In addition to giving advice to my readers, I thought it would be nice to do some interviews with those who have written books on the subject of dating and relationships. My first interview was with Jess McCann, the author of the recently published book You Lost Him At Hello.
Through her business experience, Jess McCann discovered a surprising truth about dating: It's a sale. The process of generating interest in someone, building a strong relationship, and closing on a commitment is the same process in dating as it is in selling. If woman can learn the fundamental tactics that salespeople use to win over customers, they can and will win over any man they chose. I won't give away all her insights, but I highly recommend that you read this book!
Miss A: Where are you from?
Jess McCann: I'm originally from Northern Virginia. I moved around when I graduated college (Houston, Austin, Boston) but came back to DC in 2004.
Miss A: Where did you go to college?
Jess McCann: I went to George Mason.
Miss A: What did you do before you became a writer?
Jess McCann: I started my own sales company right after college. I recruited, trained and managed a large outside sales team that sold business services on behalf of AT&T, Staples, and AOL. After four years I decided to sell the biz, and do something else, so I got into medical equipment sales.
Miss A: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? When and why did you begin writing?
Jess McCann: I never "decided" to become a writer. When I was teaching my sales people how to make deals, I used dating as an analogy because it was so relatable. After training that way for so long, and getting such a good response from it, I realized you could also teach the opposite: how to date using a sales analogy. For years I had in the back of my head that someone should write a book on how to "close the deal" on dates using the tricks of the sales trade, but I never thought it would be me.
Miss A: What inspired you to write your book?
Jess McCann: I, like many women, had my share of bad dating stories. I was dumped, stood up, cheated on and left in relationship limbo. I kept blaming the guys for all the problems I was having. Then I realized, the only common demoniator in all my relationships, was me. So once I learned the truth about dating (that it's just a sale that can be lost or won) I turned my love life around, and wanted to tell other women how to do the same!
Miss A: How did you come up with the title?
Jess McCann: It took 2 years to come up with the title. I had the book completely written and still hadn't thought of anything to call it. Then I remembered Jerry Maguire's famous catch phrase, You had me at hello. I replaced the "had me" with "lost him" and voila! The title was born.
More importantly, the title is a meant as a reminder to women that a relationship can be lost at any moment. Just like I can lose a customer at any time, by saying or doing the wrong things, women can lose a guys' interest if they don't know how to present themselves appropriately.
Miss A: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Jess McCann: I could never be a fiction writer! I don't know how to make things up. So yes, I draw from real life experiences. The good, the bad, and the really really ugly!
Miss A: Is there a message in your book which you want your readers to take with them?
Jess McCann: Most people think, "If I just be myself, and let the chips fall where they may" I will find someone for me. Those people are usually single and haven't had a serious boyfriend in years. The message of the book is that if you don't know how to sell yourself, you may never find the right guy for you. You would not be so lackadaisical about getting a new job, buying a house, or losing weight, so why is dating any different? You need a strategy to get what you want in life. This book gives you that strategy.
Miss A: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Jess McCann: I get emails from readers every day telling me how much they love the book, and how it's changed their lives. It's an amazing thing to hear actually. It's a heavy responsibility, but I'm happy that it's helping people. I hear from a lot of guys that have read the book too, funny enough.
Miss A: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Jess McCann: I spend 100% of my time promoting the book. Everyday I'm either doing an interview for a radio station, magazine or newspaper somewhere in the U.S. I did an interview with Cosmo in Australia last week, so that was my first international interview! Very exciting.
Miss A: What is your latest news? What are you up to?
Jess McCann: My agent and I are pitching a reality TV show based on the book right now. It would take 5 women and transform them into dating divas, using the techniques from the book.
Miss A: What books have most influenced your life most?
Jess McCann: I love biographies! I love anything regarding religion and politics. But the most influential books have been books on business and leadership. I really like John Maxwell not just for his insight into leadership, but for his ability to take a concept and make it digestible for the most novice entrepreneurs. Having a book be educational AND easy to read is a challenge I had too. I think he's great at that.
Miss A: What book are you reading now?
Jess McCann: The last great book I read was"Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I've read a lot of other since then, like Scott McClellans "what happened" but wasn't necessarily enthralled in that book. If I don't really get into a book quickly, I rarely finish, I just move on.
Miss A: Do you have to travel much to promote your book?
Jess McCann: My publisher is sending me to LA Novemeber 20th for a media training seminar given by Joel Roberts. Should be interesting and fun. I'll meet Jack Canfield and Steven Covey there. I'm excited to meet them.
Miss A: Do you have any advice for single women?
Jess McCann: Read my book. It WILL help you.
Miss A: Where can single women meet good guys?
Jess McCann: The misconception is that you only can meet a man while in a social setting, like a party or bar. That's so untrue. I've met guys at Starbucks, Whole Foods, The dog park, Kinkos, the list goes on and on! You just have to know HOW to meet them when you see them. That's all in the book too.
Miss A: What do you look for in a man?
Jess McCann: Integrity is first and foremost. I also look for someone who has a passion for what they do. I'm really attracted to smart men. I want to always be learning, so I tend to gravitate to guys that speak multiple languages, have lived all over the world, and usually have started their own businesses.
Miss A: Do you have any dating rules?
Jess McCann: I follow every rule in my book. It's how I've had so many great successful relationships in the last seven years. I'm still in touch with all my exes. I think they are all great people. I just don't want to spend the next 50 years with them! LOL.
Miss A: Do you think women should call or text men?
Jess McCann: Yes. But every text and call has to be considered on a case-by-case situation. You can't just text when you feel like it.
Miss A: Do you think women should ask men on dates?
Jess McCann: I have. It is all in HOW you ask. The delivery is everything.
Miss A: What do you think about "Friends with Benefits" or people who just hook up without an emotional connection?
Jess McCann: If you are not looking for a real long term relationship, then go for it. But you will never turn a friend with benefits into a boyfriend.
Miss A: What should women wear on a first date?
Jess McCann: My advice is to "Dress for the part you want." If you want to be taken seriously and respected, you have to dress accordingly. If you want to just get a guy to drool over you and try and get you into bed, then you can show as much skin as you want. It depends what role you are going for.
Miss A: What are some signs that a guy is really interested?
Jess McCann: In sales, we look for "Buying Signs" - little subtle indicators that tell us when a customer is REALLY interested and ready to buy. They ask a lot of questions, they schedule a ton of meetings, and they often just tell us flat out that they want our product. Men are the same way. If a guy is really into a girl, he will ask her lots of questions, schedule tons of dates, and tell her flat out that he likes her. If you aren't getting those strong buying signs, then he's probably only moderately interested, and you still haven't sold him yet.
Miss A: What is the best time or way to discuss the relationship and have "the talk" about exclusivity?
Jess McCann: Women should be "filling their funnel" with lots of men. You should never meet a guy and cut off all other prospects right away. Salespeople have lots of sales in their funnel because some will ultimately not work out. You have to keep 3-4 guys in your funnel, because most of them will not work out either and you don't want to have to start all over from scratch when that happens. Eventually the guy will sense you are dating around and if he really likes you, he will bring up exclusivity. If he doesn't, then he's just not that into you...yet.
Miss A: When should you introduce a man to your family?
Jess McCann: When you know he's sticking around for a while.
Miss A: How do you know if it's love?
Jess McCann: Knowing when it's love is easy... it's knowing when it's right that is the tricky part. You don't want to experience "buyers remorse" later down the road. So picking the right person is the only way to ensure that won't happen. Unfortunatly, people fall in love and marry the wrong person for them all the time.
Miss A: When should a woman stop seeing a guy? What should she not put up with? Any "red flags"?
Jess McCann: Yes. There are lots of red flags. Too many to actually list. But when the siren goes off in your head, you should listen to it. Ignoring it won't make it go away.
Miss A: How do you get over a break up?
Jess McCann: Break-ups are hard no matter which side you are on. But the bottom line is that two great people, can sometimes be no-so-great together. I try to remind women that just because it didn't work out with someone, doesn't mean that you are not pretty enough, smart enough, or good enough. It just means you didn't get along well enough.
Miss A: Who is your celebrity crush?
Jess McCann: Justin Timberlake
Published On: November 05, 2008