For singles to have the kind of dating experience they’d like, they need to learn to sell themselves successfully. Last time we looked at the first step: learning the other person’s needs by listening and paying attention. From there, singles need to gain the other party’s confidence. The first factor to consider here is appearance. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good haircut (for men and women) and clothes that fit. When in doubt, overdress for the occasion. Gentlemen, this goes for you, too. If she’s in a dress and heals, jeans are not appropriate attire.
Be careful to protect your reputation in the singles community, as it may surprise you how fast word travels, especially now with social media. Even in Phoenix, the sixth largest city in the country, I run into the same people in my business networking circles, just as I did with singles when I was dating.
A great way to build a good reputation for yourself is to project competence. My husband, Roger, understood this well. He was consistent and reliable: he kept his promises and treated my father, my daughters, and me like gold. One of my favorite memories from our dating days was our first Valentine’s Day together, when he drove out to the venue the day before to make sure we’d have a flawless experience – and we did!
Unfortunately, not all my dates had as much sense. I recall a charity bowling event for singles which was set up like a speed date, where the women stayed on the same alley while the men rotated after each game. One man was unnerved by the scores of the women on my lane and refused to rotate to our alley. Eventually he was forced to, and I’ll never forget the sight of him with his back to the pins as he bent forward and heaved the ball between his legs, choosing to throw the game rather than “lose.” Apparently he had no idea what his strengths were and assumed we actually cared how he bowled! This sad display demonstrated anything but competence and prevented him from even attempting the third step in the selling process, sell a solution. More on that next week.