Is Santa Claus real? I say yes. But, I have been “sold” on Santa for many years. 44 years to be exact. But, I was not always so convinced. Perhaps, the greatest “sales job” of them all just might be the never-ending quest my Mother placed on “selling Santa” to my two brothers and I for over 40 years. The “Santa Sell” is still alive today in homes around the world.
My Mom believes in Santa Claus. Period. She will undoubtedly ask what Santa brought me this year on Christmas day. For as long as I can remember my Mom would purposely wrap gifts in different wrapping paper with bright labels that proclaimed they were To: Ryan, From: Santa. She was very quick to point out that the wrapping paper was so unique and pretty. Such great wrapping paper they have at the North Pole she would say. As a young boy, there were many unique occurrences that made me question my ever-growing doubt about the legitimacy of Santa. One Christmas eve we had returned home from my Grandpa Dohrn’s house when a most authentic Ho, Ho, Ho was heard from the family room one story below. I quickly looked down the stairs and saw no one. Almost as quickly my father appeared next to me on the second floor as it to quietly proclaim his innocence as the “Sales Assistant” to this “sales plan”. There is no way that he could have played the role of Santa and then appeared right next to me. He clearly saw the question forming in my mind. Like many of my sales clients I needed to “think about it” overnight.
Is the selling of Santa to our children perhaps the greatest sales job of all time? Lets compare the “Santa sell” to what we sell every day.
Step #1: Pre-sales marketing is critical to your success as a sales professional: Maybe you remember the days as a kid of circling toys in the Sears catalog? My Mom would often put the catalog in our little hands months in advance. Coincidence? I think not. (I was born in 1972. I’m not that old. Lol.)
Step #2: Persistence pays off when selling anything: There was of course the constant reminder of the Naughty and Nice List. I was the oldest of three boys. This reminder happened every day. Mom used persistence to keep the sales message alive. Coincidence? I think not.
Step #3: Sales marketing reinforcement is critical during all phases of the sales process: What about the visit to sit on Santa’s lap? Was it a coincidence that you were taken to the mall by your Mother to have your photo taken with Santa in a massive retail establishment? Wait, what about Santa reinforcing the sales message while you sat on his lap? Coincidence? I think not.
Step #4: The negotiation of the deal: As a young child I did not know our financial status, nor did I care, because I felt rich every Christmas morning. But, prior to that big reveal my Mom would begin the process of “gift negotiation”. She would remind me that Santa wants to bring me all I request, but his elves can only make so many toys each year. She was managing my expectations too. Well-done Mom. Coincidence? I think not.
Step #5: Closing the deal: The night before Christmas the tradition of cookies and milk for Santa was my Moms way of brining the deal to the table. The Santa Sell rested on her ability to convince three boys that some fat dude was coming down the chimney bringing us gifts from a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer. You know the story. Huge sell! Coincidence? I think not.
Step #6: Delivering on what you sold: A ton of preamble goes into Christmas morning for many families. My mother has ten boxes of “stuff” that needed to come up from the basement for the big morning. My father also worked hard on clues for a treasure hunt. We had to solve clues to find our last gift which was usually something that cost way more than we could afford, but they some how bought it. Pure joy is how I describe Christmas morning at the Dohrn house. Coincidence? I think not.
If you factor in all of the above, you will see that my Mother is the best sales person ever. If you ever question your ability to sell think about this… thousands of loving adults sell the idea of Santa to millions of children each year. If they can pull off that sales miracle year in and year out… your sales job should be a piece of cake, or Christmas pie.
No matter how you celebrate this holiday season I hope that you will find the humor and love in this blog post.
Merry Christmas to you all and thank you for allowing me to be a part of your sales training life in 2016.
About this blogger:
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Ryan Dohrn is an award winning ad sales training coach, a nationally recognized internet sales consultant and in international motivational speaker. He is the author of the best selling ad sales book, Selling Backwards. Ryan is the President and founder of Brain Swell Media and 360 Ad Sales Training, a boutique ad sales training and sales coaching firm with a detailed focus on ad sales training, internet consulting and media revenue generation. Ryan is also the Publisher of http://salestrainingworld.com">Sales Training World.
Ryan R. Dohrn
360 Ad Sales Training and Strategy
Brain Swell Media LLC
Follow him on Twitter.com/ryandohrn for daily tips and advice.