Farquharson/Tedesco on Business Development: Dating and Love Advice
Valentine's Day is to gawking, dating and love what selling is to prospecting, closing and going from customer to client. So, let's don the Love Guru apparel and dispense some advice.
But first, we need to clarify something. For the rest of this column, we're going to talk about loving "her." For those of you who need it spelled out, her = prospect or customer. Yeah, we know half of you in reader-land would prefer we write about "him," but for a couple of dudes like us, that would be kind of awkward; not that there's anything wrong with it!
Let our love journey begin.
T.J.: I'm the better gawker.
Bill: No, I'm the better gawker.
T.J.: I'm older and this gives me the right to be the gawker.
Bill: OK, you win.
Before the First Date…
You know how it feels. You eye her from afar and think, "Wow, she's amazing! What a personality!"
First, she has to be aware that you exist. You've got to get on her radar. How you do this is up to you, but unless this happens, you're just some weirdo voyeur.
The next step is to get her interested. There are endless ways to do this but, above all, be memorable. Forgettable is bad. Very, very bad.
Next? Arouse desire. Be different than the other guys. Rest assured that differentiation is crazy important.
Is she ready to go out with you on a date? There's only one way to find out. You have to ask. You might have to ask several times, but as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, she won't act unless you ask.
(Astute readers should recognize the tried and true AIDA buying stages: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action)
Bill: At least we're done with gawking.
T.J.: It made me uncomfortable.
Bill: Now we're finally doing something.
T.J.: Doing is good. Gawking isn't.
On the First Date…
She said yes, and now you're on your first date. You're both probably a little nervous. It all might go smoothly, but it might not. Maybe the car wouldn't start. Maybe the restaurant lost your reservation. It's all in how you respond.
Little things happen. It's not that something went wrong, but how you react that counts. Did you blame someone or something else? Eww…not appealing. Or, did you immediately assume responsibility and work on a solution?
It's a first date. Every little thing matters…a lot.
T.J.: Are we qualified to give dating advice?
Bill: Probably not.
T.J.: That's never stopped us before.
Bill: Fair enough.
You've gone out a handful of times. You're getting to know each other. Shocker alert: Neither of you is perfect and you both know it. But things are good. As long as you're both trying to make the relationship work, it usually does. You're still a little nervous because she so attractive and you know other guys are looking at her all the time. (Hint: She knows it, too.)
You know it's important to look good, hold doors open and be a fountain of sparkling conversation, but like many guys, you can get sloppy at times. You forget to call her back. You got sloppy with plans. Rest assured that she neither forgives nor forgets slights, no matter how small.
She might let you know that other guys are knocking on her door. She might even accept a date from someone else to annoy the heck out of you. You've got to keep up your A game!
Dating is fun, but every issue that comes up needs swift, effective resolution.
Bill: Commitment is where a lot of guys get nervous.
T.J.: I'm nervous.
Bill: Can't we go back to just giving sales advice?
T.J.: I thought we were.
You're now in a committed relationship. She relies on you and you on her. It's a two-way street.
But it's also the real world. You've watched some of your friends get divorced, often due to some type of inattention. Divorce is ugly and something that you want to avoid at all costs. She knows it and feels the same way.
Time passes. She's growing and the relationship needs to grow along side her. It's important that you figure out how to spice up things so life doesn't get stale. You need to try new things. The new things don't always work out, but that doesn't matter. What's important is that you try.
T.J.: There are no such things as problems, only challenges.
Bill: Please skip the consultant speak.
T.J.: I can't.
Bill: Me neither.
Bumps in the Road…
With every relationship comes inevitable challenges. The significant ones must be successfully addressed or things will not last. End of story.
Bill: Do you believe in fairy tales?
Bill: Me neither. Tough love for Valentine's Day, don't you think?
T.J.: Tough love is better than no love.
And They Lived Happily Ever After…
Fairy tales don't exist. Business relationships need care, attention, excitement, growth, and lots, tons and boatloads of mega-hard work. Shortcuts are a sure path to dateless nights. Inattention is a killer.
Get going. Stop gawking at that perfect prospect and start doing something about winning her business. PI
About the Columnists
T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, marketing and business strategy consultant serving graphic arts companies since 1996. He wrote "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning" and eight other books. Contact Tedesco at (301) 404-2244 or email@example.com. Bill Farquharson is a vice president at NAPL. He can help drive your sales. Contact Farquharson at (781) 934-7036 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.