5 Things I Learned About Sales Through Parenting

We are a blended family with 4 kids.  The oldest is 17 and the youngest is 7.  Quite the range, right?  We often find ourselves so busy between work and keeping up with the kids.  Sometimes the days run into night and start again in the blink of an eye.  There is no room for the weak and weary in sales or in parenting!

Here are 5 things I learned about sales through parenting.

  1. Bribes don’t work.  I feel like as parents and salespeople sometimes we can get desperate.  We get to a point where we are willing to do ANYTHING to keep the kids quiet or get a contract signed.  Bribery might help your kid stay quiet through the grocery store, or you may be able to close a travel nurse down on a position with huge financial incentive, but at the end of the day, the cookies run out and so do the high paying assignments.  Then what are you left with?  Kids who expect a cookie every time you go to the store and a nurse who is only taking assignments with you for the money.
  2. Patience is not he ability to wait, but the ability to have a good attitude while waiting.  Have you seen a 4 year old tie their shoes while you are running out of the house late for an appointment?!?!?  Torture, that’s what that is.  But patience and a good attitude should be your only response.  The same can be said for sales.  If you are focused on the relationship and helping to solve a problem, and not the sale, it will take time.  You must have patience.  In the end, you’ve built a stronger and more sustainable relationship with your customers.
  3. Learn from your mistakes. I have failed at parenting more times than I’d like to admit.  And the same could be said for my sales career.  What will set you apart and make you a better parent and sales rep is learning from those failures.  You have got to keep learning.  You can’t do the same thing over and over and over again and expect different results.
  4. You can only control yourself. I have uttered these words to myself, my 7 year old, and a lot of my clients.  No matter how hard you try, you cannot control what other people do, what they say, or how they act.  You can only control yourself.  Be the change you want to see, if others follow, great; if they don’t, you probably don’t want them around anyway!
  5. It’s hard! And the times you feel like giving up the most, DON’T!  Your kids need you, and if you are as good as you say you are, your clients need you too.  So don’t give up.  If things aren’t going as planned, try to figure out why and what you can do to change that.  But don’t ever give up.  You’ve got this!

In the end, we’re all human.  We all make mistakes.  Be kind to one another.

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