You might think why does my daughter need sales skills? Along with good grades, shuttling her to afterschool and summer activities, and all of the things that you need to help her do to get accepted to college …you now need to help her gain experience selling things?
Your daughter is destined to be a Doctor. Lawyer. Accountant. Educator. She doesn’t need to learn how to sell.
Sorry. That was a good position for people coming of age before 2000.
If you want her to be best equipped for a career in ANYTHING, you need to encourage her entrepreneurial spirit. And of the first things is that she can benefit from is gaining rudimentary practice selling things – sales skills where she learns how to pitch a product and deal with objections. Whether it’s a product she’s made or a service she enjoys performing. Or some other avenue that will give her the experience of presenting, negotiating and closing with others.
Let me share with you an example of why it’s important
She’ll learn how to stand out from the crowd
What does it really take to succeed in an interview? Or to get accepted into college? You need to be able to convince the other person why you are the one for the job. Actually you need to convince them why you vs the 100 other people who applied are the person for the job. If they see the same skills over and over again, you might wind up on the chopping block. There needs to be a hook.
And it takes a whole lot more than just getting good grades or having extracurricular activities these days to stand out.
So help your daughter gain sales skills now while the stakes are a lot easier to manage. What are her strengths? How can she best capture a customer’s attention? What does she observe captures other’s people attention? How can she showcase her own story best?
Consider this example – I was out walking in the park this weekend. It was an extremely hot and muggy day. And while I bought plenty of drinks for my daughter, I neglected to bring something for myself. A group of young teens passed me and mumbled something about selling some drinks while they quickly walked pass me. They had no signs and only a lone cooler at the back of their cluster. I didn’t understand what they were doing til they passed me.
A few minutes later, another group of teens passed me and shared they were selling water for a fundraiser and asked me if I wanted to buy a bottle. One of the teens held up a 8×11 flyer with some hard to read writing and graphics. I didn’t understand what they were really selling and why they were selling it. Just that they were doing something. So I shared no thanks and kept on walking.
A third group of students approached me. All of them had matching t-shirts with their slogan on it – Do you want to help our community center and quench your thirst? Give us $2. We’ll give you a bottle of cool water. They wrote this slogan on white t-shirts with markers. Cheezy. But it got the message across quickly. Not only did they get their mission across – but I stopped them to buy the drink. And it was only then that I realized that all of the teens were connected to the same group.
They had great sale skills. They pre-qualified me before they spoke a word.
I chatted with them briefly and learned about the programs at their Center. A few more people stopped also. In pretty much every case, they continually sought out this group and volunteered to help in other ways once they realized what the cause was.
The last group clearly demonstrates how you want your daughter to think. It was grass roots and received positive attention. The group members learned how to navigate multiple customer conversations and find ways to solve the need (i.e I’m thirsty) and promote their cause.
And without hesitation it was memorable. A good example of how sales skills can benefit.
So brainstorm some ideas how your daughter from this example. How she can tell her story to get people to come to her with opportunities – rather than her beating down their door. It’s not about the money you make when you are learning sales skills – it’s the skills you develop that are key.