Children might just be the best salespeople on Earth. Why? Because they listen, ask questions, and are naturally inquisitive. They have a way of getting to the heart of a matter and pointing out contradictions. They naturally want to make people happy and solve problems – just like salespeople. Here's what you can learn from your grade school counterparts.
Keep Your Mouth Shut
Yes, kids can ramble on and on about almost anything.
But, there are also many times when they don't say anything.
They just sit there and stare at you, listening. This is the hallmark of a good salesperson.
Listen to what your prospect is saying.
Ask, Don't Tell
Ask questions. Ask lots of questions. Have you ever noticed that kids are really good at asking questions? They will keep asking "why" until you give them a real answer that satisfies their curiosity. Most adults see this as annoying, but it's actually a good thing.
When you do this to your prospects, you will ferret out people who are serious from those who aren't. You might drive some prospects away, but that's OK. They aren't really prospects if they don't like you probing for answers to their problems. Think about that for a moment.
If it's one thing that kids are good at, it's following up with mom and dad – especially if you told them "later." Good lead management software helps you do the adult version of that. Put your leads in a tracker and stay on top of them. If a prospect tells you to call back Monday, call back 9AM Monday morning when you get into the office.
Pretend You Don't Know The Other Person
Kids can be really shy around strangers. But, they can also be very inquisitive. Pretend that you're just meeting the person you're talking to – because that's probably exactly what's happening. Yet, many salespeople don't do this. They treat their prospects almost inhumanely. They're not polite to them, they railroad them with a cheesy sales pitch, and they don't really show any interest in them at all. Ask questions. Show interest. Get to know the people you're about to do business with.
Don't Be a Salesman
People hate salespeople. They don't want to be browbeaten into buying something. Speak to them like they're your friend. If you notice, children often do this. They try to speak in a manner in which they are spoken to. If you treat them like children, they'll tend to act more like unruly children. If you talk to them as adults, they will respond with a warm, friendly, and kind demeanor. This is what you want to do with prospects.
Always Ask For The Sale
This one is something that many salespeople struggle with. Even if you're a good presenter, you know the facts about your product, you understand your prospect's needs, you might still be hesitant to ask for the order.
You're not alone. We have a weird relationship with money in this country. You can't be afraid to ask for cash, a check, or a credit card.
Kids do this all the time. When they want something, they're not shy. They ask for it. You should too.
By Roger Columbo
Roger works as a marketing strategist. He is pleased to share his experiences and insights online. You can find various posts written by Roger on a number of B2B websites.