Animals and kids teach us how to sell well – and appreciate life

Animals and children are great at providing perspective on what really matters. Dogs shower us with dramatic appreciation. Most cats practice (and teach) the appeal of the chase. Horses forge amazing partnerships with humans willing to keep them in the conversation. Watch wildlife to gain insight on building rich communities. Have you considered how the creatures in your life can teach you how to sell with more finesse?

Kids are masterful connivers. Of course, it’s not calculated (young kids haven’t yet learned how to deceive), but they sure know what works to get what they want. Ever tried to tell a child ‘no’ when they really wanted something? First comes the barrage of questions forcing you to justify your decision. If that doesn’t work negotiation kicks in (if I promise to clean my room; bathe daily; walk the dog . . .). For each approach that doesn’t work, children get more creative and determined with their next wave of tactics. They wear you down as their passion exceeds your resilience.

There’s nothing like the intuition of an animal, though, to help set us straight on how to connect fully. Animals just somehow seem to know. The video below illustrates the meaning of Christmas (and life purpose) more than most people-focused expressions do. So, I felt it was an appropriate (non-verbal) message to share during the holiday season.

Many animals in my life have touched me deeply. They’re special in so many ways. Witnessing these creatures can teach so much about living a richer life.

Consider the business and life rewards that could come from being more like animals – and kids.

While marketing probably isn’t on the minds of these sorts, they get how to sell. If your message or style isn’t working, consider the following pointers provided by our youth and four-legged companions:

  1. Honesty isn’t an option – it’s the only way.
  2. If an approach isn’t working, switch it up. Cats are artful at getting into things because they keep trying different approaches until one works. Dogs get creative when they want your attention. Birds alter vocalizations for rewards. Horses get louder when softer requests aren’t heard.
  3. Sweeten the pot. Think kids listing conditions ‘if I clean my room and don’t hit my brother for a whole week can I have it?’ Canines keep the tricks coming in hopes of a treat or turn up the cute quotient for a rub in a favorite place.
  4. Appreciation is an incredible selling tool. Dogs get gratitude. How can you resist that excited wiggle and helicopter tail that comes with anticipation? Who doesn’t want to be in a house with kids on Christmas morning as boundless energy expresses their glee, excitement and joy?
  5. Emoting softens resistance. How many parents have you seen respond to that ‘I want it’ holler? Cats can drive you batty being aloof and scarce when you refuse to please them. Dogs are masters at using their bodies to energetically express a wish. Who doesn’t melt when greeted by a welcoming whinny from the barn or pasture reserved just for you?
  6. There’s no substitute for genuine compassion. Kids and animals express this intuitively, and deeply.
  7. Loyalty offers incredible rewards for the giver and the receiver. This comes naturally for animals. People who possess this trait are beacons.
  8. Fun is the order of the day for children and our four-legged companions. Unfettered, you’ll witness a constant pursuit of pure joy by these great role-models on how to live life well. Put some of this thinking into your life work and your prospects and clients will find you irresistible and your attitude contagious.
  9. The unconditional love animals (and kids) express is awesome. Imagine how more effective you could be in changing the world with a mindset of unreserved compassion and caring.

I was dumbfounded during Black Friday through Cyber Monday and well beyond; hundreds and hundreds of daily promotional e-mail messages from people I didn’t know pushing their wares (with specials available only to their ‘friends’, of course). Giving, done right, isn’t about buying. Maybe more of us will look at the kids and the animals in our lives this year for guidance. I hope so. They get the true holiday spirit – and live it every day.

Whatever you celebrate this month, if it includes spending time with people and/or animals that offer unconditional love, you’re blessed. There’s so much to be absorbed and applied by witnessing genuine caring given without reciprocity expectations. These inspirational examples have cornered the market on how to sell with what really matters.

May you gain the gift of a better perspective on genuine giving to help you create the best year ever in 2013. Happy holidays and New Year!

3 Responses to Animals and kids teach us how to sell well – and appreciate life
  1. Randi
    December 24, 2012 | 1:31 pm

    Great article. I agree with all you have shared. Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

  2. Michele Bergh
    December 25, 2012 | 4:07 am

    Another great post about marketing! I love the video – so sweet. I love the give and take I have with many of my clients and feel really blessed to have many deep, caring relationships with them. This has been a month of really seeing all I have in every aspect of my life and it’s been great. Wishing you the best during the holidays, Nanette.

  3. Nanette Levin
    December 27, 2012 | 12:54 am

    Thanks Randi and Michele for taking the time to read and comment.

    Yes, Michele, there was something about this video that really pulled the heart strings (mine anyway). Congratulations on all you’re achieving with your business. It really does make a difference when you truly care, doesn’t it?

    My wishes go out to both of you (and all reading the comments here and beyond) for a wonderful holiday season and prosperous 2013. I’m excited about the prospects for 2013 – and writing some new chapters in my life. Thanks for being who you are!

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