This is my son Ethan. He is six years old. He is one of the best salespeople I have ever met.
I have said to countless friends, “He is going to be a superstar salesperson someday.”
The truth is…he’s already there.
What can he teach us about winning in the marketplace?
I see 3 major character traits that are worth emulating:
1.) Ethan is PERSISTENT.
He does not care about the word “no.” He refuses to accept its implications. My wife and I have to tell him no at least 30 times a day. Its not because we want to deprive him of anything….he just asks to do, buy, and go….all the time. I suppose thats part of being 6. As a sales manager, I am blown away at his dogged level of commitment to ask and ask and ask…and part of me never wants that to leave him! As a parent, It can be a little annoying…
How does this apply to you? As with everything else in life and sales….its a numbers game. You can say this statement over and over and everyone will agree with you but very few employ the inherent power in this law! The more times you ask the more times you win. It can’t not work! At your current skill level you absolutely will, for sure, positively get X% of the deals/opportunities you pursue. I promise if you find a way to get more efficient and pursue twice as many opportunities, you will earn just about twice as much money.
(Secret side effect of doing this: YOUR SKILLS IMPROVE. You actually won’t need to make twice as many calls to earn twice as much money!)
I find it fascinating how few times a day the average salesperson “ASKS” for an order, a commitment, or….anything! This even applies to the sheer number of sales calls they make per day. The person that averages 5 calls a day will be outpaced by the one that averages 10…both of them destroyed by the one that does 15.
Few will ever ask how many calls a superstar made to become that superstar…they just drool over the end result. Ethan asks a lot, so he wins a lot. He doesn’t fret over his batting average. He is obsessed with at bats.
2.) Ethan is CREATIVE.
After a firm “NO,” from us, I have often noticed he quiets down for a bit. This is brilliant. He uses the quiet time to think about how he’s going to frame his next query….and give us time to breathe(genius). My wife has told me on NUMEROUS occasions how she told him they couldn’t do something, or go somewhere, and after a minute or 2, he’ll pipe back up:
“What if instead of W, we did X? Because then we could go to Y and still have time for Z?”
*wife thinks* “You know what? That sounds better than what I had planned….lets do it.”
How does this apply to you? Ask with intelligence. If you aren’t getting where you need to go, reframe the question, approach from another angle, or add some NEW information that will help your client make a new decision. Few buyers will change their mind on a topic that they consider closed. Reopen it somehow. Being good at #1 above is a key element to doing this well.
3.) Ethan is CHEERFUL and EXPECTANT.
You want to talk about the best assumptive closer of all time? Half the time Ethan makes a request, his attitude is so good…he is so positive about the idea, that we’re almost in his corner before he’s done…then our parent brain kicks in and we try to assess the request rationally. Sometimes the way he asks is just so cute that its HARD to resist!
How does this apply to you? Surely you’ve heard the phrase, “Act as if…” A lot of times this is a lot easier to do if you’re coming off a huge win. You’re feeling good. You’re on fire.
We’ve all experienced that. What you’ve got to realize that every situation is new. The next customer doesn’t know you just got a great order and you feel great…they just see you feeling great, having a good time and that is contagious.
People universally want to be around others that are having a good time. Enjoy yourself, stop obsessing about the outcomes. Just ask (intelligently) a lot. Be friendly. Do the right things consistently (more on this to come).
Trust that in the long run your sound game plan will pay off.
That confidence shows. People buy that.
I’ve bought it from Ethan more times than I can count.