If your kids have budding businesses or they simply start their own lemonade stand every summer, learning sales is an important skill. Kids are naturally gifted with plenty of confidence - “sell like a child” has become a common phrase, since kids seldom hear objections to the sales and continue to push forth, eagerly handing over a cup of lemonade. It helps that they’re cute.
But as they start to grow up, they can start to waver on that confidence. Suddenly, a customer asking a question about the ingredients in their cupcakes may be a bit intimidating. Or, they may lose their headstrong ability to ‘cold knock’ on any neighbor’s door to sell them magazines.
Here are some ways to help increase your children’s confidence in sales, which will help them in their entrepreneurial endeavors:
1. Help them make a ‘playbook’ on their business
So that no question about their product or service can intimidate them, sit down with your child and make a playbook. It will include every detail about what they’re selling, including some hypothetical questions. Help them brainstorm questions potential customer *could* ask, and contribute some of your own thoughts. That way, next time someone stops by their stand or asks them a question, they feel equipped.
2. Help them make an elevator pitch.
Use guiding questions to help them create the content for an elevator pitch. It’s important that they understand the components of the pitch, so sit down with a sheet of paper and help them with the following sections:
What their product / service does
Who they are
How their skills relate to the product / service
What the customer will get from the product / service
What the low cost is
After all the elements are filled out, it’s a simple matter of memorization. Ask them to recite the elevator pitch a few times a week - ask while in the car, at the dinner table, or while walking the dog. This will help them with starting the elevator pitch anytime, not only when they’re ready for it - because you never know when you’ll run into a potential customer.
3. Give them positive-oriented feedback if you witness the pitch.
Finally, the best way they’ll learn is by actually being out in the field pitching. If you’re going door-to-door with them or sitting next to them while they’re on a phone call, take notes. Positively reinforce what they did well - and don’t take this piece of advice lightly. If they finish a pitch and only receive constructive criticism, it can hurt their confidence. So, add a few bits of advice within the positive reinforcement. “Maybe try saying this instead next time!” Keep it light and fun - because it should be light and fun!
Compounded over time, these strategies will help your kids be stellar sellers - and come to love the art of selling.