My daughter is six and a basket full of cheer every day. But she is also a shrewd and crafty negotiator. Between her natural-born salesman dad, and her charismatic mother, she is going to be a very effective negotiator when she grows up.
In fact, she already is…
Now, she and I are both only children, and I certainly wasn’t spoiled growing up, and my wife and I are both trying to make sure we don’t raise a spoiled kid either. But when kids put in a solid effort, you just have to reward them, and this happens in business everyday!
Here’s the story…
On more than one occasion my daughter has engaged in a negotiating session that has lasted, at times, all day. From “can we get pizza?” to “can we go to the park” to “when are we getting a puppy?” have all been Teamster vs. management type negotiations in my house.
But Sunday was just poetry
My wife makes the best chocolate cookies under the sun, and she happened to make a batch on Saturday. These are the kind of cookies with more chocolate chips than cookie dough and they were fantastic.
So, my daughter, being just as much a chocolate cookie fan as her dad, starts lobbying for a cookie around 9 in the morning Sunday. And while she was quickly shot down since she hadn’t had breakfast yet, it didn’t keep her from working hard to get at those cookies.
She asked me – no. She asked my wife – no. 20 minutes later – same thing!
Attempts from all angles with many different approaches; some pleading, some pouting, but nothing that would make anyone crazy. She was just persistent, which is the first step to a solid sales negotiation.
Then breakfast came and went, and the cookie campaign went into full effect again. But this time, there were showers to be had and a trip to the store, so the answer was again no.
Once we got back from the store, my daughter assumed all obstacles navigated and she was in the fast lane to Chocolatetown – but now it was time for her to have lunch.
So, she asked (like any good salesperson would) if she could have cookies for lunch. And while I secretly considered it, my wife quickly shot it down. Again, with the obligatory sigh that one would expect from another disappointing sales call.
But now lunch was cleared, chores were finished, and there really was no reason this patient 6-year old salesperson couldn’t have a cookie. So, after hearing no at least 20 times that day, she plowed forward with her pitch again. And this time it worked.
But that’s not it…
This little natural-born negotiator (I’m sure you have your own) wasn’t done selling. As she asked for a cookie and I finally relented, she still wasn’t satisfied to close the sale. No, she took it to the next level like all good salespeople do. Once she got the commitment out of me for one cookie, what do you think she asked me for no sooner than I could get the word “Yes” out of my mouth?
That’s right, two cookies! – And she got’em!
The moral to the story – Persistence always overcomes resistance. Happy selling!
Photo credit: Robert Donovan