Five Invaluable Sales Lessons from Mom
Among the three children descendent of their DNA, my parents gave life to two successful salesmen. Mom is now 87 years old and still very sharp. As I look ahead to Mothers’ Day and think back on what she has taught me, it occurs to me that she was my first sales manager, with many of her parental lessons able to translate fully into the sales world.
Here, see what I mean:
1) Adapt—Mom is one of those “make lemonade out of lemons,” go-with-the-flow people. Three years ago, I took her to a James Taylor concert out at Tanglewood in Lenox, MA. The plan was to picnic on the lawn and sing along with each of his familiar tunes. When it started to rain. mom simply pulled her chair under the nearest tree, never complained, never missed a note, and kept singing.
Sales lesson: Things are not always going to work out as planned. You can let disappointment stop you, or stay focused on the goal and persevere.
2) Improve Your Skills—It was my mother who first gave me a copy of Dale Carnegie’s masterpiece, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” She wanted me to learn how to listen more and I wanted to meet girls. Both skills were mastered. Wink, wink.
Sales lesson: The number one reason why someone buys from you is your ability to understand the buyer’s needs and then meet them with your solution. So seek first to understand, and then to be understood.
3) Patience, My Son—Farquharsons are known for their short fuses. After I had spouted off one too many times as a teenager, I remember my mom telling me that anger is a waste of energy. Worry, too. I now hear myself passing these lessons along to my girls, though I’m certain with far less eloquence. We spend a lot of time upset and troubled, but then when things work out, we look back and wish we hadn’t gotten so worked up.
Bill Farquharson is a partner at Idealliance. As a print-specific sales trainer, Farquharson applies a fundamentally-sound approach to his coaching, online programs (found at sales.epicomm.org), and live presentations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (781) 934-7036 to discuss your sales challenges.