Basic Sales 101

Sometimes my personal and professional lives will intersect together with all the sudden force of colliding planets.  Currently, I enjoy working primarily from my home office where I design and create strategic education training materials for management teams while listening to my vast collection of jazz and blues records.  It’s a pretty sweet gig honestly.

One of the most common workforce issues that I am asked to address and assist with is on the task of Sales and up-selling.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t work with telemarketer’s or anyone who might disrupt your family dinner to offer you useless shit but, but should you ever need to call in for technical or billing assistance and then end up agreeing to signing up for a new long distance telephone plan or digital cable package, well, serves you right.  Effective sales techniques and tactics then has become my bread and butter in this regard.  I’ve been told I could sell snow to an Eskimo.  And, nowhere, do my sales skills come more into play than in dealing with HRH  on a daily basis.

In fact, regardless of whether I’m negotiating what’s for her dinner, what to wear to school, or just how she’s to occupy her time while I’m finishing work in the evening, HRH  requires some of my more advanced sales techniques.  The primary skill to utilize here I have learned is to offer her a choice.  Just as I might teach someone else to offer their potential customer a choice between a monthly or annual contract, or their preferred method of payment, I offer her a choice on what she wishes her next step to be.  Who doesn’t like choices, right?

For example, I have learned that the best way to negotiate a bedtime her when she wants to stay up late is to give her a choice:  “You can either stay up and play until 8:30pm until lights out, or you can get ready for bed now at 8:00pm and I can read you a story while you have a snack before you go to sleep.”   Bedtime is still a firm 8:30pm, but she now has a choice as to what she wishes to do until that time.  Otherwise, she wants it all; the whole enchilada so to speak.  She wants to play until 8:30pm and then get ready for bed and then have a story read to her and a snack and, before you now it, it’s 9:15pm and I’m missing ‘Celebrity Apprentice’.  Not to mention that it usually ends in tears, namely, mine.  Not winning.

And it’s only going to get worse going forward.  Before you now it, I’ll be negotiating an increase in her allowance, new bikes and ‘must haves’, acceptable and appropriate mini-skirt lengths, later curfews, etc. and so forth.  In another short decade when she turns 18 years old I expect I’ll have needed to up my sales skills to be on par with Zig Zigler.  Hell, I’ll be the next Richard Branson…just with less hair.

God help me.

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