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Sell, Sell, Sell

Think selling is just for infomercial hosts pushing the latest thing in car wax? Think again! Selling is not about convincing people to buy things they don’t need. You probably sell every day. If your family is going out to a movie and you want them to choose what you want to see, you have to convince them that your choice will solve their need for entertainment. That’s selling!

Fast Fact

The fastest-selling book of all time sold more than 11 million copies within 24 hours after it was released. Can you guess what it is? Scroll down for a link to the answer!

You Are What You Sell

The first thing a customer sees is you. How you look and act are really important to good selling. That doesn’t mean you have to plaster a big fake grin on your face. Be yourself–only a little bit better. Dress up a little and have fun!

Know Thy Product

If you’re going to talk about the value of your product, you have to understand it inside and out. For instance, if you’re selling magazine subscriptions, you should know something about the different magazines you offer and why a customer might be interested in each one.

Listen Before You Leap

You might be surprised to learn that top salespeople spend more time listening than they spend talking. That way, they learn about the customer’s needs–and get the customer thinking about how the product can meet those needs. Keep the conversation rolling and let the customer know you’re interested in him or her.

Instead of:
“I’m selling magazines. Would you like to buy some?”
“What kinds of things are you interested in? Sports? Which sports do you like?”

Objections are Opportunities

“Objections” are when a customer tells you something they don’t like about what you’re selling. Objections don’t mean “no”–they mean the customer is still interested! If you know your product well, this is a golden opportunity.

The customer says: “I like cookies, but I’m on a diet.”
Instead of replying: “Well, thanks anyway.”
Say: “Our cookies only have forty calories each. You can satisfy your sweet tooth without breaking your diet!”

Close for Business

The last part of the process is called “closing the sale.” That’s where you get a commitment from the customer. Always ask for the sale instead of waiting for the customer to buy.

Instead of:
“So, would you like to buy some magazines?”
“Which subscriptions should I sign you up for?”

Learn by Watching

Next time you’re in a store or restaurant, pay attention to the sales people. What are they wearing? Do they seem happy or sad? Do they ask you questions? Do they know their products well? Think of how these things affect you, the customer, and how much you want to buy what they’re selling.



Ask John Paul

Q:  What is the #1 skill in business?
A:  The #1 skill in business is SALES.  Believe it or not, you sell every day–without even thinking about it!  When you ask your parents for a raise in your allowance, your brother to share his dessert with you, or when you try to convince your teacher that your dog ate your homework, you are selling.  Selling doesn’t have to mean going and peddling from door-to-door magazines. You can even practice at home, by consciously trying to improve your sale pitches to your family and friends. Success will be measured in getting what you want!


John Paul Pigéon is a 12-year-old financial guru from Fort Worth, Texas who helps kids learn about money and business. Click here to visit his Web site. Send your question to It may be selected for our next newsletter!



Biz Kid of the Month: Alex Lawson

Girl Scout cookies are so good, they practically sell themselves. But that wasn’t good enough for Alex. In her quest to be a top seller, she uses innovative methods–like singing Girl Scout camp songs to attract customers! It paid off–this year, her final total was 2,002 boxes of cookies!
What do you like about selling?
I like meeting the customers. I have interesting conversations with people. I also like handling the money. I think it’s improved my math skills!
What’s hard about it?
I put in a lot of hours. I don’t have much free time during cookie-selling season. But I’ve won a lot of cool prizes, including an iPod for me and one for my mom.
What are some tips for aspiring salespeople?
It’s important to project a good appearance. People are more likely to buy from you if you smile and are friendly. It’s also important to know your products–if people are just buying one or two flavors, I tell them about other flavors they may not have tried yet.
So you have to eat a lot of cookies along the way.
Yep. It’s a pretty tough job!

Do you know a Biz Kid who should be featured in our newsletter? Send him or her our way at!



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This Month’s Fast Fact:,23599,22123066-1702,00.html


Info to Go

Here’s a great page on professional sales techniques:


And, as always, check out the latest financial info for kids at:

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