As kids we all have this innate ability to close the sale! The problem is, as we get older and “better trained”; we forget what made us great sales people! Think about it, who has a better close ratio than a child? Being the father of 5 kids and a sales-professional for many years, I have some idea of the key reasons kids are so darn successful. Here are a few:
Kids are not Persistent but Relentless. Kids are relentlessly pursuing what they want. Stopping at nothing to get the coveted and sometimes elusive YES… Are you in a relentless pursuit of your goals?
Kids are Curious: Kids are sincerely curious about nouns (you stopped and thought about that for a second didn’t you)! They want to really understand how stuff works and why it works that way… The more you understand about how people and things work and why, the more you will be able to help solve problems. Do you have a sincere high level of curiosity?
Kids Asks a LOT of questions: Being curious, kids tend to follow that curiosity with plenty of questions. And when you think about it, many of them are WHY questions. In sales, we say Knowledge is Power. Good knowledge comes from good questioning skills and getting the answer to that “why?” maybe the most important answer you can find.
When Mom says no, they go ask Dad (Never level locked): This is an easy one but many sales professionals tend to hear a “no” and stop. Again, kids are relentless. If a gatekeeper tells you no, you call the sales department or even human resources and find a way in. Do you challenge yourself to get someone that will say yes, or at least listen to you?
They have Unmatched Enthusiasm: When a kid pitches an idea that they really want, he or she will pitch it with more enthusiasm than you have ever seen. This energy is transferable. It will literally excite the audience and get them excited about their idea, if for no other reason than because the child is excited about it. It deploys a sort of “Law of social acceptance” in that, if they are excited, perhaps I should be too. – Can you say that you have unmatched enthusiasm when pitching your idea?
Kids get support from others (Peer pressure – in a good way): Kids will quickly rally a band of supporters, convincing them that the idea/prize is ideal and that these followers should encourage the decision maker to make the “favored decision”. Having the decision maker thinking; “If all of these people think I should do it… Maybe it is a good idea.” Now, how quickly can you rally troops? Can you get needed support for your ideas in a company that you are selling to?
Kids are Very Persuasive: Kids can be some of the most persuasive negotiators. They are fearless when asking for what they want. Kids will often push the envelope if they have to but will typically maintain a healthy respect for authority. While this sometimes lands them in trouble, it often pays dividends. Are you fearless when asking for what you want? Are you considered persuasive?
Kids are Creative: Kids never cease to amaze me with how things should work and if you shoot that idea down, another one pops right up in its place that is usually a simple variance from the first and so on… How creative are you when asking for something? Do you think, plan and have alternatives or back up objectives/solutions lined up?
Kids love to Ask WHY NOT? Too often when adults hear the word no, we are too timid to simply ask WHY NOT? Sometimes it is something that you can fix or change to make the situation/sale better. Often times just asking why not will lead you down the right path… Do you ask “Why Not?” when you hear a no?
All of that to say that the two biggest things that kids have going for them that adults/sales professionals tend to lose as we get older are:
1.) They do not usually Overthink: The first of 22 principles in my book “The Phoenix Philosophy” discusses the problems with overthinking and gives an example of how we tend to do this as adults with a riddle. Mind you, hundreds of my adult friends simply could not crack it, yet it was cracked by my daughter (9 years old at the time) in under a minute. The riddle was; “What do rich people need and poor people have and if you eat it, you die?” Well? If you want the answer, go ask a child! J
2.) No fear. Fear is learned. Think about when kids are little and when you hold them, they try so hard to leap from your arms without a care in the world. Only until a kid gets hurt (sometimes multiple times) do they start to experience fear. As adults, especially sales people, we must learn to shed some of that fear that we have learned and know that no one has killed a salesperson for simply doing his/her job… in the last hour anyway!
Now go out there with the relentless curiosity to ask a lot of questions to all different kinds of people, with an unmatched level of enthusiasm. Rally the troops and get support for your cause while being persuasive, creative and asking “why the heck not!” Stop overthinking and for goodness sake… LOSE THE FEAR! Now get out there and go sell something!