Increase Sales! Study Your Kids!
Kids are fearless. They are little closing machines. They are persistent, tenacious and creative and do not take no for an answer. I have learned so much in sales from my daughter, 21 year old, Master Closer, Sarah Brody. Let’s look at some lessons learned:
Persistence: Sarah was a spirited infant. She reminded me over and over what she needed to be happy. If I didn’t respond, she would become LOUDER to get my attention. When she started speaking, she became the “power negotiator” to get what she wanted. Her favorite was to ask for a cookie at the grocery store before dinner. I would say no. She would get this gleam in her eye and begin her negotiation. “Mom I’m not going to eat it now!” We would go round and round and she would be persistent. Of course, I would get her the cookie. Then she would begin her strategy and relentless “closing” technique. “Can I just have a little bite Mom?” As I insisted the dinner hour was fast approaching, Sarah continued her debate until she got her desired result.
How often as salespeople do we hang in and persist until WE get our desired result? I am a BIG believer in follow up. I have been called a “pest” twice in my selling career by clients and you know what, they still bought!
Fear: Kids are fearless. They will try anything. I took Sarah skiing when she was 10 and she tried the sport for the very first time. It was exciting to watch her look at the snow and the mountain and say out loud, “This looks like fun”. (In fact, she learned to ski without poles. The instructor told the kids…” adults have poles to make them feel more confident but they are really intended to add speed, not slow you down”). I can tell you the beginner adults did not have the same enthusiasm. Some were so fearful that they changed their mind and returned all their equipment.
Selling requires fearless behavior. You are required to face rejection, make cold calls, think on your feet, build rapport in seconds and get paid on a commission basis. If you are a security minded person, sales will traumatize you. For the rest of us, the best advice to handle fear is to follow our kids’ example and face it with a burst of enthusiasm.
Creativity: Kids are so creative and use their imaginations every second. Sarah used to make Barbie evening gowns out of candy wrappers and created a horse and buggy contraption with dental floss. Did you ever notice how kids mold their food into fun shapes? Their creative juices are relentless.
Salespeople need to be creative to be noticed and different in a very competitive marketplace. How creative are you? If you were a customer visiting your business would it be a different unusual experience or similar to the competition down the road?
Questions: Kids like to question everything. When Sarah was four years old, she asked me, “Who is Polly Ester?” In learning and discovering the world, children instinctively ask who, what, where, when and why questions constantly. When our car broke down and I called AAA, I told Sarah the tow truck was on its way. Thinking literally, Sarah asked, “How is a truck full of toes going to help our truck get fixed?”
In sales, asking great questions and discovering needs, wants, ability and urgency is a critical ingredient to being successful. In conducting over 20,000 mystery shops in our 25th year in the business, discovery still leads as one of the most overlooked areas in sales. Salespeople ask one to two questions and move quickly into demonstrating the product/service. Asking great questions leads directly into closing more sales.
In a sales slump? Look no further than down the hall in the bedroom of the MASTER CLOSER(S), YOUR KID!