Updated: Nov 28, 2021
Should we try to be more like kids when we sell our products and services?
“Well, yeah, think about it,” said Art Sobczak in a recent interview with Freedom Media Network founder Curt Mercadante. “Kids are insensitive to noes because they will ask and ask and ask, and they'll act like they're deaf. And even if they give up with one decision-maker, they'll go to the other decision-maker. So, the noes don't deter them.
“And they're certainly not afraid to ask for money. And actually, some kids really never get out of that because my adult kids still know how to do that.”
Sobczak is the author of Smart Calling: Eliminate the Fear, Failure, and Rejection of Cold Calling.
Why don’t many adults have the same attitude?
“I think what happens is as people get older, they start listening to the stories that are told about some things where as kids, we were not listening to these false stories,” he added. “So, we hear things about being rejected, and ‘you shouldn't ask for things’, and ‘you shouldn't put yourself out there’. And people are afraid of being made fun of.”
Sobczak says this is counter to what it takes to succeed in sales, where “unless you're putting yourself out there, unless you're being proactive, and unless you're initiating contact, and asking questions, and asking for decisions, you're probably going to be pretty poor.”
“As Zig Ziglar said,” he added. “Shy salespeople have skinny kids."
Sobczak said part of the problem is the “negative labels” that are attached to sales, which he said is “the greatest profession in the world.”
“You look at things like rejection, cold calling, get past the screener, overcome objections,” he said. “All those things are negative and/or adversarial. And what I believe is, let's tell ourselves better stories because we have a chance to tell ourselves great stories every day.”
It’s inevitable that some negative things are going to happen “if we’re putting ourselves out there, making contact, and making offers,” said Sobczak. But, he said, the successful salespeople are those who can find the positive in less-than-stellar situations.
“Many people will look at it as, ‘Okay, well, it was something that didn't work. At least I learned something on this call. At least I attempted this,” he said. “So, I got some mini wins along the way, and plus, I might've planted a seed for the future."
What does Sobczak think about the “sales gurus” who say salespeople should learn to “love” rejection.
“Well, I'm no psychologist, but I would think that that is not possible. Right?” he said, using the example of his first-ever job at age fourteen, in which his manager was “your stereotypical boiler room sales manager.
“I think he was probably drunk half the time. He's running up and down the aisles like a madman saying, ‘You got to love rejection. You've got to eat it for breakfast,” recalled Sobczak. “And even at that young age, I'm thinking, ‘If I love something, I want more of it.’ And I didn't want more of what he was calling ‘rejection.
“So, I think that is just absolutely ridiculous. Let's get the word ‘rejection’ totally out of our language as relates to what we're doing in sales.”
Watch Sobczak’s full conversation with Mercadante by clicking here.