I’ve got a dynamic duo of young kids at home – adorable, energetic, fun to hang out with, and, as I found this summer, expertly skilled and seriously persuasive negotiators! As their dad, it’s my responsibility to teach and guide them. Yet, I couldn’t help but find myself learning valuable lessons from them each day.
I truly believe that the everyday interactions of kids can provide valuable insights for us sales professionals and leaders looking to enhance our negotiation skills. Kids (especially mine!) possess innate qualities that, if adapted to the world of sales, can lead to more successful and lucrative deals.
In this blog, I explore negotiation lessons inspired by my kids and share how these can be applied in the competitive sales landscape.
Embrace Unyielding Positivity
Kids are persistent in their pursuits. Maintaining a positive and unwavering attitude in negotiations can create a contagious energy that drives both parties toward a mutually beneficial agreement.
Our Dimensions of Professional Selling® training program teaches clients how to leverage our proven presentation model. At the top of this model is “positive contact.” Having a positive attitude, energy, and appearance when beginning negotiations can go a long way – couple this with a genuine passion for your product or service, and you can captivate clients and prospects and build trust, paving the way for fruitful negotiations.
Be Fearless in Asking for What You Want
Kids are not afraid to ask for what they want – extra ice cream, a puppy (hence our newest addition, Elvis), more time outside, toys, books, musical instruments, you get it! In sales, boldness is rewarded. Sales professionals should confidently present their offers and articulate how they can close their clients’ Gap – being assertive and respectful demonstrates confidence in the product’s worth and can encourage clients to consider the proposition more seriously.
The Power of Curiosity and Active Listening
Kids are endlessly curious, asking many questions to understand the world around them. This same curiosity can be a potent tool in negotiations. Sales professionals should ask open-ended, insightful questions to uncover clients’ Gaps. Active listening, with a genuine interest in the other party’s perspective, builds rapport and lays the foundation for a successful negotiation.
Let Creativity Find Solutions
Kids have a vivid imagination and are quick to invent solutions to their problems. In sales negotiations, creativity can be a game-changer. Instead of viewing obstacles as roadblocks, see them as opportunities for innovative ways to close the clients’ Gap.
Our CEO, Jeff Seeley, recently wrote an article about creative selling that offers unique ideas you can encourage your team to try when problem-solving and closing Gaps.
Handling Rejection with Resilience
Kids face countless rejections as they navigate their early years. Despite disappointments, they pick themselves up and keep trying. In sales, rejection is an inevitable part of the process. Sales professionals and leaders must cultivate resilience, learning from each setback and using it as a stepping stone to future successes.
Negotiate with Honesty and Transparency
Kids are genuine and unfiltered in their communication. While adults may tend to mask their intentions, honesty and transparency can be refreshing in negotiations. Sales professionals should present all information openly, including potential drawbacks or limitations of their offerings. Trust is the cornerstone of successful negotiations, and honesty builds trust.
Focus on the Present Moment
Kids are fully immersed in the present, uninfluenced by past experiences or future worries. In sales negotiations, being present and attentive is crucial. Avoid distractions and focus on the current discussion. Mindful negotiation allows for better comprehension of the client’s needs and enables more thoughtful responses.
As sales professionals and leaders, we can learn valuable negotiation lessons from the uninhibited nature of kids. By drawing inspiration from their candid behaviors, we can build stronger connections with clients and forge win-win solutions that endure. So, let’s take a page from the book of childhood and approach negotiations with the enthusiasm, curiosity, and authenticity that kids naturally possess.