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Salespeople will usually take good advice anywhere they find get it (except when it’s coming from their sales manager for some reason). There are tens of thousands of sales trainers, seminars, courses, books (including mine), blogs and opinions, all purporting to show you everything you need to know to become a better salesperson. It’s almost endless.

But what if you didn’t even have to go that far to discover the secrets of great salesmanship? What if the keys were already in front of you, in the behaviors and communications of your (or other people’s) children? Anyone who’s ever seen a child in a grocery store with their mom or dad knows that children have naturally impressive sales abilities. So if you’re looking for an edge, here are seven things you can learn from the nearest child:

And, if that doesn’t work, check out a Proactive Relationship Management Platform, like Spiro!

1. Be persistent

If there’s one thing you can learn from a child, it’s that we’re all capable of being so much more persistent than we think. Once a kid has their mind set on something, they will focus and think and talk about it incessantly. We’ve been conditioned to give up too quickly, but if you watch kids when they’re learning how to walk, they can fall hundreds of times, but they keep trying until they get it right. Now imagine if we all did the same thing when it came to our personal and sales goals.

2. Switch up your approach

If one tactic doesn’t work when a child is trying to get what he or she wants, they don’t hesitate to try another approach. In this regard, they quickly learn from their mistakes and course correct. Too many salespeople don’t do this, afraid to veer off course or come off as disingenuous to their prospects. But the truth is that changing your approach can only benefit you if what you’re doing isn’t working. Maybe the new approach will, in fact, be the correct one for the situation and the deal will proceed.

3. Use your charisma

Kids are great at knowing that if they’re cute or can get a laugh out of you, they’re more likely to get what they want. While not all salespeople are as funny to look at as some kids, it’s important to use your natural abilities, whether it’s your charisma, charm, or great listening abilities. Give the prospect an excuse to like you and the chances of making things happen will go up quickly. Kids know this, you should know it too.

4. Know which buttons to push

Children know how to get a reaction from their parents, both good and bad. They know how to get sympathy when necessary or how to get a rise out of you. Similarly, a salesperson needs to find out a customer’s pain points and other motivations in order to know the right angles to take. This takes more discovery on a salesperson’s part because presumably you don’t live with your prospects (that would be weird), but if you ask the right questions up front, you’ll know which buttons to push.

5. Bargain when necessary

Sometimes a deal isn’t a slam dunk and you need to bargain and make compromises to get to where you need to be. No one understands this better than a kid who promises they’ll clean their room and do their homework until the end of time as long as you get them a puppy. Who’s going to take care of the puppy though? Salespeople need to do the same. If the prospect wants a discount, then perhaps an annual contract would be the best way to go. If they’re not ready to move forward, make them an offer they can’t refuse. Bargain, but keep at it!

6. Adjust your energy accordingly

Except for puppies, small children are the most enthusiastic creatures out there. While watching kids run around is exhausting when you’re an adult, imagine if we could harness at least half of that energy for our next sales presentation. An enthusiastic and energetic salesperson is almost always superior to a drained and subdued one. So do some push-ups, listen to some Rage Against the Machine, and try pretending you have the energy of a six-year old before your next meeting.

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About the Author Ken Kupchik

Ken Kupchik is the creator of Sales Humor and the author of the funniest sales book ever written, The Sales Survival Handbook, which you can order on Amazon.com. Connect with him on LinkedIn.


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