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Sales: Learning From Kids

Today, while I was in the checkout lane at a nearby Target, there were two parents with two kids in front of me (a boy and a younger girl). The kids were being rambunctious, and couldn’t have been older than 4-6 years old. While listening to them, I could tell these kids knew a thing or two about sales- whether they knew it or not.

Evil Impulse Sales

The parents were clearly exhausted, and just wanted to leave, but they were waiting for the transaction in front of them to complete. While they were waiting, the kids were digging through those evil shelves that line all check-our aisles. You know what I’m talking about, those shelves with the candy bars that stare at you, and those as-seen-on-tv devices that seem silly… until you’re forced to look at them long enough.

After a few minutes, you start to think “you know? Boiling eggs is kind of hard… those Eggies just might be a good thing. Oh! And I can wear a Snuggie while I make them! Ooo, and if the pot boils over, I can use a ShamWow! to clean it up!” On those same shelves, towards the bottom are toys (convenient location for little kids, I told you the shelves were *evil*).

Kids Become Sales Force

Soon, the boy is shouting the name of every toy that catches his eye (this is called the brute force approach).

He can see his weary parents, and with enough determination, he can force them into the “I’ll buy it if you leave me alone” position. The parents weren’t taking the bait. However, I was more impressed with the young girls approach.

It started out with little exclamations about the tiny dolls she wanted “Oh! Look how pretty they are!” Soon, the mother followed up with an abrupt “no!”

Undeterred, the little girl then picked up two different dolls, and asked her mother “which do you think is prettier?” This was met with no response. A few more exclamations of their beauty, the little girl used her left hook: “will you buy it?”

Ask For The Sale

There are a lot of steps to a sales process, but there is one step that the little girl nailed which most adults are terrified of: asking for the sale. I’ve seen sales people go through ALL of the motions: introducing products, highlighting benefits, addressing concerns, but they just stand there- hoping that through some act of telepathy, they might get the customer to say “can I buy it?”

Don’t let this happen! Ask for the sale! This little girl highlighted the benefits, tried to emotionally invest her mom, and asked for the sale, and you know what happened? She didn’t get it. Yes, you read that correctly, the parents said no, but that will happen. It doesn’t matter how good of a salesman you are, you won’t be able to sell me a Maserati. The little girl did it right though, she asked for the sale.

You will get turned down in life, it just happens, but that is no excuse to miss a bunch of sales. The fear of someone saying no is a silly fear. Always ask for the sale, and when someone says no, move onto the next customer. Don’t be outdone by a 4-year-old girl, the worst that will happen when you ask for the sale is you’ll get a polite “no.”

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