Today my son participated in an Economics Fair in his third grade classroom. Here, burgeoning sales reps were born. Over the past few months, students earned fake money for things such as good behavior and turning assignments in on time. The economics lessons ramped up several weeks ago when weekly taxes were put into place and students started being required to pay rent on their desk each Friday. The lesson culminated in a swap meet type fair today. Students created their own desk-top store and made or bought goods to sell and buy.
I helped my son bring in his wares this morning and had the chance to witness the fair set-up take place. The kids were excited. I heard all sorts of sales pitches, advice offerings, and pep talks taking place between classmates. One kid was instructing another on how to bundle items to increase sales. Another was discussing pricing strategies with the kid in the next desk. The energy in the room was higher than the volume level.
This witnessing of a third grade Economics Fair left me reflecting back on EcSell’s Sales Coaching Summit held earlier this month. Here are a few of my connections:
- Today reaffirmed the importance of the simple colleague interaction and networking that is done at EcSell’s Sales Coaching Summit. Just like my son’s class today, Summit attendees sell different products. The core of the work that is being done, however, is the same. We can share experiences and strategies as well as gather advice and pick up new ideas from our peers. Just like today, this is an interaction that generates energy. We coach each other when we have interactions. We learn things. We shouldn’t discount how valuable this time can be to learn from each other.
- These kids were to talking and sharing. They had no filter. There was no worry about ego. They openly talked about the weaknesses and strengths of their strategies. I think as we get older, this natural tendency to fully share and be sincerely open to whatever feedback we are given starts to shrink. When we really think about it, what an unnecessary limitation this is on our growth and our ability to coach others. Being able to share both your successes AND your failures is number 11 on Kathy’s list of take-aways from Clint Longneckers Summit talk.
- Plans were changed and gears were shifted with ease. If they saw a better way of doing things at their booth, they made modifications. They seized the opportunity to change. To be successful in our ever-changing sales world, we need a dose of this third-grade willingness to adjust. This need to adapt, specifically when it comes to social selling, was presented by Amar Sheth at our 2015 Summit and is recapped here.
To close, the components to improving how we coach and what we need to do to become a better sales manager are basic. Eight year olds displayed several of them to me today. Getting in touch with our inner third grader, whether by networking, sharing our success and failures, or simply being open to adapt, can help us become better coaches and colleagues.
You can start to unleash your third-grade self by joining us on LinkedIn. I double-dog dare you.