Friday, January 24, 2014

Teaching Kids the Basics of Selling

Understanding the importance of hard work is a crucial lesson to teach our children. Although the point of working for a living and understanding the value of a dollar may both seem obvious to us as adults, it’s only because we’ve probably forgotten what it’s like to be a carefree kid without a career to worry about, or a mortgage bill that needs to get paid.

One of the best ways to teach lessons on money, work, and business is to teach kids the basics of selling. They’ll learn valuable skills they can carry with them, and they’ll also learn about how finances work in the real world. These are great concepts to start absorbing early on, as teaching kids about selling and how businesses operate will provide a healthy respect for money and how it is earned: through hard work.

Consider these ideas for teaching kids the basics of selling:

The best way to learn is to learn by doing. Enable your kids to enter a sales situation. Allow them to price and pitch old toys at your next yard sale. Be old fashioned and supervise as they set up a neighborhood lemonade stand. Encourage them to set big goals for the next school fundraiser, and give them the steps to a successful sales trip around the block (have a pitch targeted at your demographic and show what your product has to offer).

If your kids fail, don’t berate them for it. Failure teaches us many important and vital lessons about our sales techniques and our products. Help them analyze why they failed and work with them to evaluate how they could improve next time.

And don’t forget that you can teach your children about entrepreneurship, too. If they have an independent, creative, and thoughtful side, don’t ignore that. Inspire them to brainstorm new ideas, consider how they can solve problems for other people (and then market that problem), and help them understand how to determine if there is a demand for a particular product or service.

Here are some ideas to encourage your children to learn about selling through an entrepreneurial lens:

· Encourage them to set goals (and then help them define a plan of action to reach those goals).

· Give them a chance to earn their own money via a “business” like mowing the neighbors’ lawns. You might also take this opportunity to “tax” them just like the government eventually will.

All of this begs the question: why? Why teach kids the basics of selling, business, and entrepreneurship? Well, having a grasp of the fundamentals will set them up for more complex learning down the road, and the earlier they understand how the grown-up world works – in other words, the importance of a career, an income, and understanding business and money – the earlier they can adapt to it and start creating good habits that will lead to success as they grow older.

The importance of a good work ethic in children cannot be overstated. When they understand that money is made through hard work and that they can have some control over their future incomes if they dedicate themselves to an idea, they are more likely to strive for excellence instead of relying on their parents to foot the bill throughout their life. When you instill proper work ethic, you avoid raising entitled children.

Additionally, giving kids a certain type ofsales training will come in handy in other aspects outside of a boardroom or a meeting where they need to seal the deal. In the real world, you have to sell everyone. No one will take your word for it that you’re good at something or you possess a certain skill. You have to convince others that you have what it takes. In other words, you have to be able to sell your own personal brand time and time again, in various situations, in order to be successful.

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