How Dating Insights Propel Your Ability to Make Money

Once upon a time, 20 somethings asked me these questions.

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Photo by Jonathan Pendleton

Once upon a time, 20 somethings asked me these questions.

The context: they were all start-up entrepreneurs. They wanted to generate revenue for their start up idea.

I answered those questions with these dating statistics.

Percentage of married couples first introduced by someone they mutually know — 63 percent

This stat is powerful, as it keeps the end goal in mind. Drawing parallels, converting a target into a customer, the best odds occur with customers who are introduced by a mutual acquaintance. That is the headline-grabbing part. There is another stat that gets little attention, but provides a good dose of realism:

Percentage of first dates arranged by friends moving into a second date: just 17 percent

Even if you get ten dates arranged by friends, on average, eight may evolve into rejects/no-gos for a second date. In other words, approximately only two in ten first dates get to the second date. Keep this perspective when some well-meaning customer introductions through referrals do not lead to second meetings! Rejections are the anathema of motivation; this larger perspective on odds is a wonderful counterbalance.

With that, I had their attention. They were leaning forward — humored by the approach of answering their serious business questions with geeky dating stats.

What Matters

I next added, “Now, I am interested in your thoughts on what works/ does not work on a first date.” What followed was a mixture of sparks, deep thinking, reflections on missteps and some all-out zingers. I took my marker and started jotting down the synthesis of what, for my listeners, “works.” The two leading areas of consensus that emerged were:

  • Good listeners
  • Sharing of related stories, experiences — a two-way connection

I then posed a follow-up question: “How much time do you spend preparing [to talk] about you before the first-date meeting?” Not much, was the answer. But many ventured to add that they do spend some time researching their dates online!

Why not about a customer or prospect? Why prepare a power point deck about you and your company. They too want a good listener right?

I personally believe that listening and credibility have a high positive correlation, built on that age-old mantra: Understand before understood. Sharing of related experience back and forth builds on that.

It was getting time to end my talk. I closed with a question. “All of this is great,” I said. “So, if all goes well, how do you ensure the next date?”

The answer was easy. Ask for the next date.

Ditto for making money — propel to the next meeting. Ask.

Hope you enjoyed the read.

Karthik Rajan

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Stories to fuel your mind. Theme: life’s hidden treasures in plain sight. Goal: Warm tone, solid content, crisp stories. About me: one google search away.

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