We’ve Lost That Loving Feeling

OK, a poor misquote of a classic song (thank you Phil Spector, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and the Righteous Brothers – and yes, possibly Tom Cruise on Top Gun, but I’ll let you debate that) but none-the-less it is true in the world of sales.  Let me explain.

Strong Relationships

Sales is about creating relationships, no matter whether it is Business to Business or Business to Customer.  Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a proportion of adults that are interested more in outcomes than in relationships, but even they still need to be able to trust the people they are buying from, even with the smallest item.   Otherwise, why would customer ratings be so important on the internet? 

So how do we create a strong relationship?  Well, it starts at the beginning with showing interest and then moves into romance, even courtship.  It starts with one person (generally the sales representative) showing their interest in the other and getting to know them, showing that they understand them, that they can empathise and even sharing similar experiences.  It’s about doing it in a genuine way, though not through lies that will eventually be found out.

I remember a friend of mine used to make up crazy jobs that he did when first meeting girls.  My favourite occasion was when he told a girl he was a Concorde pilot (yes this was a while back now) and she responded “well that’s incredible, I work on Concorde.  I’ve not seen you, which flights are you on?”  Oh dear, it was not his best night but you’ll be pleased to know he is happily married now-a-days.


“Behaviour designed to persuade someone to marry or develop a romantic relationship with one”

Oxford languages

The difference being we are asking the others to trust us, our business and our products or services.  Think about it.  Which works best for a lasting, loving relationship?

  1. Romance:  Showing the other interest, making them feel special when they are near you; cared for
  2. Caveman:  Leave the cave with a club, find the most attractive person and, well, we all know the rest of the story.

Common Ground or Not

Not always, at times, building a strong bond can be over an interest you don’t share.  For example, I know nothing about football (feel free to test me) but I have built up several relationships through discussing the game and my lack of knowledge.  “So, tell me more about your club…”.  

The point is that you must spend energy building a relationship, not head straight for a sale.  Get to know the other person or people, it is a courtship of sorts…