Why an SMB is Just Like Dating

Friday, January 13, 2012
Posted by Kyle Thompson

a Business is like Dating

Exploring why business is just like dating and relationships

By Paul Krupin, Publicist for Andy Masters

Life can be a real kick in the pants. In her 1983 commencement speech at Vassar College, Meryl Streep expressed her genuine surprise when she figured out “Real life is just like high school.  She very specifically explained, “In high school there’s generally one acceptable way to be, and it’s dictated by the exigencies of dating.”

Andy Masters found these ideas to be so true and on point that he wrote a book about it.

His new book, Kiss Your Customer: 77 Reasons Why Sales & Service Are Just Like Dating & Relationships, takes a fresh and creative look at the eerie similarities between business success and relationship success. Andy explores not just the irony--but what we can learn from relationships to apply to business, and what we can learn from business to apply to relationships. He uses fun and entertaining examples from each along the way.

So, how are business and romance similar?

“It’s about the process:  Find ‘em, and then keep ‘em happy!” masters says. “There is a great irony between the sales process and romantic courtship. There is also a great irony between keeping your customer happy, and keeping your significant other happy.”

He explains that the keys to success include being creative, recognizing that failing to risk is risking to fail, and most important, learning to face rejection.

“What’s amazing is, we really can learn things from relationships which we can apply to business, and things from business which we can apply to relationships.”

“Success in business and in life is about building relationships.  And the keys to building those relationships really are the same. People can be successful if they relax, think a little and take the time to laugh along the way!”

Here’s just a sampling of his illustrations and advice:

Valentine's Day

“In business--It's OK to send your customers or client’s flowers, candy, or a gift with a card signed from the team saying ‘WE LOVE YOU!!’  It just might bring a smile to their face.  Just be sure you don’t buy that Valentine’s Day gift from Victoria’s Secret!”

“In life:  Send a dozen roses to your significant other to arrive the day BEFORE Valentine's Day, with a card which reads: ‘If you received these tomorrow, it wouldn’t be a surprise.  Besides, you deserve your roses before anyone else in America!’”

Using Humor in Business

Southwest Airlines has long made a name for itself not only with low fares, but also with funny commercials and colorful flight attendants.  I recall one flight attendant who described the restrooms as their “spacious and luxurious powder rooms,” and final instructions included the comment “this is a long flight, so if you’re travelling with children this evening..…we’re sorry.”

An Australian beauty salon came up with a clever company name to entice potential customers wanting to boost their appearance. It’s called: “Yesterday I Was Ugly!”

The Power of Networking

Networking isn’t about collecting business cards and asking for unearned referrals. The true benefits of networking come from spending time truly helping clients, friends, and colleagues in business and in life.

Open up your contact database and brainstorm how you could help just ONE contact per day for ten minutes.  That’s an honest, focused, and creative ten minutes where you stared at the screen and truly asked yourself: “What could I possibly do within my power and imagination to help this person or their business?”  Do this every day for sixty straight days, think you will see a return on your (cost-free) time investment?  Absolutely.

Trusting Fate in Business and Relationships

Fate can be a wonderful thing in business and in life.  However, we can’t fall into a trap of simply trusting fate in our lives. Sometimes fate needs a good kick in the butt.  So, what can we learn about both business and relationships…..from turtles?  No, not to take things slowly.  A turtle is the only species that doesn’t get anywhere in life without sticking its neck out.

”As I drove east on I-30 outside Dallas, I approached a sign which read “CITY LIMIT: FATE, TEXAS.”  Then, to my amazement, less than 100 yards later I approached another sign which read: “CITY LIMIT: ROYCE CITY, TEXAS.”

What?  Fate, Texas had the shortest city limits of any city I had ever seen!

Then I had one of those “A-ha!” moments in life:

“Fate has a very small window. While fate is a friend, fate only presents us with brief moments of opportunity in life.  When one does, we have two choices: We can grab that opportunity and run with it, or we can keep watching it go by.”

Learn to Appologize with Grace & Humor

“When appropriate, you can still be clever and have fun with apologies, too--in either business or relationships.  For instance, there are several companies who produce customized chocolate gift items which include edible logos, edible photos, and up to 60 characters of edible text (so, yes, you can literally eat your words).

One time I sent a chocolate apology with an edible photo of myself. The note said: “Sorry, please don’t bite my head off! By the way, if you or your company makes a lot of mistakes—you can preorder 100 of these and get a volume discount!”

Do Not Take People for Granted

Beware the day when you treat your client better than you treated your significant other when you arrive home.

To Client:  “Don’t worry about it, Bob—no sense in crying over spilled milk.  It’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it.

To Loved One: “Dang it —Watch what you are doing!”

Sometimes we need to remember to treat our loved ones better than our clients.

Learn to Face Rejection

The Dating PUNCH-YOU-IN-THE-GUT method of rejection: “Sorry, but I’m allergic to DORKS.”

The Sales PUNCH-YOU-IN-THE-GUT method of rejection: “If you come within 50 feet of our front door again, we’re calling security.”

Be Assertive Not Aggressive

Surveys repeatedly confirm that women are turned-off by aggressive men.

Surveys repeatedly confirm that customers are turned-off by aggressive salespeople.

Men are repeatedly advised by friends to “Get out there and be aggressive!”

Salespeople are repeatedly advised by managers to “Get out there and be aggressive!”

Sounds like a bit of a quandary to me. Get the message yet?

About Andy Masters:

Andy Masters is an Author and professional speaker who presents entertaining programs on a sales, service, and career development topics. Andy gained experience in a variety of sales, marketing, and management positions across several industries, before escaping the corporate world just in time to preserve his sanity.


Andy has written three previous books, including Life After College: What to Expect and How to Succeed in Your Career, which helps young professionals in areas such as networking, time management, and how to avoid being arrested at the company holiday party.


He has also earned four degrees, including an M.A. - Marketing and an M.A. - Human Resources Development from Webster University, as well as a B.A. - Communications and a B.A. - Political Science from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Andy is a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), Florida Speakers Association (FSA), and Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH). Andy Masters is an author and professional speaker—as Andy has presented hundreds of personal development and business success programs across North America.  Andy’s broadcast interviews have ranged from Lifetime Television to several regional NBC affiliates, and print media coverage has ranged from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to numerous trade magazines. 

For more information please visit www.andy-masters.com