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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Really he asked me to add this. He is still trying to market.