Who among us hasn’t played shop with our kids? Mom and dad can’t help spending money on a few teddy bears that have seen better days :). Our kids are amazing salespeople. I swear they could sell ice to an Eskimo. Their adult colleagues spend months studying sales strategies through Zoom seminars and burying their heads in textbooks while our kids make it look like…well, child’s play. We have a lot to learn as parents.
How I fell in a trap set by a clever salesman.
It was a cozy spring day and the slogan of the day was – CLEARANCE SALE, EVERYTHING MUST GO. The kids decided to open up a store since we can’t really go shopping nowadays and their inner shopaholics finally had enough.
Toy cars, balls, teddy bears, and even daddy’s phone was set in a neat row on the window sill with price tags and everything. They even got their hands on the baby’s rattles which were also waiting for their new owner.
‘Mommy, come shop!’ they shouted from the next room. The store owner was extremely generous and handed me a wallet full of coins as I walked through the door (why can’t that happen in the real world? :)). Yaaaaay, shopping trip!!!
I have to give it to them, the selection was really varied and the prices were cheaper than on Black Friday. I took my time, went through all the options, and finally decided on a red toy car. It will look great on my bedside table :). However, the little shopkeeper wouldn’t let me leave without buying something else.
‘Maybe I could also offer you a dinosaur? It’s so beautiful and green’ he so generously offered.
I could not have agreed more. It would go perfectly with the red 4 wheeler. Now my bedside table is complete. I started making my way to the register but the bright-eyed salesman wasn’t going to let his client go that easily.
‘I see that you have a little baby. I bet she would love this rattle.’
How can you argue with that? The rattle made its way into the basket.
‘That’ll be three euros’ said the energetic little salesman.
I gave him a fiver and he announced that he only has one euro to give back. Business must be going well if they only have big bills in the register :D. He pressed a shiny coin in my hand and waved me goodbye. Oh well, we have to support local businesses now more than ever.
Why do people make a purchase?
There are a few reasons why I, you, and all the other people in the world shop.
First, we like the salesperson.
This is probably one of the biggest reasons why something always lands in our shopping basket when visiting kids’ stores; whether we need the item or not. This also applies in the real world.
Another interesting fact is that women tend to not buy something if they don’t like the salesperson. Even if the price is right and they actually need it. So the number one rule in the world of sales is that a salesperson has to be able to sell themselves before anything else.
Second, we like the product (we need it).
This applies more in the real world than in the playroom store but you can’t argue the fact that a baby indeed needs a rattle (which is why I bought it in the first place :D). If you can agree on a price then it’s a done deal.
Third, we like the thought behind the product.
For example, I once bought reusable produce bags and was very excited about using them. Not for their ‘luxurious design’ 😀 but because I liked the idea of buying something good for the environment.
They still look brand new after all this time as if they’ve never been used (probably because they haven’t). It’s because we get most of our groceries delivered these days but I’m still hanging on to the bags as a matter of principle. They are good for the environment after all! At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
Fourth, everybody’s buying it.
Nobody wants to be the only fool to buy something but at the same time, they don’t want to be the only fool not buying something either. If everybody’s buying something then it must be good. Dad took the bait and made a purchase; his little brother filled up his shopping basket like there was no tomorrow; even grandma caught the shopping bug. Mom can’t be the only fool to turn down the chance to own a new toy dinosaur.
It’s the same way in real life. For example, if all your neighbors have a robot taking care of their lawn then how can you ruin their idyllic weekend by using your noisy lawnmower? Only a crazy person would do that. Well, we are those crazy people but it’s only a matter of time until my husband breaks and agrees to adopt a cute little robot to join our family.
It doesn’t take long for kids to figure that out. It’s like they read Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale while chilling in the womb and then followed up by taking the respective seminar in kindergarten.
They follow all the basic sales guidelines when they try to convince us that ice cream makes for a perfect lunch and the soup that mom has prepared with love and care would be way too much. Parents have to do the same when we need to convince them to change clothes before bedtime.
Why can’t we jump in bed and get between the freshly washed sheets in the same clothes we wore to jump into every single puddle we could find? It’s basically the same activity so why do we have to get changed? Yup, parents have to make the sale of their lives to reverse kids’ logic and vice versa. The roles of the seller and buyer get swapped faster than Usain Bolt crossing the finish line.
So the next time you go on a shopping spree at your child’s store, observe how smart and talented salespeople they are and how you can use the same strategies in your own life when the roles are reversed. That’s right; use their tricks against them. All is fair in love and the war of sales :D.
P.S. If you know someone who could benefit from reading this post then please share it with them. Everybody benefits from a boost of positivity. We would both greatly appreciate it!