Everyone likes to feel special, It is what makes dating fun and it is no different in sales. Courting makes us feel important, like we matter to someone and most importantly, it makes us feel desirable. Most prospects won’t admit this to you, but they like being chased. Nobody wants to come across as that annoying sales person, but did you ever notice that some of your best customers really made you work for it? Being courted is empowering; sometimes to a fault. Courting, nonetheless, is the magic that makes your sales process so effective that it defines who is and is not a player.
Ironically, the common sense mistakes that most of us would avoid making in courting someone we are dating we so often find ourselves doing in sales. Things that make us come across as sleazy, pushy, self centered or even a stick-in-the-mud. The courting process is not only making someone feel special, but it is time spent getting to know one another. What are each other’s interests and are there similarities? What do you look for in someone that you may want to date? Do you know any of the same people? Do you have similar past experiences? To successfully court someone you must know how to ask the right questions in the right way and, even more importantly, know how to listen. However, just like sales, this is where many of us fall down. If only someone offered some kind of training for dating, but at least there is Scorecard Sales Training and Coaching.
Courting is all about getting to know someone while trying to be relevant, memorable and desirable. Sounds like the foundation for making a sale, doesn’t it? Seeking out the fit and making a match is what sales is all about. Most of us in sales will call this the discovery process. You listen and pay attention to the signs. Sometimes you find that it is time to make a serious commitment and sometimes you will find that, while it was fun, it is time to move on. The only real difference between sales and dating in this sense is that it is more admirable to be courting several people from a sales perspective than it is from a dating perspective.
Courting in the sales worlds takes all different sizes and shapes. It can be a business lunch, a round of golf, bringing breakfast pastries by the office, making a promise and keeping it, or just helping them with a simple problem. The courting process should make the prospect feel safe and, in their mind, reduce the risk of doing business with you. You know what they say about people doing business with whom they know, like and trust.
In the end, the trick comes down to knowing when to make it about them and when to make it about you and your needs. There has to be some reciprocity, otherwise it is not a true relationship and not a true sale. We have all either been the person, or had a friend who was the person, who was in a one sided relationship and get played for a chump the entire time. We’ll talk more about that in the upcoming article “How To Avoid The Sales Friend Zone”. Just make sure you keep your sales courting fun just as you would in dating. People will pick up on your energy and be engaged if you love what you do and what you are selling. Remember, it is always better to date a happy person than a desperate or grumpy person. Don’t be a desperate or grumpy salesperson. Courting is a process. Enjoy it.