Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sales Secrets From A Six-Year Old

By Thomas Murrell MBA CSP, International Business Speaker

Picture a beautiful sunny day one weekend in late spring in Perth, Western Australia. A climbing white iceberg rose is in full bloom releasing its sweet perfume into the still air.

Underneath that rose sitting on the footpath are a six-year old girl and four-year old boy, both with blonde hair, blue eyes and impeccably dressed.

They have a table, chair and umbrella set-up, with a little hand-written sign saying "Raffle Tickets For Sale Only $2".

They patiently wait in the warm spring air. Then as people walk down the street, the six-year old confidently approaches them saying, "Hello, would you like to buy a raffle ticket, we're raising money for our school!"

How could anyone refuse? This was my daughter Georgia as she sold raffle tickets and in a small way helped raise more than $30,000 for her local school.

What did I learn from my daughter's entrepreneurial approach to helping raise money that will help put air-conditioning in the class-rooms of her 108-year old school?

Well, they are insights we can all apply to any sales situation, whether a multi-million dollar company, small business or not-for-profit fund raiser.

1. Enthusiasm.

This quality more than anything else is essential for sales success. My daughter had it in bucketfuls.

How is your enthusiasm for your job, product or organisation?

2. Organisation.

Good salespeople are well organised. My daughter was no exception with the chairs, umbrella, sign, tickets, pen and cash float for change.

Is your lack of organisation costing you sales?

3. Empathetic listener

Even though she's only six, my daughter is a good listener. A value as parents we've tried to teach her.

4. Self-motivation

My daughter would still be on the footpath selling raffle tickets if she had her way.

Her level of motivation was exceptional and for her this was fun.

Are you still having fun in your job?

By the way, the ball for the parents was also great fun, as you can tell by the photo with my gorgeous wife (third from left) and other friends!

5. Competitive

Again, my daughter wanted to sell the most raffle tickets in her class and we had to hold her back!

Competition can be healthy for sales.

6. Goal Orientation

Again, my daughter had a goal to sell all her raffle tickets.

7. Initiative

I know it's probably illegal to sell things on the front footpath without a licence, but again I was impressed with my daughter's initiative.

8. Customer Orientation

My daughter always listened to the customer and approached them with a smile!

It is amazing that as we get older we forget these simple, proven techniques.
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