fact that when they are out searching for new clients, or trying to maintain relationships with current customers, they are in fact “dating” or courting their clients. Ask yourself the following 2 questions about the “dateable-ness” of your salespeople, or even yourself.
  1. Are you (or your salespeople) open and ready to share part of themselves with someone else?  In a normal dating relationship, if things are only one-sided, that relationship doesn’t usually work out.  Why? Because both people need to be open and willing to share information about themselves, their time and attention, and their money and resources with each other in order to make things work.  No one wants to give and give and never receive. So are your salespeople willing to be open and share information, their time and attention, and their resources with their customers and clients?  None of these need to be shared to the extreme, but the willingness is there, the customer and clients will feel that kindness and energy and therefore their relationship will have more potential for growth.
  2. Are you (or your salespeople) ready to accept that not every relationship will last forever? (As a side note, in this book, the author specifies that most relationships that begin in the teenage years don’t last.) In a normal dating relationship, if two people enter a dating relationship without the expectation that this will last forever, then each high moment of the time together will be treasured and appreciated, while the negative low moments will not be earth shattering. What does this mean for your salespeople?  It’s important for salespeople to constantly look for new customers and clients, because not all customers will remain loyal to the same company or even the same salesperson for a lifetime. If they have a client that provides a large commission to that salesperson and then suddenly that client pulls their business, it could be earth shattering to a salesperson not prepared with the notion that not every relationship will last forever.  The prepared salesperson will always be courting their clients, touching base with them often to be sure that their needs are being met.  The prepared salesperson will also be out searching for new clients constantly, ready to replenish the customer/client list at all times.
These two questions, while originally meant to trigger a thought process for someone who is ready to date, are very applicable to the salesperson and his/her frame of mind.  By thinking through these questions and talking them over with your sales staff, or even yourself, your staff will be ready for new growth as a successful salesperson.