Who Trained Children to be Experts in Sales?

Picture of Hi! I'm Annika Tell

Hi! I'm Annika Tell

Who would have thought raising kids is actually a course in leadership and sales?

Read my story

I’ve been in the sales business for nearly 20 years and I am continuously amazed by raising my two little bandits who seem to be expert salesmen. They are so successful in using sales strategies which 20-40-year-olds have to learn from zero. 

Where have kids learned these skills and where do these skills disappear as they grow older?

It was another one of those cozy autumn nights and we were in for a lovely family evening after the kids got home from kindergarten and my husband had finished work. I was in the zone making mashed potatoes for dinner when my oldest son began squealing like a pig claiming that mashed potatoes IS NOT proper food.

Granted, he’d be a cute little piggy in this comparison but he sure gave our smoke detector a run for its money and unfortunately, silencing a distraught toddler cannot be solved by taking out the batteries because as we all know, they run on endless energy.

Anyway, I was then told that the Sir would like porridge instead. Now it was my turn to look at him in disbelief. 

Really??? Porridge for dinner??? 

Being an adult, I tried to go the way of reason: ’But honey, I am already boiling the potatoes’. He counteracted with: ’Well, you can just start making the porridge’. Well hello, Mister Smarty-pants. I tried to convince him that both dishes are essentially porridge (since in Estonian, both dishes are called porridge) but he wasn’t having it. He stood his ground and at that point it would have been easier to move Mt Everest than make him change his mind.

Did I just get put in my place by a 4-year-old? Oooh no, I was not going to give up that easy. 

I hyped myself up in my head: ´ I am a sales guru, it is what I live and breathe so prepare to be taken down, my son.’ Yes, yes I know I was about to enter into a debate with a 4-year-old but hey, nobody puts mama in the corner;). 

What is it that makes children so successful in sales pitches?

  1.  They are absolutely sold by their product! They are 100% convinced that porridge is times better than mashed potatoes as a dinner option.
  2. Perseverance. They do not take NO for an answer and do not give up until everyone agrees that they are right. They are the energizer bunnies of arguments and counterarguments.
  3. Enthusiasm. Sales are based on a transfer of emotions. There is no way one can fight the sparkle in kids’ eyes when they are making their case. You can see the stars of the whole galaxy in their eyes.

So there we were by the kitchen stove, battling it out, each of us arguing for our own case. I couldn’t believe how he counteracted all of my objections. 

Working with sales and leadership is quite similar to raising children. If you have learned about sales and leadership then you have learned more about raising children than you think and vice versa.​

He had an answer for everything and they actually made sense.
All these years of sales training and yet, I had to submit to his perseverance and make myself comfortable in the corner. I must admit; however, there was a sense of pride mixed in with my initial annoyance. That is how the pot of potatoes got itself a little buddy boiling next to it and before long, the aromas of potatoes and porridge were dancing around in the air.

How successful are you as a negotiator?

  1. Are you 100% sold by your idea when pitching it to someone else?
  2. How persistent are you with your ideas or how quickly do you give up on them?
  3. Do your eyes sparkle when you introduce your ideas?

There are lessons to be learned on a daily basis that apply across each of the three areas. 

You could be a superstar both at home and at work if you could combine your knowledge in sales and leadership by being open to learning a bit here and there and applying the newly found knowledge.

We’d be a little bit smarter day after day if only we could spot the little lessons life brings our way and make our own conclusions based on those lessons.

You know the best time to act is now, right? 

So, while you already have this post opened, take a couple of minutes to think about the following questions, answer them and have them sent to your email so you can go over them any time you want.

Your writing will not be saved anywhere and is only for you to use.

Think of a moment when you last tried to convince someone:


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