You wouldn’t ask me to marry you on our first date would you?

Think about it – it’s uncomfortable, pressurising and there is an imbalance of benefit (I’m a great catch, so I get why you want to marry ME, but what’s so great about YOU). There is a reason why, for thousands of years, most humans start off with some sort of ‘courtship’ before settling down with one another – it gives them a chance to get to know each other.

The trouble is, many people who haven’t been taught how to sell properly do the exact equivalent of proposing straight away. They charge in, take everything too quickly and then try to close the deal before the other person is ready. 

So what should they do instead? Well really, it’s common sense. As a sales trainer, I encourage my clients to think of selling like building a relationship and that means there are certain stages to go through. I call it GENTLE selling and the stages are:

Greet – you know – say ‘hello’, shake hands, kiss on the cheek or whatever works for you. You make small talk about the weather or the traffic and perhaps compliment each other on how jolly fine you both look.

Expectations – what are you both hoping to achieve, both short term and long term – is it a quick fix, a short-term dalliance or something where you are going to be close for a long time? Perhaps you don’t want to give too much away – after all a little mystery can be advantageous – but if one party wants something substantially different from the other, then you will probably not be a good match.

Needs – Find out what is important to the other person – the things they need and want are what motivates them to make a decision, take action or invest their time and money.

Together – It’s not just about you! If one of you does all the talking and the other one is wishing they were somewhere else, then this is a mismatch. Together you need to work out what happens next – that way the customer (date) feels in control of things. 

Lead – as in lead them to a solution. It’s very hard to force anyone into a long term relationship (business or romantic) so lead, suggest, encourage and state the benefits of the solution. Make sure they are happy at every stage, because then you can pop the question (close)

Evaluate – What can you learn from the experience and do differently next time? Of course if it doesn’t work out, then you will know what you are doing next time round! And there are, as they say, plenty more fish in the sea!

Reading this, was it a romantic scenario or a business one? Well obviously I have been a little ambiguous, so insert or remove words as you please, but the process is the point. Just remember:

Don’t ask someone to marry you (buy from you) on a first date (at first contact). Do things in the right order and your chances of success are much higher!

Happy selling!

If you would like more information about how we can help you transform your sales team, please contact Janet on 07748 994 334 or email

Testimonal 1 300x300, Tadpole Training

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