Some years ago, my parents took my nine-year-old daughter Melissa to Disneyland in California. After a full day of fast rides, food, and fun the trio walked towards Main Street USA and into a colorful gift store.
My daughter spotted a display and grabbed my father’s arm and exclaimed, “Oh look Grandpa, here are the figurines I need to finish my collection.” Sitting on a shelf were a dozen ceramic Disney characters, shiny and smiling.
My father said, “OK, pick one out and I’ll buy it for you.” How could a Grandfather refuse? My daughter replied, “But Grandpa, I need them all to finish my collection.” My father said, “How about if I buy you a few now, and then I’ll buy you some more later on our next visit, if you’re a good girl”. With passion and more desire then a nine-year-old should have she stated her case, “But Grandpa I really need all these now to complete my collection.” So, what does my father do? Of course, he gathers all the characters up and buys them for his granddaughter.
An hour later the trio are back where they started, at our house. My daughter bounces through the door and exclaims, “Daddy, look what Grandpa bought me,” as she dug down in the gift bag and unfolded the paper around the figurines. One by one she carefully unraveled the wrapping and showed us her new figurines.
My father looked at my daughter and said, “OK Melissa, go get your other figurines and we will add these to your collection.” Listening, I asked my father, “What collection?” He retold how Melissa wanted these figurines because they would finish her collection of Disney characters.
I started to laugh out loud. “Dad, I hate to tell you this, but you just bought her the collection. She doesn’t have any of these figurines.” We all laughed because my daughter had just outsold her Grandfather, who in my opinion is the best salesman in the world.
My daughter had persisted in her desire to get what she wanted. Not in a whiny or childish way, but through her persistence and persuasion. You could look at this story in a few ways, yet I choose to look at it from the perspective of a good salesperson.
My daughter convinced her Grandfather of what she wanted. She had a burning desire to persuade her Grandfather to buy these items for her. She persisted when he said, “OK, pick one out and I’ll buy it for you.” My daughter came back with urgency, “But Grandpa I really need these now.”
Too often when we attempt to sell an idea, such as freedom, but we do not know how to persuade others of its’ value. We do not take the time to do the four “Ps” of sales – Prepare, Practice, Pursue, and Persist.
Prepare. Know your target and figure out how to hit it. Be concise and clear. If it helps, write it down and know the steps it will take to achieve your goal.
Practice. Commit yourself to what it will take to earn or achieve your desire. Follow your desire until it is attained. This is done by repetition.
Pursue. Do not allow excuses or people to get in your way. Keep focused on your goal until it is achieved. The course may change but keep moving forward. Take action.Persist. Your desire may be accomplished if you see it first in your mind’s eye. Review it daily and determine to make it happen. Do something every day to work towards the achievement of your goal. Progress is made in many small and consistent steps.
This is a clear example of persistence on my daughter’s part. It is amazing how you can learn salesmanship and persuasion from children who want something so badly they keep at it until they reach their desired goal. The challenge we face is having the same determination and persistence to accomplish our dreams, our desires and our devotion to achieving our success. And perhaps we too will acquire our own collection.