The other day, my teenage daughter asked me to buy her false eyelashes.
When I asked her why she wanted them, she said, “It’s for my school camping trip with my classmates.”
Of course, I said, “Why in the world do you need fake eyelashes to go camping?!?”
I don’t remember her answer.
What I do remember is her sales argument...
“But Dad, you said we should always be trying new things.”
I was thinking... Damn, I did say that.
I tossed back every objection I could think of:
"They’re just going to get dusty while camping."
"I don’t want you focusing on replacing your natural body parts; your eyelashes blink just fine.”
To every objection I gave her, she gave me the most powerful counter-arguments... by using my own words against me!
“Dad, it’s just an experiment... you’re always saying we should try things out in a small way to decide if we like it.”
Ugh... I did teach her that.
“Dad, you don’t have to pay for it. I’ll pay for it with my allowance. You always say my money is for me to practice making my own money choices.”
Crap... I did say that too.
“Dad, it may be a mistake, but it would be my mistake. You’re always saying making mistakes is how we learn. Think of this as a learning opportunity for me.”
I was thinking... Oh, so she actually has been listening to me for the last 14 years, and I’m getting barraged with my own words.
“Dad, I know how important you believe education is; why would you deny me an educational opportunity?”
It is very hard to argue against your own words and win.
And therein lies the greatest sales technique in the world...
Specifically, the technique is to listen to the other person, figure out what he wants, and show him how to get what he wants.
In every facet of life, whether you realize it or not, you’re selling your ideas to other people.
When you start your career, you’re hired for your technical ability as an individual contributor.
When you progress in your career, you’re promoted for your ability to work with, lead, or manage other people.
Anytime there’s another person in the room, somebody is trying to sell the other on some concept, idea, or proposed course of action.
(Make no doubt about it, my teenager was selling to me, and pulling out all the stops too.)
The question isn’t whether or not you’ll find yourself in “sales” situations.
The only question is whether or not you’re going to be any good at it.
If you'd like to be, consider my class on How to Sell Your Ideas in Everyday Life. Although this class has not yet been available this year, I will have a limited release later this month.
To be notified of the release, just complete the form below.
P.S. In the end, I decided to let my daughter buy only one pair of false eyelashes. She can wear them only at home and for one day only. End of experiment.
(And I secretly hope she absolutely hates it.)
It’s hard to get upset at her for actually applying everything I taught her. If you’d like to learn more about how to sell yourself, your ideas, and your proposals, then complete the form below to learn more.
Release of the program on
How to Sell Your Ideas