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I've never been good at sales. I hate cold-calling. I am not good with small talk. It does not come easy or natural to me. I worked for a business organization and owned my own small business for a number of years. Sales and networking were the biggest obstacles for me to overcome because it always felt forced.
I'm the kind of person that would rather give a speech to a stadium full of people than to have to make small talk with a single person or small group. So, as you can imagine, dating can be painful for me -- like want to stab yourself in the eye with a fork kind of painful.
I'm super awkward. I stumble over my words. I have a nasty habit of tripping over my own feet. I laugh really loud when I'm nervous. When I'm sitting across from someone at dinner or at a bar, I start to over analyze everything.
Am I making enough eye contact?
Oh shoot, I'm making too much eye contact.
What should I do with my hands? Why do I always have to move my hands while I'm talking? Maybe I should sit on them to keep them still.
Nope, that looks super weird.
Oh shoot, he's been talking for awhile now and I have no idea what about. Just smile and bat your eyelashes. That usually works.
Wait, did I just wink instead of blink? Crap. <insert really loud, nervous laugh as my face turns three shades of red>
You're getting the picture here, right?
When you're selling your business or a product, you have an elevator pitch -- a short description or explanation that "sells" you, your business or product in the time it takes to ride in an elevator. It gives your potential customer an idea of what you're about and the benefits of your product or service.
When you think about it, dating is based on the same premise. You have to develop a pitch to entice the interested party to want more information. I am now in the business of selling myself. The first question I had to ask myself is why would someone want to date me? What sets me apart from anyone else? What are the benefits or unqiue selling points (my advertising professor would be so proud) of my "product."
While, it's weird to think of yourself as a product, working on your own version of a sales pitch makes you focus on all of the positives that you bring to the table.
Most people that meet me at first think I'm very quiet, shy and reserved. I may not be on the up and up of dating etiquette and rules anymore because, let's be honest, it's been awhile since I've been in the game. Once I get past all of the awkward first encounter nonsense and begin to feel comfortable around someone, I can be myself.
Yes, I am awkward at times, but I'm also someone who makes other people feel comfortable with me almost instantly.
Yes, I will almost always trip over my own feet, but I'll also be the first person reaching out a hand to help you when you fall. I'll always be supportive and will challenge you to pursue what makes you happy.
Yes, I have a hard time coming up with small talk in certain situations, but I'll also be one of the best listeners you've ever met.
Yes, I may come across as shy when we first meet, but I'll also be the first person to speak up and defend you because I'll always have your back. You'll never have to question my loyalty.
Yes, I have a loud, obnoxious laugh, but I'll also be the first person to laugh at your jokes and make you laugh, too.
The more that you think about your pitch, the more confident you become. The best kind of salesperson is someone who believes in what they are selling. There will be buyers who aren't interested along the way, but that doesn't change the value of the product. I believe in what I am selling. I have a damn good product to offer and I become more confident in it every day.