You have seen it before... the little kid with his mom at the grocery store asking her to buy him a candy bar while they wait to be checked out, right? We have all seen it, but have you ever really watched what that kid does to convince his parent that they should buy it for him? If you have not then you should. A six year old kid who really wants something is one of the most amazing salespeople to ever walk the earth.
The script goes something like this:
- kid: "Mom, can I have this candy bar?"
- mom: "No son, we are about to leave and you have snacks in the car"
- kid: "But mom, this has caramel in it... I love caramel!"
- mom: "I said no, you have snacks in the car"
- kid: "Yeah, but none of them have caramel like this does... see?"
- mom: "I see, but I'm still not going to buy it for you"
- kid: "You like caramel too, right? I will share it with you."
- mom: "Yes I do like caramel, but I don't want any of it, thank you."
- kid: "If I can have this, I will clean my room when we get home, please?"
- mom: "You need to clean your room anyway, with or with out that candy bar"
- kid: "Okay, I will clean my room and take out the trash"
- mom: "You hate taking out the trash... I think you are just saying that to get what you want"
- kid: "Mom, I PROMISE I will take out the trash when we get home... please, please, pleeeeeeease?"
- mom: "You have to take out the trash and clean your room, deal?"
- kid: "Deal, mom... I wont forget"
- mom: "okay, put it in the cart, but you aren't going to get it until you do those things you promised me"
- kid: "Okay! Thanks mom!"
A 6 year old does not take "no" for an answer
It truly is a thing of beauty to watch... he simply does not quit. He will ask for the sale, if she does not acquiesce he will give her some more information, then ask again. That is the formula for closing a deal on the first visit.
- Present your product or service, build value in owning it, then ask a closing question.
- If they don't buy, give them some more information about how your product/service can help their specific situation and ask them again.
- If they still say no, you do it again.
- Rather, rinse, repeat.
I had a sales trainer once explain that just because they say "no" the first time - it does not mean that they wont make a better decision if you give them a bit more information and ask them again. How many times do you ask for the sale before you leave the appointment? How many times does a 6 year old ask for that candy bar?
A 6 year old knows his prospect's (ie Mom's) hot buttons
On this one the kid has a distinct advantage over you. He lives with his prospect. He knows everything about them and what makes them tick. He knows what makes her happy, what makes her mad, what she wants him to do, and what she does not want him to do. In other words, he knows her hot buttons. He has had years and years to learn them. You don't have that advantage. You have to learn your prospect's hot buttons in the span of a few dozen minutes at best. You must investigate and ask effective questions in order to learn what makes your prospect want to buy something. I read somewhere that if you talk about one of your prospect's hot buttons, you take one step toward the sale. However, each time you talk about something the prospect does not care about, you take two steps away from the sale. The old mantra of Telling isn't Selling is very true. Just because you think it is a neat feature does not mean that your prospect shares that opinion. Without value, a feature of your product/service is just an additional cost to your prospect. Make sure you only talk about what your customer is interested in and you will close more deals more quickly.
A 6 year old always follows up after the sale to get repeat business
If you read the script above, you see that he has negotiated several concessions that he now has to do before he gets the commission (ie the candy bar). If he does not do them then the next time he wants something it is going to be that much harder to get it if mom knows that he wont follow up on his promises. If he does not know that yet, he will very quickly. of course you know that already. Make sure you keep your promises or not only will that client never buy from you again, but your reputation will suffer. With today's instant information through social media and review websites, your reputation will always proceed you. Make sure it is one that you want people to read. It's not in the script, but after he does his chores and eats his candy bar, the six year old will continue to butter mom up for some time. He does this because he knows that if he rewards her with love and kindness for a period of time after he gets what he wants, she will be more likely to remember giving in to his request as a pleasant experience the next time he asks her for something. You should do the same thing. You are building a relationship with your new client. Even if your product is a one-off sale, you have a qualified prospect for future solicitation. Make sure you butter up your new client for a period of time to make selling them a second time even easier.
Lets break that script down once more line by line
Now that we have discussed some of the very good sales techniques the six year old kid uses, let's break down that same script to see exactly what he is doing, when he does it, and why.
- Asks a closing question:kid: "Mom, can I have this candy bar?"
- first "no" with an objection mom: "No son, we are about to leave and you have snacks in the car"
- attempts to bypass the objection kid: "But mom, this has caramel in it... I love caramel!"
- second "no" but with the same objection - its not going away so it has to be overcome mom: "I said no, you have snacks in the car"
- attempts to overcome the objection, but with no hot button to build value kid: "Yeah, but none of them have caramel like this does... see?"
- third "no" same objection mom: "I see, but I'm still not going to buy it for you"
- builds value using a hot button - mom likes caramel too kid: "You like caramel too, right? I will share it with you."
- Not a yes - not enough value, but shows buying sign because she takes ownership of him sharing it with her... he is making progress mom: "Yes I do like caramel, but I don't want any of it, thank you"
- needs a firm "yes" - so he builds value by adding to the offer kid: "If I can have this, I will clean my room when we get home, please?"
- still no "yes" but not a "no" either - build more value to get her over the hump mom: "You need to clean your room anyway, with or with out that candy bar"
- the most valuable offer yet - he can taste that candy bar kid: "Okay, I will clean my room and take out the trash"
- another objection but is actually a strong buying sign - overcome this one and he has made the sale mom: "You hate taking out the trash... I think you are just saying that to get what you want"
- goes for the close with a promise kid: "Mom, I PROMISE I will take out the trash when we get home... please, please, pleeeeeeease?"
- one last concession needed mom: "You have to take out the trash and clean your room, deal?"
- the deal is struck! the sale is made kid: "Deal, mom... I wont forget"
- pin on paper, but follow up will be required mom: "okay, put it in the cart, but you aren't going to get it until you do those things you promised me"
- follow up is scheduled, just needs to be completed kid: "Okay! Thanks mom!"
Do you agree?
So there you have it, the sales mastery of a six year old kid. The next time you are on a sales appointment, remember the script he used. Maybe not the exact verbiage, but the steps to the sale he makes are the exact same ones you should use each and every time. Think this wont work? Let me know why in the comments below. Better yet, share your stories of times you have seen kids sell their parents and what wisdom you gleaned from the demonstration.