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six steps series

The Art of Selling: Ending off the Intimacy Curve

Learn about the intimacy curve and its role in the art of selling in this insightful article series by Georgina Smith. In the final part, Georgina discuss how to identify the type of sale you have in front of you, where you are on the intimacy curve, and how to move that relationship along the intimacy curve.
3 min read

In this series I’ve shared my insights on the importance of the intimacy curve. It’s a simple philosophy that doesn’t come from any books or podcasts, it’s only my observation on human behaviour and for me the easiest way to bring science and predictability to something which many people think is a dirty dark art – selling.

Steps to success:

  1. Identify the type of sale you have in front of you. Is it a pain avoidance sale or a pleasure seeking saleHere’s how to identify the difference.
  2. Then identify where you are on the intimacy curve right now and where you need to get to according to the sale you have in front of you.
  3. How are you going to move that relationship along the intimacy curve? Remember moving prospective clients up the intimacy curve is a team sport. Everyone plays their role in making the prospective clients feel special. You can read more about this here.
  4. When you’re planning internally to move prospective clients up the intimacy curve use the language of the intimacy curve as a common framework so that everyone knows the goal.
  5. At the right moment, according to the type of sale you have in front of you and where you are on the intimacy curve, make the sale.
  6. The best outcome from a sale is ‘yes’ with plenty of intimacy curve in the bank to weather any bumps in the road that might challenge your relationship. The second best outcome is ‘no’. Now spend your time on other prospects who might be a yes. The worst outcome is ‘no man’s land maybe’. You can explore these outcomes here.
  7. To move out of ‘no mans land maybe’ you need to, push for the ‘no’. Pushing for the no will more likely get you a yes. If it does turn out to be a no, you can focus your attention elsewhere.

Remember, sales is like a dance. It requires you to move strategically, understand the dynamics of the intimacy curve, and adapt your approach accordingly. By embracing this approach, you can bring a friendlier and more purposeful tone to your sales interactions, ultimately increasing your chances of success.

Conclusion

This series has explored the profound significance of the intimacy curve as an invaluable framework for sales endeavors, offering insights garnered not from conventional sources but from personal observations of human behavior. While not from textbooks or podcasts but based on personal observations, this approach offers a clear way to bring science and predictability to the often mysterious world of selling.

The key lessons for success include recognizing the type of sale you’re facing, knowing where you stand on the intimacy curve, nurturing relationships collectively, using a shared framework, timing your pitch well, and handling different outcomes smartly. To gain a deeper understanding, I encourage you to read all six articles, as they offer practical insights into mastering the intimacy curve and improving your sales game.

In October 2023, I shared my thoughts during a live webinar with Michael Summerton. Watch below for some further insights into the art of selling.

Key points:

  • The intimacy curve is a key concept in sales that describes the level of trust and rapport between a salesperson and a buyer.
  • By understanding it, salespeople can increase their chances of success by identifying the right type of sale, where they are on the curve, and how to move the relationship forward.
  • The intimacy curve is a team sport, and everyone in the organization can play a role in moving prospective clients up the curve.
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