Sales is a universal skill. Improving your ability to sell will not only improve your career, it will breathe new life into your family and relationships. Today I’m going to share with you a story about how I used my sales skills to help my son.
Sales and the 7 Year Old
A few months ago my 7 year old informed me that his class was holding a public speaking competition. Being a professional speaker, I had a vested interest (my personal pride) in him doing well in the contest. There was only one issue – he didn’t want to put in any of the hard work required to deliver a good speech!
I was at a loss on what to do… How do you motivate a child who is not motivated? I didn’t want to offer him extrinsic rewards like lollies or stamps (his currency for buying toys) because I wanted him to do well for his own sake. That was when I reached into my sales toolbox for a solution.
The Consultative Sale
Here’s how the dialogue unfolded (A=Andrew, B=Ben)
B: “Andrew, how well do you want to do for this competition?”
A: “I don’t know”
B: “Okay, well if you don’t prepare for this speech, how well do you think you’ll do?”
B: “How would it make you feel if you gave a bad speech?”
B: “Is that what you want?”
B: “So would you like to win it, or just do okay?”
A: “Just okay.”
B: “Well, if you want to do ‘just okay,’ you’re going to have to put some effort into it. Are you willing to do that?”
B: “Great, let’s get to work then!”
For the next few days, Andrew did start putting in some considerable effort. The day of the competition arrived, and the whole family was keen to know how he went. Regardless of the outcome, my wife and I were proud that he worked hard at improving his speech… (Read to the end for the outcome!)
Parenting – Leadership – Sales Lessons
“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it” – Dwight D. Eisenhower. I could have forced my son to prepare for the speech, but that would have resulted in much tears and a poor overall result. Getting him to want to prepare required salesmanship and leadership parenting. Have a look at the dialogue – did I lecture him like most parents do (myself included)? No! I asked questions to see what he wanted, then showed him how to get it! When it comes to selling in any scenario, questions are the answer!
When I picked Andrew up from school on the day of the competition, his face was beaming with pride. His smile stretched from one end of his face to the other. He came first in the competition for his class of 20 students, but more importantly he had learned the personal satisfaction that comes from hard work. If sales can improve my parenting, I know it can help yours – why not give it a try?
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Sales Ethos helps companies increase revenue through sales training in Melbourne & Adelaide. We achieve results through sales coaching, customer service training, sales management training, and sales process consulting, and sales training courses in Melbourne. Ben Lai and Jimmy Southasee are leading sales trainers in Melbourne & Adelaide. Ben is also a business coach in Melbourne and sales keynote speaker in Melbourne.