Thursday, April 8, 2010

If You Can’t Outsmart Them . . . you’ll be single and bad at your job.

(crazy is right)

Working in sales is tough. It’s like being that annoying one-night stand who clearly did not get the hint and won’t leave you alone.

In modern dating, girls are taught to be coy and hard to get, god forbid genuine interest scares a guy away. In sales, you have to be persistent and resourceful about finding new ways to talk to the “decision maker.”

If I do enough leg work, I can usually track down my prospective client using his office number, direct line, cell phone, e-mail and showing up at his door (office door, that is, not home). Much like I try to hide excessive interest in my newest crush, I also try to hide the fact that I have enough free time at work to call the same client 10 times a day. To conceal the frequency of my attempts, I monitor and limit the number of voice mails, emails, and “missed calls” I leave my client, because my real purpose is to catch a real-live human on the line.
In dating, calls and texts (and direct tweets, and wall posts, and status comments, and picture comments…) have to be strategic and carefully planned to say as much as possible without seeming like a stalker. What? You think you can make conversation whenever there is an appropriate or funny opportunity? Are you crazy? You’ll have that guy (or girl) avoiding you like the plague because you’re “just getting too serious.”
Now you and I both know that you only commented on his “Share your favorite, ‘your momma’ jokes” wall post because ‘your momma’ jokes are your specialty, but he might perceive it as a desperate need for attention.

There are various schools of thought when it comes to flirting. Personally, I’m not a fan of playing dating “games.” I prefer to be (somewhat) straightforward and if the guy bites, great. It is much simpler and keeps you from wondering if he really understood the underlying message of your 160 characters. However, in sales you have to come up with inventive (not manipulative) ways of sparking the clients’ interest. Being frank and using the most off-putting word ever—advertising—rarely gets you anywhere. Another option, as lectured by a college friend, concentrates on the perils of seeming more than a little interested. “Always leave him wondering, and second-guessing,” she said. Only the best sales people can snag clients by playing hard to get, and you definitely need a good product to sell. I think Apple could probably pull off this technique, but they’re too nice to ever try. Other girls like to slowly wear the guy down. Text, show up, and utilize mutual friends as much as possible until he gives up, and gives you a try. From my brief experience in sales, this seems like the most reliable, albeit draining, approach. I’ve been advised by more experienced co-workers that it usually takes months, if not a year, to get a client to sign a contract. Most peoples’ interest in an individual, as opposed to money, does not last that long.

Perhaps the main similarity between dating and sales is if the boy or the client is truly interested in what you have to offer, then the relationship comes easily. At this point, voicemails (an archaic tool only used by the most serious of relationships) are left and returned promptly and unexpected visits are no longer seen as threatening.

****I’d love to hear a guy’s perspective…

1 comment:

  1. down with technology, blogs, twitter, facebook, gchat, and SMS (wait... am I a hypocrite?)