I've been in sales since I was about 15 years old and have worked a desk since late 1999. I've had the pleasure (and in some cases nearly nauseating pain) of working with some of the best sales people around. I've had the opportunity to train fledgling salespeople and watch them grow and develop from rookies, paralyzed by call anxiety, into take-no-prisoners, hard line closers. But, the truth is, with all of the wheeling and dealing I've been witness to over the years; my daughter may be the best closer of all!
When children want something, they do whatever it takes to get their way. Whatever it takes. Crying, begging, tantrums, charm, manipulation, beguiling, fast talking, you name it. Kids fearlessly employ tactics that would cause even the toughest closer to wince. With that said, I've recently fallen victim to her baby-boiler-room salesmanship.
It was about 4:30pm on Saturday afternoon when my daughter decided to make her approach. It went a little something like this:
Lauren: "Can I have some ice cream?"
Me: "No sweetie, go play"
Lauren: "But, why?"
Me: "Because I said no" (my voice a little firmer this time - I'll show her who's boss!)
Lauren: "But, why?" (as her big brown eyes began to well up)
Me: (Sigh) "Because it's almost time to eat and I don't want you to ruin your dinner"
Lauren: "What about after dinner?"
Me: "Well...Maybe" (Sales 101: first person to speak looses; I lost.)
Lauren: "Maybe yes or maybe no"
Me: (Siiiiighhhhh) Maybe yes, Lauren; if you finish all of your food"
And sure enough, she did finish her food that night. In fact, before she could finish chewing her last bite she'd asked me with complete expectancy to carry out my end of the deal. And, I did.
The moral of the story? Well, when my daughter was hit with my initial response (or as we call it, objection) she pressed forward until she got past the surface and down to my core issue with giving her ice cream. When she learned the core of my issue she produced a viable solution to the problem and presented a few tie downs and trial closes until we came to an agreement. She's 3 years old for crying out loud!!! Somewhere along the line, many sales people lose sight of their right to dig a deeper when the objections they're getting are surface and don't address the real reason a client/candidate isn't moving forward. Children want what they want and they want it now. It's ok for you to want that way too. So today, I challenge you to unleash your inner toddler. Happy recruiting folks.