You need look no further than your child, or grandchild. Their sales skills come naturally. If you don’t believe this, think of the last time a child asked you for something and you tried to say no. What happened? Did it go something like this?
They made sure they got your attention, before they asked. They pulled on your pants’ leg, grabbed your leg, or sat on your lap. They then looked you straight in the eye and asked. The expression on their face indicated they expected a “yes.” When you first said no, without flinching, blinking, or looking away, they asked, “Why not?” If that didn’t work, you probably heard, “Please!” If that still didn’t work, you probably heard the question again, but this time it may have been framed or phrased slightly differently. Although the request may have been phrased differently, it was probably still followed by the “Why not?” and the “Please!”
Next came their explanation as to why the answer should have been yes. Perhaps you learned that “everyone else was doing it, or had one.” This additional information was followed by another attempt at the request. If all such efforts failed, then one of two things happened: permission was sought from someone else–Mom if Dad said no, or Dad if Mom said no, or another attempt was made after they gathered more reasons or thought the climate had changed. All avenues to secure the request would be made. Sound familiar?
What lessons can we learn from these persistent children?
- They make sure they have your attention.
- No close is ever effective unless you have the buyer’s attention.
- They ask for the “sale” with the expectation of being successful.
Do our expressions or posture indicate that we anticipate a positive response? Do we look the prospect in the eye whenever we ask a closing question? I once knew an associate who tracked what he called, “white-eye closes.” Those were closes made while being able to see the whites of the prospect’s eyes while he or she could see the whites of your eyes. His explanation was simple–no sale was ever made until he looked the person in the eyes and asked for the sale. Children do this naturally.
Next, a child seldom accepts the first negative response. They first want to know why. And if the why is not satisfactory, they ask again. They assume that you must not have understood, so they re-phrase the request, and ask again. Children never hesitate to respond the reason. And, after answering the objection, they try again. Seldom do they accept the first objection.
One reason children don’t hesitate to respond to the objection and re-ask the question, is that they do not take the objection personally. Too many times adults assume that it is them that is being rejected, instead of their request being rejected. A child knows that the parent loves them regardless of how many “nos” they get to a request. Therefore, they don’t see it as rejection, they see it as an objection to be answered.
Children are persistent salespersons from whom we can learn. Next time you want to emulate a really good salesperson, try being as natural as a child. Get their attention, look them in the eye, ask the question expecting a “yes,’ ask for reasons and answer those objections, and re-ask the question. Remember that an objection is just a response to your last question–it is not a personal rejection. With the children leading, you can use your natural sales skills.
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