What My 8 Year Old Taught Me About Sales

girl-scout-cookies

On a recent chilly Sunday afternoon, my eight-year-old daughter made her debut in sales.  She is selling Girl Scout cookies for the first time. On this particularly cold afternoon (it was 4 degrees above zero), she went around the neighborhood knocking on doors, while I stayed on the sidewalk pulling a sled brimming with her inventory.

As someone who is in sales myself (all small business owners are!), I learned three important lessons about sales from her.

1) “No” is meaningless.

Countless times my daughter heard, “We don’t want any” or “We already bought from our granddaughter” or any number of other rejections. Those rejections didn’t mean anything to her. They didn’t discourage her or make her lose her interest in going to the next house. It was simply a “no.” Unlike many of the rest of us in sales, we quickly add all kinds of meaning to a “no” that doesn’t serve us. “I’m no good,” “Someone beat me to the sale,” “I’ll never make a sale.” None of those things crossed her mind.  She just went to the next house and knocked again.   

2) There’s never a bad time to sell.

It was four degrees outside. Four. And with a wind-chill that was far below that.

She didn’t care.

It was late on a Sunday afternoon and many people were out doing their weekend activities.

She didn’t care.

We got cold. Really, really cold. At one point I asked her if she was cold, thinking she would beg to go home. She looked at me and in her most snarky, eight-year-old voice, she said, “Ya think?” Ouch. She was cold. Very cold.

She didn’t care.

There were cookies to be sold, money to earn for her troop, and incentive prizes hanging in the balance.

3) Knock on doors, even if the house is dark.

As the afternoon wore on and the sun began to sink behind the treetops, my daughter continued to ring doorbells and knock on doors. She didn’t care if the house was dark, if it looked like nobody was home. She knocked anyway.  And once in a while, someone came to the door and she made a sale, even from a dark house.   How many times do the rest of us in sales assume that no one is home, or that they aren’t interested?  She made no assumptions and continued to close sales, even from dark houses.

 

Our lessons in life and in business sometimes come from unusual places. Sometimes they are right under our noses.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some sales calls to make.

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