Why You’re Smart in Business and Dumb at Dating

June 27, 2017
Posted by Aimee

How could a CEO bomb a first date? What about a physician or an attorney? Successful, professional singles that have their “A game” in the workplace don’t necessarily translate those skills into the dating realm. Check out these hypothetical work scenarios with our new Business Development Rep (BDR) who will moonlight as our “dater” in the world of romance.

Warning: You’ll be shocked at how ridiculous it all sounds within this context. We are all prone to acting foolishly when it comes to dating and even more foolish when it comes to love. You may shake your head in agreement that you’ve done some of these things yourself. And you thought you were so sophisticated…

Scenario 1: You have a new BDR on your team. He shows you a great picture of an office building, seemingly in the city, and says “I booked an appointment with this prospect. Don’t they look great?”

You ask: “Where are they located?”

BDR: “Near the city. In Boston, I think? Not really sure.”

You ask: “How long have they been in business?”

BDR: “Don’t know yet.”

You ask: “What are 1st quarter earnings looking like? Are they profitable? Number of employees?”

BDR: “No clue”

You ask: “Are they in need of our service?”

BDR: “I have no idea. But doesn’t their office look great?! I’ll find all that out when I meet them next week.”

Dating tip #1: First dates are all about exploration, granted. A little due diligence never hurt anybody either. Know a little background information on the person before you go out with them. Would you really take time out of your busy work schedule to visit a prospect if you didn’t know anything about them? This is most applicable in an online dating scenario.

Scenario 2: Your new BDR meets with a prospective client. This is their first meeting. Mid way through conversation, the BDR starts talking about all the past business he’s lost, and the other prospects he’s talking to.

BDR: “You should see all the meetings I have lined up with prospects just like you. It’s a zoo out there. You all are crazy!”

Prospect: “Excuse me?”

BDR: “Oh and I had one prospect that I was meeting with for over 6 weeks! Didn’t work out. I never closed the deal with them. Horrible experience!! And don’t get me going on how many cold calls I need to make in order to set an appointment! Brutal!!”

Prospect: “Why are you telling me this? Aren’t you supposed to be getting to know me?”

Dating tip #2: Don’t talk about past relationships, ex’s, or dating. You would never act in this manner meeting with a prospective client. The same should go for a prospective date. This immediately breaks down rapport with the prospect and alienates them. This type of conversation would never happen with a prospective client, yet it happens all the time on dates. 

Scenario 3: Your new BDR rep meets with a great prospect. They spend a few hours discussing all the ways your business can help them. The prospect seems very interested, even hinting at next steps.

BDR: “So when can I hear back from the board on a decision?”

Prospect: “Oh we’re very interested, but have a lot going on right now. Let me check my CEO’s schedule and let you know in a few days. We’ll definitely reach out to you this week.”

I bet you already know where this scenario goes...

Dating tip #3: Time kills all deals, and it’s true for dating as well. Here the ‘prospect’ is our bad dater. If the prospect disappears forever, the BDR has been ghosted. If the prospect sends an apologetic email every few weeks, or a “Hey we’ll get together soon, promise” message, then the BD has been benched. It seems obvious from a business perspective that this deal is going nowhere, but apply the same logic to dating and people, we act illogically.

In the end, savvy business people know when they have efficient processes in place, well trained staff, qualified leads, and metrics to track whether they’re on target. Dating can seemingly exist out in the nether regions of our professional skill set. Why do we regress to primitive adolescent behaviors when we’re so sophisticated in the boardroom? Possibly because we draw a line between what we believe warrants acceptable behavior and what doesn’t. Or we assume because we hold a PhD we can also hold a conversation with a potential love interest. Love can make the best of us seem incompetent.

Where do your best leads come from? Referrals. Do you know what a matchmaker is? I’m your personal confidant who has referrals specifically for you. So, call me.

Aimee Burke is a dating coach and matchmaker at LunchDates. Aimee specializes in date coaching for singles in the Boston area. She also serves as an executive matchmaker and recruits professional singles for her clients.

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