Although it's a bit embarrassing to admit, there was once a time when I was a little nervous around members of the female persuasion. Over the years, though, I learned a few tricks to picking up attractive women, and it seems that there is actually quite a bit of overlap between making a winning sales presentation and winning over a romantic partner.

Attracting a (Romantic or Sales) Prospect

This is the phase when you are just meeting someone new, and want to attract them. How can you best secure the chance of the person wanting to meet with you again?

1. Take advantage of the bandwagon effect. Have you ever noticed that men or women who receive a lot of attention from the opposite sex seem to be even more attractive? This is not a coincidence; it's the bandwagon effect. People want what everybody else wants. The Apple iPod, for instance, doesn't do anything that previous MP3 players were unable to do, but the fact that so many people want it make it desirable. Making it seem as though everybody wants you (whether it's members of the opposite sex or sales clients) will instantly make you more desirable, too.

2. Don't be desperate. This is the flip side of the previous point (making it seem that everybody wants you). You shouldn't seem as though you're overly desperate for a sale or a date. This isn't at all an attractive quality. You should never come off as needy.

3. Be creative! Offering someone a first date of dinner and a movie is remarkably cliché and uninteresting. Choosing an interesting and memorable first date experience, though, will make your prospective date want to meet you. Similarly, you should think of creative ways that will make your sales prospects want to meet you. What additional perks can you offer to make your product or service even more desirable?

Warming Up with the (Romantic or Sales) Prospect

This phase is where the person is interested in you, and now you have met for a first date or sales meeting. What should you be concerned about now?

1. Don't force too big of a commitment too soon. Would you ever ask someone on a first date to marry you? No, of course not! That's far too big of a commitment! And, yet, I see salespeople all the time trying to get people to commit to something they're not anywhere near ready to commit to. Recognize that especially if you make big sales, it may take a period of time before the other person is willing to commit. Accept that, and get them to agree to smaller commitments in the short-term. In dating, you ask for many small commitments in the form of dates before you move on to larger commitments (vacationing together, meeting family, living together, marriage, etc.) In sales, you should also shoot for smaller commitments at first, and larger commitments later on.

2. Dress appropriately. Let's face it; you will never make a sale or win a date just because you dressed well. But you can certainly lose sales or dates if you're dressed poorly. Make sure you present yourself well, so that you're ready to take advantage of any opportunity that may arise.

Committing or Moving On

Of course, if you continue to progress with your (romantic or sales) prospect, then you may very well get the big commitment that you're looking for. If, however, things seem to peter out, be ready to move on. I've known far too many friends who kept waiting around, hoping that someday their objects of affection might someday feel the same way that they do. In doing so, they closed themselves off to so many opportunity, and so many better matches.

If the other person isn't interested, he or she just isn't interested. Fortunately, "there are many fish in the sea," as the saying goes. If it seems like your (romantic or sales) prospect isn't going to move forward and give you a commitment, don't be afraid to spend your time elsewhere. It's a better use of your time when you look to other people who are more likely to give you a "yes."

These are a few simple techniques, but the results may be quite profound. Whether you're looking for dates or sales, you now have several techniques to effectively court your prospects.

Author's Bio: 

Matt Vassar is a sales training consultant as well as a professor at Stanford University. His Secrets to Soaring Sales system can be found at: