Blending together ideas about dating in the context of selling, and selling in the context of dating, The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a short, fun blend of these two connection-building activities designed to help B2B salespeople be more efficient and effective in the pursuit of new business.
Are you struggling to build your B2B connections? Want to have fun while learning how to become the best salesperson in the office? Today David Masover, author of The Salesman’s Guide to Dating, has kindly taken a few minutes out of his day to delve into the tips and tricks that he lays out in his book. David, I really love the idea that you had to blend the worlds of sales and dating. What inspired you to blend these two together?
As I wrote in the book, the idea literally came to me as an epiphany at my desk. Early in my career, I was working too hard both in sales and at sales to devote much time to finding a girlfriend, and I really wanted a girlfriend. At the big epiphany moment, my sales mind and my, uh – desires collided – and I realized that to reach my “girlfriend goal”, what I needed was a good lead source for girlfriend prospects and a dating/selling system to execute – and that’s how the idea was hatched. Sounds pretty bad when I say it like that, but back then I was pretty stretched and work-obsessed….
*Laughs* Look you need to use all of the skills you have in life to get your goals, and if using your sales techniques to get yourself was the best strategy available to you, I say go for it! So, this book really is drawn from your own life?
Absolutely. Beyond the original epiphany, some of the elements of the characters are from personal experience, and of course, a lot of the professional examples are too. I wrote two purely non-fiction books before this one, and this is the first with characters – I’m looking forward to writing more with characters to explore my hypothesis that all writing is at least in part autobiographical. All of mine seems to be, at least a little bit.
Tell us a little bit more about how your characters evolved, and how you dealt with your first experience of working with these personalities?
I was planning to write the book without characters, but as I described the concept to my wife she suggested that it might make the book more interesting with characters – so I gave it a try. It was fun to write with characters – I had never done that before. Even more fun because in the limited dialogue I went to great pains to keep them gender neutral. I didn’t want anyone to think that certain attributes in either dating or sales were gender specific, so it was a fun little game to write this way without making more awkward than it had to be to do so.
I love that you created games for yourself when you wrote. Was turning the writing experience into a game the foremost idea that you kept at the top of your mind, or did you think of something else when you wrote?
This book was written for me when I started selling. When I started, I was really bad, and my search for training materials was pretty frustrating. There was a lot of good stuff available, but it was all in bits and pieces – no-one mapped out the big picture, so among other things, that’s what I try to do. I’ve trained many people over the years, and so often I hear that this is a welcome and refreshing bit of help – it is extremely rewarding.
Was providing the big picture of sales the central idea that you wanted to share with readers in this book? Or was there another, more important point that you hope readers take away instead?
If you want to get to some kind of a result, think about how to start and what steps it takes to get to the result, then focus on taking the steps. Too often we obsess about the results, and that isn’t the right place to start, at least if you really want to get there. This applies to sales, dating, and pretty much any project – if you start right you are more likely to finish strong.
Continuing with that idea of starting write, are you currently laying down the steps of any new writing projects?
I’m currently thinking about writing a sales process book as a parable or business fable, kind of in the style of the fabulous Patrick Lencioni. That is something else I never tried, but I always enjoyed Lencioni’s work and some other business parables, and I’d like to take a stab at mapping out the proven sales methodology I’ve developed in a few decades of practice in formats that are accessible and maybe even enjoyable, if I can do my part well enough that is.
Now that sounds like a writing project that is fun of full and characters! When you think of setting out on a new project, like a business fable, do you find yourself energized or exhausted?
Writing absolutely energizes me. When I hear people say they can’t think of what to write or that they struggle to get 5,000 words out, it just makes no sense to me. Maybe readers will think that what I write is good, maybe not – but I absolutely enjoy the process.
Do you personally feel that what you write is good, and has improved as you’ve continued to reach and surpass those 5,000-word targets?
I would like to think that I’ve relaxed a bit. I wrote my first book and blogs in 2009 and when I look back and read them now it just feels so much more uptight and so much less conversational than my current writing. I’m probably too hard on myself, readers have always told me that I have a very conversational style, but I’d like to think I’m getting better and better at that. It’s certainly a goal – along with clarity
Personally, I would have to say clarity is an important one to master because no-one wants to read something that doesn’t make sense, but I also love a casual and conversational style of writing too. From our chat today I would certainly say that you’re well on the way to mastering both! And since you’re a skilled conversationalist, let’s see if I can throw you off with a few of my sillier questions, starting with one of my favourites, if money doesn’t grow on trees then why do banks have branches?
No-one ever promised that life had to make sense, right?
*Laughs* No, they didn’t but it would make things easier! But it would probably be less fun too, and we need all the fun we can get. On the topic of fun, have you ever been on a literary pilgrimage?
For my first book, I went on a long weekend to a hotel in the woods near my home. I wrote for 90-minutes straight three times a day for three days and when I was done the first draft was complete. Then the work started!
Impressive pace. With a pace like that you surely have time to ponder a question like, can you cry underwater?
Sure – very discreet too.
All that water helps. What is your favourite word?
“korso” – it means pint (of beer) in Hungarain, my adopted home
What happens if Batman gets bitten by a vampire?
Can I say “it would suck”
*Laughs* Yes, you can! Poor Batman, not a situation I think that he’d want to be in. Circling around now from Batman our book of the day ‘The Salesman’s Guide to Dating’ with the final question of the day, what do you feel is the best quote to entice readers into the journey?
“Let’s do it” – it can apply in so many situations, and always keep things moving, one way or the other.
Short, snappy and versatile. I love it. David, thanks so much for sharing a little taste of the dating and sales worlds, while the readers and I use your top phrase ‘Let’s do it now’, and pick up a copy of The Salesman’s Guide to Dating today!
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘The Salesman’s Guide to Dating: A Sales Book About Making Connections… With an Unexpected Twist! ( ASIN: B079QTX38D )‘.
Want to find out more about David Masover? Connect here!