We’ve made comparisons between working in sales and dating before, and there are definitely quite a few obvious similarities. Prospecting, follow-up, and stress…just to name a few.
But what about parenting and sales? It might not sound as obvious, but there are parallels between the two.
Of course, not everyone who works in sales is a parent, but many are. And there are more than just a few things you can learn as a parent that will help you succeed in your sales career. (On a side note, the one thing parents don’t have that salespeople do, is a way to help them stay on top everything to make sure nothing is falling through the cracks, which is what Spiro’s CRM does for salespeople. Want to see how?)
These are the six reasons why parents might actually make the best salespeople:
1. Parents and Salespeople are Good at Listening
Everybody knows that one of the most important skills a salesperson can have is the ability to listen. And there’s no one that can provide better practice than a 4-year old who will spend an hour telling you about his favorite color, or forcing you to listen to the Baby Shark song for the hundredth time that day.
Children are experts at talking and rambling. And good parents learn to listen to their kids, which is an excellent skillset to have and easily transferable to listening to prospects.
2. Parents and Salespeople Need Positivity
Salespeople need to be irrational optimists. It’s really the only way to be able to power through some of the seemingly insurmountable challenges that come with the job. And there is no human being on this earth as optimistic as a child.
Sure, there might be bouts of tears and screaming here and there, but children are by nature curious and optimistic. As a salesperson and parent, this is one of the best lessons you can learn from a child, and use it to make yourself feel confident and happy at work.
3. Parents and Salespeople Deal with Constant Negotiating
Kids are very adept at getting what they want, and turn into master negotiators when they’re really after something. They are great at overcoming objections, renegotiating, and pushing beyond anything that even the most hardened businesspeople are willing to ask for.
This can be great practice for life in sales, as you can not only hone your negotiating skills when dealing with your children, but you can also learn from them when it comes to being more aggressive in asking for the prospect’s business.
4. Parents and Salespeople Have Empathy
Empathy is a highly valuable sales trait that is tougher to find than many others. An excellent salesperson can empathize with his or her customers and put themselves in their shoes to better serve their needs. And what better way to learn empathy than through parenting?
Even the most hardened among us can’t stand the thought of a child being upset, which can help make us more in tune with the problems and concerns that our prospects have. If you can empathize with a customer, you can usually figure out what it will take to close the deal.
5. Parents and Salespeople Understand Stress Management
There are many people who don’t last in sales because they simply can’t deal with the stress of the job. Dealing with demanding customers, sales managers, quotas, and trying to manage a personal life can overwhelm those who aren’t ready to deal with the pressure.
But parents are some of the most stressed people on earth, and develop an ability to work through the stress and still get everything done.
6. Parents and Salespeople Have a “Great Why”
All of the great sales trainers of the world often talk about having a “why.” Your why is your reason for working hard, which is a requirement if you want to see any kind of success in sales. While everyone’s “why” can be different, the one that comes up most often is family and children.
Parents have more incentive than almost anyone for working hard, because they’re providing a better life for someone else, not just themselves. So if you’re a parent, you might be much more likely to do well in sales than your childless coworkers!