He’s 13 years old, so obviously he knows how to cold call better than me!

OK – It’s Hallowe’en and I’m doing Trick or Treating with my 2 children and their 9 year old cousin. Clear instructions are issued:

  • Only go to the houses with pumpkins or decorations outside

  • Be polite

  • Don’t be too scary (he’s a good kid, but at 13 my son towers above many of the householders)

So off we go. Instructions are followed, sweets are collected, everyone is happy.

After a while, we meet with another cousin, the same age as my son. His loot is so impressive he has nearly filled a rucksack. We join forces and continue. His strategy, however, is different from ours.

He tries every house where a light is visible. His success rate is about the same as ours, except of course, he is covering more ground because the undecorated houses outnumber the decorated ones. So (as the responsible adult) I observe from a distance and realise that a 13 year old has just taught me how to sell.

I mentally tell myself off, ponder the nature of prospecting and have to admit that he is doing extremely well. He has reinforced a message that I teach, which is that ‘just trying’ again and again is a very good strategy indeed. It reminds me of the phrase

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard

Simply put; even if you are new to sales, just make sure you put in the effort. No one is going to rush to buy from you if they don’t know you exist, so you have to put yourself out there. Whereas you can be the most super-talented salesperson in the world, but if you don’t pick up the phone, knock on the doors or connect with people, you are just going to fail.

Humbled by a 13 year old. Never mind – he deserves his sweets (I just hope he doesn’t eat himself sick!)

Janet Efere is a (very humble) sales trainer based in Enfield, north London. If you would like a no-obligation chat about anything to do with sales, please connect with Janet’s diary here 

Janet’s latest Book is available now on Amazon. Small Business Sales Dilemmas features 50 real-life case studies all to do with sales problems and how to overcome them. Also available on Kindle

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