Be a Kid, Sell More

Quote of the Week

“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.”

— Walt Streightiff

Be A Kid, Sell More

by Art Sobczak

At this time of year we often hear “Christmas is for the kids.” That’s just one more reason I try to be more like a kid. You should too. We all should. We’d be happier, and would achieve more. Actually, all kids are born salespeople. What happens is that many grow up, and lose the attitudes and behaviors that make kids great sellers. Here’s why we should be more like kids.

  1. No’s Don’t Bother Them.When my kids were little (they’re 20 and 22 now) they’d react to no’s as if they were hearing-impaired, ignoring the “no,” relentlessly firing off their next batch of requests. They weren’t always successful, but sometimes they were. They certainly got more than if they’d buckled in to the initial “no.” Like many adults do.

    And, most kids aren’t afraid to go to different levels within the decision-making hierarchy to get what they want. My kids especially knew where to go to ask for money.

  2. Kids Take Risks.I was mortified when my son, Eric, as an eight-year old, roller-bladed up and off a plywood ramp!

    “Oh, that’s nothing, Dad,” was the response when I asked if he was afraid of crashing. In retrospect, most grown-ups are too risk-averse, traveling the warm, safe, beaten path. What’s the last risk you took?

    If you’re reluctant to live on the edge, consider one thing: Do you regret more of the risks in life that you took, or those that you didn’t take? So why not throw caution to the wind once in a while?

  3. Their Imaginations Run Wild.I remember when my daughter, Amy, about five at the time, handed me an abstract explosion-of-colors-on-paper. I smiled and sheepishly asked, “What exactly do you call this, sweetie?”

    She replied matter-of-factly, “Well, of course it’s a city, Daddy.”

    Of course. Many of us fence in our imaginations by saying (and therefore believing) “I’m just not creative.” Bull. Unharness your imagination, and let your ideas run wild. You’ll be surprised.

  4. Kids Have High Ambitions.I know a six-year-old who’s facing a tough career decision. He isn’t sure whether he’s going to play in the American League, or the National League when he becomes a Major League Baseball player.

    Ask any kid, and they’ll also tell you they aspire to be something great. Sadly, many adults lose this desire, and are content if they can cover this month’s bills.

    Have you set your goals yet for 2008?

    If you haven’t, do so today. And regardless of where you are right now, aim higher. You can get there.

  5. They Have Great Attitudes.A trivia question on the radio the other day asked,

    “What do kids do about 400 times a day, that adults do less than 20 on average?”

    The answer: laugh. (I’ve seen some adults who have really contributed to pulling that number down to 20!)

    We should lighten up more. Who would you rather be around, the person wearing the scowl or the smile?

  6. Kids Are Constantly Active.The word “walk” isn’t in the vocabulary of most kids. They dart wherever they go. Yet, it’s sad that the sedentary lifestyle and attitudes of most people contributes to a poor self-image, and lack of ambition. Not to mention the health issues.

    You can spot the people in your organization with the poor attitudes. . .normally the ones who shuffle from place to place. Put a spring in your step, move more quickly like a kid, get off your butt and exercise more, and you’ll experience a better attitude.

  7. They’re Curious.As a trainer who has done over 1000 presentations, I’ve faced tough questions. But none have ever exasperated me more than trying to explain things my young kids used to ask me. Things I always took for granted, like,

    “Why is there frost on the grass when you wake up in the morning?”

    In sales, we need to have that child-like curiosity because it helps us to understand everything we should know before we make a presentation.

So, don’t grow up. Think young. And if you’ll excuse me, I need to go strap on my roller blades. Where is that plywood ramp. . .

Art Sobczak, Business By Phone Inc., provides how- to ideas and tips for rejectionless prospecting, selling, and servicing by phone. See articles, and other resources at

Coaching Call to Action

Art is so right about risk taking. Sunday morning I went to my computer to check e-mail and the monitor was black. OK. Not to panic. This had happened before and I just needed to buy a new monitor. There was a spare one in the other room. No problem. I wasn’t going to try to fiddle with it because the whole system might crash. Fast forward an hour when my 20 year old son got out of bed. I asked him if he would mind switching the monitors for me. He said it was easy to do but decided to take a look first. He turned the computer off and then back on. Voila, the monitor worked. Just an example of where those of us who are a little nervous around technologically could take a few more risks. And you? What risks could you take this week?