Sales and Service: Recession Lessons from a 10 Year Old

A little while back my son created a comic book business.  Now he is only 10 years olds so let’s put this in perspective.  This venture of his is very interesting.  He wants to make money, but more importantly this is a creative outlet for him.  He also enjoys the kudos he gets when someone likes his work.  He has structured his comics at different price points starting with a strip, then a comic book, and last he will create custom strips and books at the highest price point.

The other week I purchased a custom comic strip from him.  I was delighted with the comic he produced.  First he thought about some ideas he had based on knowing me and my interests, and then ran those ideas by me.  Next he asked for my reaction and thoughts to the ideas he pitched.  He even involved me in building out the ideas to ensure I would like the end product.  I have to say I was impressed.  At 10 years old he has learned to:

  • Gather information and do customer research
  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Gain feedback
  • Involve your customer

He provided better service than many professionals I know.  But that was not the impressive part.  Two days later my wife asked about ordering a custom comic.  She said she was interested and inquired about the price.  My son quoted her his standard pricing — $2.00 for a custom comic strip.  She thought about it and then said, “You know.  That is pretty expensive and being that there is a recession going on I was wondering if you would negotiate your price?”

My son thought about it and then responded, “Well I will tell you what I can do.  I will give you two custom comics for $3.00.”

He even suggested giving the second custom comic to someone as a gift or surprising them with it.  Talk about the up sell!  Now that was extraordinary.  At 10 years old he knew to:

  • Have a stand ready for an objection
  • Look at an objection as an opportunity
  • Give something up only after receiving something first
  • Provide value and reasons, both emotional and logical, for buying
  • Remain confident

Too often, especially in times like these, service gets cut and sales people make the relationship all about price.  Everyone is trying to cut back and sales people walk into meetings expecting the worst and they are ready to give in.  They discount, discount, and then if that does not work they discount again.  With trends going in this direction I think I might hire my 10 year old son.   At least with him I know our service levels will be higher than any of our competitors and we will definitely grow even during these difficult economic times.

P.S.  My son said to let you know if you are interested in a comic send an email to  Really he asked me to add this.  He is still trying to market.


17 thoughts on “Sales and Service: Recession Lessons from a 10 Year Old

  1. That is a simple sweet little piece of writing reminding us of the basics when it comes to selling positively and successfully. Other than getting the sale / upselling etc. it is also a bite-sized lesson in successful negotiating, as the joy of business is a joyous win-win situation for all concerned… happy Tuesday! Germaine

  2. Wow! He is already a RAINMAKER at the age of ten! He is a natural! Kudos to you & yours for a well-raised kid. Keep pushing him (and learning from him!). Thank you for sharing this story. It is a fantastic reminder to us all, as each and every day, each and every one of us is involved in Sales & Service… of things, ideas, perspectives, different approaches, etc. MAXIMIZE THE POSSIBILITY!

    Brenda Wierson
    Talent Maximization Consultant
    The Rainmaker Group, Inc.

    • Thanks for responding to my son. I apologize for not getting back to you sooner but we were out of town. We have also been surprised and a bit overwhelmed by the response to that blog post.

      If you would be so kind to give us a few days we will get back in touch with you to move forward.

  3. So special. A 10 year old up selling his own Mother. It just warms my heart to see such love being demonstrated. I cant wait to hear what happens when he is a teenager and he wants the keys to the car.

  4. every once in a while, one sees the spark in the young, of success. you son sure shows the signs of a successful entrepreneur.
    I like also how you have synthesized the learning for us from the real life setting of your sons venture. Great stuff. I especially like the ‘involve your customer’ and ‘Look at an objection as an opportunity ‘

  5. Wow, I used to sell other people’s ‘pre-owned’ comics when I was 12 to my friends and thought that was big. I didn’t have to develop it, research it or anything else. Upsell or marketing was not even something I’d understand at that age.

    I’ll help fund him when he’s ready to start his first tech startup, if I’m not already retired by then 🙂

  6. Your son is a natural… 🙂 I did handwritten and illustrated news comics for my older sister and her friends’ entertainment as a kid, and never crossed my mind to sell them! Wish I would’ve had your son for pointers. Congrats on a bright & talented kid.

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