What I learned from Tinder about Enterprise Sales

I went on my first Tinder date the other day. The date had great potential, but on my walk home after the date something was bothering me. Every time I had told him a story about my life that I thought expertly displayed my wit, humor, personality, and kindness – this was my “A” material- I was left disappointed in his response.

I just told you a captivating story about my life that perfectly demonstrates how multi-dimensional I am, and your response is “cool.” That’s it- that’s not enough for me. I craved some kind of feedback that would prove to me that he understood and appreciated me and what I was talking about, and was left completely unsatisfied. There will not be a second date.

I started thinking more about this primal desire to be understood and appreciated in relation to how my team sells, and was horrified that we could be making this same mistake with our clients.

In enterprise sales winning is all about building a strong relationship. At the end of the day product features all blend together and no one wants to make a decision based solely on pricing, so buyers work with who they like, who they trust, who they believe “gets” them. So how do we establish that kind of trust and likability and prove that we “get” them?

In sales we ask our clients to tell us about their problems so we can solve them with our technology. In many cases I have seen a requirements gathering call morph into a therapy session with a client! After our clients bare their souls to us with all their problems and pain, are we also just saying “cool” and moving onto the next topic? How unsatisfying must that be for them?

I realized that in order to prove to the client that we understand and appreciate their pain we need to do better than “thanks for sharing, NetSuite can fix that, now tell me about…”

What if instead we made an effort to repeat their situation back to them so they know we got it right; then we empathized with another customer example or industry trend proving we’ve been there with someone like them; then maybe we explained how we would solve their problem with our solution in a unique and proprietary way; and finally confirmed that they could picture themselves using our tool to make their job easier?

What if we repeat, empathize, explain, and confirm? Maybe then our clients would believe we understand and appreciate them, and we can get more second dates.

Kelli Lampkin

Kelli Lampkin is a writer, traveler, comedienne, and entrepreneur.

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