The other day I made the girls clean up their playroom. Gasp, right? I actually made them clean up their own mess, but it was not without a fight and about 20 meltdowns over the course of the one hour it took them to get the job done.
Over that one-hour period, they discovered approximately 1983110 lost treasures AKA toys they talked me into buying and then forgot about 5 minutes later. Among those items were mounds upon mounds of what kids these days call “fidgets.” You can squeeze them, you can stretch them, you can spin them and you can get them to make noises that will surely drive anyone over the age of 20 up the wall.
When they brought in their treasure trove of these fidgets, I told them they needed to throw about half of them away. Most had missing pieces, were covered in dirt or had been squished past the point of returning to their original state. When I made the suggestion of tossing them, you would have thought I asked them to shave their heads or something. To say they were offended would be an understatement. Instead, they rummaged through my kitchen drawer and found a black sharpie and wrote in huge black letters on top of the box holding the fidgets, “USED FIDGETS FOR SALE $2/EACH.”
Uhm, okay…who do you think is going to buy these nasty old things?!
Five minutes later they were at the end of my driveway with their butts in lawn chairs, fidgets on display and cold drinks in hand. Oh, and a bowl full of strawberries that they hijacked from my fridge. I just laughed, shook my head and popped open the tailgate of the truck. I did not want to burst their bubble, but I was thinking there was absolutely no way that these kids were going to sell any of this junk.
About 10 minutes after that, they had finished off my strawberries and made almost TWENTY DOLLARS.
60 percent of their sales can be credited to the fact that the people in our neighborhood are just really awesome and generous folks who love to make the kids happy. The other 40 percent I will say is their sales tactics.
I think kids are natural born salespeople. For one, they do not take “no” for an answer. I can tell them “no” about a billion times and they think they may still have a shot. So, they go in for that one billion and one… and I hate to say it but by that point I may give in. They wore me down. They got me good.
To most kids when they hear the word “no” to them that means “not right now.” And you better believe they are not going to miss a follow up. It may be a couple of days later or an hour later, but they are going to make sure and touch base with you once again just to see if maybe you have changed your mind or what you may need from them to get you to change your mind. Another reason that kids make good salespeople is because they do not get hung up on just one prospect. They may hound one (me) really good and if they think I am not backing down and my answer is going to remain a hard “no.” Guess what? They move on to their next prospect (their daddy) and then their granny or their aunt or anyone else who has a couple dollar bills in their pocket.
Not to mention that kids have mastered the art of applying indirect pressure. For example, the other day after I picked Ashton up from school, she hit me with the line, “Mom, today is Friday and you told me on Monday that if I was good all week then you would get me a prize.” Before I even have time to process that sentence, much less remember if I actually did in fact say that, I am already heading in the direction of the store.
Kids are ruthless man. But hey… honestly, I am over here wishing I could be more like them. If I could approach a prospective sale the way they do maybe my going rate would be $20 every ten minutes too.
(Paige Nash is a wife, mother, publisher of Bienville Parish Journal and Claiborne Parish Journal and a digital journalist for Webster Parish Journal. She considered hiring her own kids in sales, but child labor laws prevent it.)
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