When I was first approached to enter financial services as a sales professional at the ripe age of 23, I learned five absolutely invaluable concepts that have helped me across all aspects of life -- especially in relationships.
These experiences have greatly helped my wife and me have a "we can win" mindset as a couple; it actually helped me find her in the first place and eventually win her over.
1. Qualify everyone
Not everyone is a good fit. This is first on the list for a reason. Sure, someone can be exceptionally attractive, and you can be smitten by them, but if their personality doesn't mesh with yours or you don't share many, or even some of, the same values, chances are you're setting the relationship up for failure.
2. Be persistent
I don't mean keep going after the person who clearly isn't interested in you; this is harmful to your mental and emotional health. I do mean keep getting out there, keep meeting new people, keep asking people on dates.
If you really are interested in someone but you're not sure about their feelings about you, keep inviting them to join you. Eventually, they'll see who you really are; and this may open opportunity to develop further relationships.
For those in committed relationships, especially marriage, this can be translated into "Be consistent." Frequently do kind things; be a team player all the time, not just sometimes; tell your partner how much you love them and why, and do it daily.
For both stages of life, be the same person all the time, wherever you are, and you'll find it attracts other genuine people, ensuring stability and success throughout the life of the relationship.
Go after what's attractive to you and don't let up until it's yours.
In my sales career, that's been the goal of a $100,000 annual income. I haven't reached that goal yet, but it's consistently at the front of my mind as I work throughout the day. Sure, it's been really hard work building my career, and sometimes I end up in places I don't want to be, but calculated risks usually end up either working out well, or teaching me something valuable; or (ideally) both.
With romance, if you're playing to not lose, you'll end up in a mediocre relationship that might make you happy, sometimes. Conversely, when I told my mom I wanted to marry a gorgeous woman with a strong personality, she said, "Then you need to be ready to fight for it." She couldn't have given me better advice. I fought for my wife throughout our courtship, and I continue to do that every day. She fights for me, too, and we make quite the winning team.
4. No doesn't always mean no, but a firm no always means no
When someone says they're not interested, do your best to find out why -- if they're willing to share with you. This can be valuable insight to help you improve yourself. When prospects tell me "no" or current clients cancel services, I do my best to figure out why it didn't work out. Then I take it to my next sale and work to improve the relationships.
Remember, though, that just because you make changes doesn't mean the person will be interested. If this is the case, just do your best to move on.
While a dating or relationship "no" is more emotionally painful than the sales version of "no" -- because it's a rejection of you and not your product, company or service -- the end action should be the same: Go find and create other opportunities, or you'll burn out and begin to feel like you're wasting your time.
5. Relationships can sour ..
... if you don't consistently care for them. Going along with "be consistent," continue courting each other throughout the relationship.
Go out regularly. It doesn't always have to cost money; do things together, like rock climbing or taking dance lessons, or even cooking dinner together. Text messages throughout the work day will help you both to know that the other cares about what's going on in your day-to-day routines.
Bonus for single people
Prospect everywhere, but develop specific places and sources that work well for you, and use them regularly.
When I was single, I had specific places I went regularly to find people who shared my values and interests, including religion classes with my church, Latin dance social clubs, business networking meetings and more. I also created an online dating profile, which is how I ultimately met my wife. I did this because it was a consistent place to always be filling my "pipeline" with new people, and I met a lot of great girls that I would have otherwise never connected with, including my wife.
This article was originally published on Dennis Walker's blog. It has been republished here with permission.
Dennis has a degree in business management, and a rather colorful dating history before meeting his wife, Jessica Child, whom he married in 2015. His areas of expertise include financial planning, marketing/advertising, and startup management.