Here’s a peek into my book Love and Sellingand a topic I’m passionate about – how to make relationships work better in sales. In the book, I go deeper into how sellers can use the Five Love Languages to actually increase their effectiveness. Enjoy!

 One of the most underrated books of all time for sales professionals is The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. In fact, Dr. Chapman’s model and advice are so profound and sneaky-useful in business, he could be the World’s Most Underrated Sales Expert.

If you’ve read it, consider the application to sales as you run through this section. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. (If you’re thinking, “What do Love Languages have to do with selling?”: You’re proving my point! He’s underrated!)

SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want a “Dan’s Notes” review of the book, stop now, go read it, and come back to me to talk sales. For the rest of us, here’s a brief synopsis of The Five Love Languages:

Everyone has a preferred way to give/receive love—a primary “love language.” Chapman’s research has identified five:

  • Words of affirmation
  • Quality time
  • Acts of service
  • Gifts
  • Touch

Our preferred “languages” are a combination of natural preference and how we were taught. When we communicate love in the other person’s language, they feel it. When we communicate it in a language other than their natural one, they don’t feel it. It’s like we’re speaking to them in a foreign language.

Therefore, if developing relationships is important to you, then it is essential for you to understand your own and the other person’s love languages. It’s essential that you become proficient at “speaking” each of the five love languages.

(Now substitute the word selling for the word love in the above paragraphs, and you have one of the world’s most underrated sales books.)

Why It Could Matter to You: When you understand and focus on “showing the love” the way customers want it, you can sell to a wider variety of people. Inflexible or under-skilled salespeople often have limited success, because they can’t find enough prospects with whom they naturally align. Take any highly successful salesperson, and I’ll wager you are looking at someone who has unlocked the code of dealing with people who differ. (Or they were in the right place at the right time—luck happens.)

Moreover, applying the concept of love languages to your customers helps you avoid classic sales errors like excessive self-affirmation, over- and under-spending on customers, and losing focus on what won you the business (a.k.a. “taking your eye off the ball”).

So consider these tips, and good selling – and loving – to you!

Suck Less at Selling:

  •  Read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Then read it again.
  •  Understand your own dialect—what do you prefer?
  •  Consider your blind spots. Where do you overapply a language? What languages do you underutilize because they are not natural?
  •  Seek to understand the language of your customer—how do they prefer their love?
  •  Focus on giving customers what they need to feel the love, even if it’s not natural for you. After all, you’re the one who’s paid to adapt, not them.