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All I Really Need to Know for Sales Success I Learned in Grade School! Part 3 of 3


Continuing on from Part 1 of 3 and Part 2 of 3,  now for the final lessons!  

Lessons I learned from my 1st-8th grade teachers set me up for sales success, albeit indirectly, sometimes hilariously (and embarrassingly....)! 

7th grade: Mrs. Cline 

Lesson: Know what you are talking about!   This story isn't specifically about my 7th grade teacher, but a 7th grade boy I had a huge crush on, Aaron.  Mrs. Cline had chosen Aaron and I to each lead a trivia team in a contest to help us prep for an upcoming test.  I was excited because this meant we would be at the front of the class together, side by side. He had to notice me!  And as we were competing against each other, I wanted to try to impress him with my brilliance! This backfired spectacularly!  We each wrote our team name on the board.  I wrote, "NKOTB" (New Kids on the Block for those not as familiar with 1989's hottest boy band!).  He wrote, "Cavs".  I snickered and erased that and "corrected" it to be "Calves" because he clearly spelled it wrong!  Well, for anyone familiar with SPORTS AT ALL, "Cavs" are the Cleveland Cavaliers, an NBA basketball team. He took the eraser and chalk back and re-wrote, "Cavs", while giving me a look that indicated he definitely noticed me but NOT in a good way.

In the sales world, you never want your prospect's to notice you in that not-so-good way. So know what you are talking about!  If you don't know yet but want to do your best in the situation, don't be afraid to say you will find out. You learn as you do as we discussed before, but do be sure you aren't providing incorrect information. This is different than showing pride in your work and knowing you have it what it takes-- this is hubris!   It's better to ask first!  If you don't and you get noticed in that not-so-good way, you won't win the sale …. OR win over the boy! 


8th grade: Mrs. D  

Lesson: You won't always have what you need, so work with what you've got!  Mrs. D had a reputation as one of the hardest teachers in the school.  We were all a little afraid of her. Unnecessarily, as it turns out. She was hard on us because she believed that with a little pressure, she would turn out gems! She demonstrated this with me when it was time to give a book report on To Kill a Mockingbird. We had to turn in our presentation poster board on a Monday, she would review it, and then we were given a day/time to present our report orally to the class. Somehow, from Monday to Friday when it was my turn to present, my presentation poster board had been accidentally thrown away. I was convinced I couldn't give my report without my visual aids, without that poster board!  (I've come full circle on poster boards! 1st grade, I was afraid to present my poster board & now in 8th grade, being afraid to present without it!). Mrs. D took me into the hall to convince me otherwise.  She asked me, "Stephanie, did you read the book?" I said, "of course!".  She said, "Do you know what it's about, can you tell the class how it made you feel, what the book meant to you?"  "Yes," I murmured. "Then, you are as ready as you can be. You won't always have what you need, so work with what you've got."

In the sales world, THINGS GO AWRY!  During a demo, the internet goes down.  During an apartment tour, the keys don't work or 1000 other things that can get in your way. But in that moment, you are as ready as you can be.  Work with your experience and your improvisation skills and do your best with what you have available at the moment. You won't always have what you need, so work with what you've got. 


Recapping these valuable sales lessons.....

1st Grade: Show pride in your work.

2nd Grade: No cheating!

3rd Grade: You won't always be FIRST! 

4th Grade: Sometimes people lie.

5th Grade: You've got what it takes! 

6th Grade: Take care of yourself!

7th Grade: Know what you are talking about! 

8th Grade: You don't always have what you need, so work with what you've got! 

I am so grateful for my teachers and all the lessons learned that didn't just come from the books.  

Just like Fulghum's book....Remember these lessons, act accordingly, and ideally live a more successful life!  

I'd love to hear from all of you!  Did any of these stories resonate with you?  And what lessons from Grade School shaped you?  

Thanks so much!



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