Think back to your selling ability when you were a kid.
That statement no doubt brought a big smile to your face. The toy you wanted. The place you wanted to go. The candy bar you wanted in the checkout aisle of the grocery store. The TV show you wanted to watch. The movie you wanted to go to. The friend you wanted to hang out with. Even staying up later than your bedtime.
All sales. And a high percentage of positive outcomes. Whatever it was you wanted, you most often made the sale.
Fast-forward to the time you got your business card printed and you got a job selling whatever. And you got training. Training about your product. Training about the history of your company. A little sales training about probing, overcoming objections and closing the sale. You were given sales tools, such as a CRM and a laptop. And finally, you were given some kind of a sales plan. A quota that you had to meet or get fired.
And then, all of a sudden, sales became a struggle. Ever ask yourself why sales were so easy when you were 5 and became so difficult when you were 25?
The simple answer is lack of emotional engagement with the prospect, lack of dedicated determination and drive, and lack of emotional attachment to the outcome. All of which you had, and had employed, when you were 5.
Pretty interesting, huh?
So, I'm issuing you a challenge to go back to the days when you were 5 years old and made 100 percent of your sales.
No, you can't turn back the clock, but you can recall the elements that made your ability to sell and get your way so amazingly successful.
To help you relive your past success, I'm listing and re-creating the elements that helped you make that sale. And I'm not listing these in a vacuum. Because for me to go back to that time, I would have to remember what happened 64 years ago. So, I've enlisted the aid of my 6-year-old daughter. She keeps me on my toes, she keeps me current; she has emotional attachment to me and the outcome, and her closing ratio is somewhere around 100 percent.
You're smiling right now because your kid has the same closing ratio. Or better stated, your kid has a better closing ratio than you do. Take a lesson.
• You knew your targeted customer intimately.
• You knew exactly what you wanted.
• You pictured ownership from the beginning of the conversation.
• You stayed focused.
• You were confident of victory.
• The first thing you did was ask questions and ask for the sale.
• You got everyone emotionally engaged.
• When in doubt, you asked “why?”
• If you got any kind of resistance you asked “why?”
• You had all the reasons in the world why they should buy.
• You kept figuring out new ways and new reasons if they said no.
• You were emotionally attached to the outcome.
• Your persistence was remarkable, unyielding, passionate. You cried. You threw a fit. You were even willing to take corporal punishment to make the sale.
• Giving up was never an option.
• When you finally got what you wanted, you felt a sense of victory.
• You didn't have any literature, you didn't have a business card and it didn't matter what you were wearing.
• Winning once gave you the confidence that you could win again.
Now, while I don't expect you to go into to your next sales call stomping around, crying and demanding to get your way, I do expect you to add more emotion to your process. I do expect you to know your customer better. I do expect you to become more emotionally engaged. I do expect you to take more than a few rebuffs or objections and hang in there until you make the sale. I do expect you to continue to figure out new ways to get to “yes” rather than taking the first “no.”
And I do expect you to have more emotional attachment to the outcome.
Oh yeah, and I do expect you to have more fun at it. You had way more fun at sales when you were a kid.
Editor’s note: Jeffrey Gitomer is on sabbatical. This column originally appeared in the April 6, 2015, Business Journal.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 12 best-selling books. His real-world ideas and content also are available as online courses at GitomerVT.com. For information about training and seminars, visit gitomer.com or gitomercertifiedadvisors.com, or email Jeffrey personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.