What businesses can learn from online dating
Scandalous right? Well not really. There are faux pas that we readily know that would be disastrous in dating... that we should apply to business too.
1. Talk about themselves
We’ve all been there. You go on a date with someone and all they talk about is themselves. Don’t you hate it? You finally get to a break in conversation to talk and the other persons eyes glaze over completely uninterested in anything you have to say. Well, until the topic returns to them.
This no-no happens in business too. We all know we work hard and produce a awesome product. But honestly, talking only about your next item that is available for purchase can be boring and after awhile can be off putting. In business pay it forward, create treasuries featuring others, give kudos to others good work, feature others on your blog. Talking about more than yourself would work for your date and it works for business too. I can tell you I remember every good deed that someone does and more importantly I remember the name. I might not be able to pay back the kindness right away but I’ll remember the business name associated and refer people there. There are so many people that are looking for followers, selling and getting their name out there. But they go about it the wrong way. How do you get people invested in you? Simple: by investing in other people.
2. Bash the Ex or other people
Ever been on a date and the other person only negative things to say about their ex or other people. You’re on a date and the conversation slips to the ex’s. Now obviously, there was an issue or they have wouldn’t have broken up, but sometimes the conversation goes into overdrive and apparently every person they dated is tied for being the worst person on earth. The time ticks by on your date and they are still talking about it. On a date, big warning flags go up right? You can’t help but wonder if you were to date this person, how you’ll be perceived or talked about to others.
I’ve seen this happen in the business world and I must say warning flags go up there too. I’ve seen posts where people discuss problem customers, or put down others discussing how their product is better than so and so’s, or more handmade than someone else's. Would you want to do business with them? No, not really. Negativity can be caustic and discussing it can be costly. I touched on associations above, it works with negative ones too.
3. Late and/or broken promises
The person is late or cancels the date and doesn’t tell you until well you’ve already been sitting at the restaurant for a half and hour with cold coffee. Or the date goes well, or so you think ..until the “I’ll call you tomorrow” call you were supposed receive never comes. Felt crappy, eh?
4. Photo realistic
Ever been on a date from an online dating service and the person looks way different than their picture? I’ve been there. My dark and soulful, was light and sporty. Not bad, just not my thing. Or the profile picture used you can still see the ex’s arm in the picture LOL. Not accurate or bad set up in pictures can be disastrous. Just as in dating, the picture needs to reflect the product.
In business we can unintentionally be guilty of both good and bad. I’ve seen pictures that are overdone (over exposed, enhanced,.. etc) and the other (dark, blurry, or a distracting background). Pictures are so important. It is the first and only thing a person sees and what they rely on before purchasing the product. It can be hard to master but well worth it. If you are having a hard time selling it might be your pictures.
5. Be kind
Ever been on a date and the person is perfectly pleasant to you, but snotty to the server or other people around you. Yikes! That spells disaster for your date and can for business dealings too.
Be kind to everyone. And if someone is rude or mean to you walk away, figuratively of course. We’re a global community. You never know who knows who. To make matters worse depending where on the Internet you say it.. what you say can be found and on record forever.
6. It’s not you it's me
We’ve all heard this one (okay maybe just me) but we all know it’s not true, right? It’s is you. But what you really need to find out is why. In dating it’s good to find out where you need improvement but this also goes for your business/online store too. You wouldn’t show up for a date not looking your best right?
Well it goes for your store – put your best foot forward. Get critiques on your store and not the soft critiques “you’re perfect just the way you are” get the “cut you to the quick” honest advice. It might hurt but it will be the best thing ever. How your store is perceived speaks volumes. You don’t have to change everything as there is some degree of personal opinion. But you might want to consider that you may be turning customers away with off putting pictures, policies, profile,.. etc. The average person spends a precious few seconds looking before they decide to stay or move on. You could be doing well, but maybe you could be doing a whole lot better. These are things are the things you need to know.
7. Keep the conversation light
Now I get it’s fun to get to know people sometimes discuss current events, or share your opinions. But keep it light. Why? Because the discussion can turn very fast and get very heated. Ever hear the expression: “You should never talk about religion, politics or money” on a first date?
This applies to your business as well. There are real people behind the avatar, isn't it nice to connect? Yes, but you might want to be mindful about what you say with your business avatar/branding attached. If you’re not sure what I’m getting at see: point 5, starting at global community.
Now you must be wondering about me as it seems that I have had many dating disasters, but don’t worry. I’ve been officially off the dating scene for a long while. But to answer the lurking question: Yes, I did meet my husband on online. Luckily so, as I am happily married with three beautiful little girls. But also the added benefit as the experience with online dating has also helped develop these wonderful business rules too.