Sales Lessons from my 2-year old: Persistance

Think about a typical conversation with a two year old:

Tina: “Daddy, can I have some candy?”
Daddy: “not now”
Tina: “Daddy, can I have a cookie?”
Daddy: “Its two hours until dinner, not now”
Tina: “PLEASE!”
Daddy: “I said no”
Tina: “Can I have an apple?”
Daddy: “Oh, alright. Fine – have an apple.”

While some may read this conversation and determine that I am a pushover, I want you to read into the persistence of the two year old. Not once, did Tina think that she wouldn’t eventually get something to eat – she just needed to figure out the right words, the right win-win solution so that she could get what she wanted. And – she did!

She didn’t give up once she heard the first “no”. She thought about it, and changed her pitch until she ultimately got what she wanted. Now – perhaps it wasn’t 100% what she wanted in the beginning, but in the end, she got a snack.

Is my daughter a born salesperson? Perhaps… but I think this is the nature of every two year old. Somewhere along the way, many of forget this lesson of persistance.

In your own pitches, you shouldn’t be taking no for an answer. That doesn’t mean you should hound your prospects like a two year old, but you should make sure that you are getting the no, because there is absolutely no way to get a yes. In the conversation above, my daughter wanted a snack, but figured out that I wasn’t against a snack per-se, I was against junk-food. By determining what I was OK with, she was able to get what she wanted too. She found the win-win.

Ask the right questions, think about the problem from their side, and understand that a “no” isn’t always a “no” – its just “no – in the way you’ve presented it”

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