Are there key elements of selling and loving? One innovative company, SalesReUp, has broken down the sales process into seven steps, and there are some similarities between the steps in the sales process and the stages of a love experience.
Lovers and Sellers have a few things in common.
According to a Women's Health Magazine report, the average woman will fall in love twice before settling down with the one she feels treats her the best. According to a McKinsey & Company report, 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.
In a business relationship, nothing is accomplished until the customer buys what the seller is selling; and in a romantic relationship, nothing is consummated until one lover buys into what the other lover is feeling. Without that "meeting of the minds" between the two parties, the relationship is not fully activated yet- it is more like a "pre-relationship" (i.e. pre-loving, pre-selling).
For example, imagine a seller reporting that a purchase has been made without any agreement from the customer; or imagine a man saying that he's in a romantic relationship with a woman who has no idea about his feelings for her. Most reasonable people would agree that the aforementioned seller and lover are not being real. The concept of "pre-relationship" is interesting on three fronts.
First, it delineates the preparation steps that lovers and sellers take beforehand in order to make a relationship real. By "real", I mean the seller moves from making a sale "in his mind" (e.g. prospecting) to making an actual sale that he can record and report. In the case of lovers, making a relationship "real" means moving from having unexpressed feelings (e.g. daydreaming) to expressing your similar feelings for each other.
Second, the concept of pre-relationship is interesting because many of the things that you have to do before a relationship is fully activated are things that you have to do during the relationship (especially if you want a healthy relationship). For example, a company has to make time to address the needs of its prospective customers in much the same way that the company will have to make time to address the needs of these prospective customers once they become actual customers. Similarly, making time is both a currency for dating and for being in a romantic relationship.
Third, the concept of pre-relationship is interesting because it means that loving and selling can each be broken down into distinct stages. Breaking an experience down into stages allows us to better understand the experience as a whole. Something happens before, during, and after. For the sake of good argumentation, it is fair to point out at this juncture that one key difference between the experience of loving and the experience of selling might be in the interpretation of the "after" stage. Things may happen "after-sale/post-selling" (e.g. great customer service) that are different-in-kind from "after-love/post-loving" activities. It's kind of hard to make yourself available for "services" of any kind after a romantic relationship ends (or at the very least, it's probably not advisable). However, an equally fair interpretation is to see selling as not over until the customer cancels service or returns product; so in that vein, customer service is still part of the sales process.
In fact, one innovative company, SalesReUp, has broken down the sales process into seven steps:
Plan the Close
Close the Sale
What do the following enterprises have in common: ExxonMobil, Oracle, Dell, Cbeyond, Boston Market, Vector Marketing, Williams Fried Chicken… Based on over 15 years of research in working with small, local businesses to large, global companies, the founders of SalesReUp have observed that selling has key ingredients that are present regardless of how selling is baked relative to company size, geography, or industry.
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