I couldn’t help but chuckle last week when my 11-year-old son Xavier asked me for the umpteenth time… “Dad, what is it that you actually do?”
I know it’s confusing for him, because my 14-year-old Isaiah has asked me similar questions over the years.
After all, I take them to school nearly every day (the only times I won’t are if I’m out of town or deathly ill), they almost ALWAYS see me at home after school, I coach as many of their teams as possible and I have yet to miss a field trip that they’ve invited me to join ’em on.
Contrast that with the fact that their friends’ parents are seldom around as their ‘day jobs’ keep them away from home and I can only imagine the conversations my boys are having with each other and their friends about their mysterious father…
“Isaiah, is Dad a drug dealer?” (Xavier may have given this serious consideration)
“Xavier, how come your dad is ALWAYS home?” (asks his friends because the kids often hang out at our house after school and there I am… )
“Mom, if Dad doesn’t work, how can we afford this house, the pool, the cars and everything else we have?” (asks both boys when Dad isn’t within ear shot)
Fact is, I do work… quite a bit, in fact… albeit efficiently and with strategic abandon. And, I have purposefully structured my life and business to be able to savor these years together with my boys.
They’ll only be young once… and the years are flying by.
(I’m a firm believer that when you look back on your life, you’ll strongly regret not spending more time with your family. Whereas, you will absolutely, positively NEVER look back and wish you had spent more time at work.)
Recently, I came to realize that I need to raise their awareness as to what their father actually does to support the lifestyle I’ve created for us… and, I need to focus on (among other things) raising their business acumen and skills.
So… I started taking them to events where I speak and sell from the stage. Why? Because, this not only provides the opportunity to witness their father in action teaching and changing people’s lives but, more importantly, so they can learn how to sell.
That’s correct. I’m teaching my children how to sell.
Being able to sell is a skill that will serve them for life. Especially being able to sell through cold calling.
(Before the hate mail starts pouring in, yes… I teach them other important life skills too.)
To help them hone their sales skills, they’ve begun accompanying me to my events and selling my books. No, not from behind a table. But, instead, going up to people and asking for the sale.
Beforehand, we practice their pitch, discuss objections and how to overcome them, and I help them to gain comfort asking someone to pull out their wallet or credit card to invest in their offering.
They charge $20 per book or sell two for $30. So that they understand business economics, they pay me $5 for each book (cost of goods) and are able to keep the balance.
The pictures shows my son Xavier in action asking for the sale… and getting it from someone he approached cold.
My older son, Isaiah, also accompanies me on the trips and sells books.
Earlier this month, we were in Phoenix where they watched me enroll a room full of cold prospects into a $1,497 offer and this past Sunday, they watched me enroll of room of cold prospects into a $997 offer.
Isaiah was reluctant, at first, to sell.
I encouraged him to give it a shot and reminded him that, “In life, no one is going to come up to you and just hand you money. If you want it, ask for it, and provide something of value in return.”
I also reminded him about the power of choice… and, how money provides us with options and the ability to choose what to invest in that is most important to us.
And, sell he did…. well (!) … the first go-around.
At the last event, neither had a lot of takers and Xavier was pretty upset (as a matter of fact, he cried because very few people said YES). It was a hard lesson to learn, but that’s business.
Substantially more people will say NO to your offerings than will say YES.
And, this should NEVER stop you from continuing to offer your products, programs and services. They boys took one on the chin, but they refuse to give up. Neither should you.
What I firmly believe is that you are the solution to someone else’s problem.
Someone is literally praying for you and your offer to show up in their lives. If you don’t ask them to invest, you’re not only preventing yourself from generating the income you deserve but, more importantly, you’re preventing others from receiving the benefits your products, programs and services can provide.
Over the years, I’ve been accused of selling too much. And, I take that as a compliment.
Yes, I sell… a LOT. Because I KNOW that what I offer can ABSOLUTELY change people’s lives or businesses for the better.
I can’t fathom NOT offering what I’ve (oftentimes) invested YEARS into creating. Especially when I know that the offering can shave a substantial amount of time off of someone’s learning curve and help them avoid the brain damage I’ve had to endure to learn what I’m sharing.
My hope is that my children choose to do exactly the same (no, not incur brain damage…), that is, create products, programs and services that improve the lives of others and ask people to say YES to investing in them regardless of how many times they hear NO.
If you’ve been reluctant to sell, I ask you to re-frame your thinking. Selling IS a service to others if what you offer is precisely what that person needs at that exact moment in time.
My children can confidently sell my books because they believe in their father and know that I don’t sell crap.
If you believe in your offerings with equal conviction, then by all means ask for the sale.
Keep selling my friends.