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How To Be Persuasive? Advanced Tips from a 4 Year Old and a Girl Scout

Isolated 4 Year OldIsn’t it amazing what you can learn from children?

I have a quick story I’d like to share with you:

The little one and I were out and about the other day. I needed to pick up a gift for my niece and the 4 year old wanted to come with.

I knew why he really wanted to come.

I said to him “Now buddy, you know that this is a shopping trip for your cousin’s birthday and not you right?” He replied…

“I know, I just want to pick out something cool for her and don’t need any more toys.”

Here we are at the store and of course, everything he sees is cool and has to have. I reminded him of our mission and we got back on track.

We finally found the “perfect toy” for my niece. Then he simply said…

“Since we’re here, how about I just get one toy.” I replied – “I thought you didn’t need any more toys?”

He got really excited then shouted:

“I know, but this is really cool because…”

Then he went on to name all the things he saw on the box. I was ready to leave (after I pretended not to give in a little longer) and then he asked…

“Why can’t I just get this?”

Before I can answer again, he then said “How about this deal…”

He went on to name some deals that sounded good to him. He smiled, told me all the things him and I would have fun doing with this new amazing toy – and then he asked one final question…

“What do I have to do to get just this one toy today?”

The Magic Question, You See

He didn’t realize it, but he actually already knows the “master persuasion secrets”. What are they?

He showed genuine enthusiasm for the toy and having it. It wasn’t fake enthusiasm, it was 100% real. He had true passion and was excited for this toy.

He built the connection because he included us playing together. We obviously had a rapport already, so he built on that.

He talked about all the things I’m going to be doing with this toy when we’re playing together.

If I was speaking to a prospect or writing a sales letter, then this is what we call in copywriting, “future pacing”. What is future pacing?

You’re simply describing a scene in the future where your prospect has already bought from you. The prospect is enjoying the benefits of having and using your product or service.

My little one also wrapped it up and got down to the point by asking… what is it really going to take to make this toy all his today?

Showing genuine enthusiasm, building a connection, getting someone to imagine using your product or service, asking the right questions, getting the answers and using that info to your advantage.

This all benefits you and your customers.

A Win/Win.

That is the True “Persuasion Secret” in Life and Business

You can try all the little ninja persuasion tricks that the “gurus” are selling, but I guarantee you using this 4 year old’s lessons will out-pull those sneaky persuasion tricks any day of the week, plus…

Doing this benefits you and your customers at the same time like we talked about.

Now before you go run off to put that into action, I promised you another kids “persuasion secrets”. This next one comes from a girl scout.

I know your business most likely doesn’t sell door to door, but there are some goodies in this lesson.

You may want stop for a moment, go grab your favorite drink, maybe a cookie (you’ll see why in a minute) pull up your chair and dive into the rest of this. Ready?

O.K. Here We Go…

You may remember… Back in the day, before Jay Leno, Johnny Carson dominated the late night tv game.

One night amongst the stars appearing on Carson’s show, he decided to mix it up a little.


He had a girl scout come on. Now this was no ordinary girl scout. Her name was Markita Andrews. What was so special about this little girl?

She sold the most cookies that year for her girl scout troops.

As a matter of fact, she sold so many that year that her cookies sales record has never been broken. How in the world did she do it?

She Used a Simple Framing Strategy

What do I mean? Glad you asked because I’m going to share it with you right now…

She would simply walk up to a house, knock on the door and when they would openr, she said “Would you like to make a $30,000 donation to the Girl Scouts?”.

Of course, no one said yes to that but…

When they said no to the huge donation, she would ask “Then would you at least buy a box of girl scout cookies?” and almost everyone did.

Now I know this is where some of you say…”Ya Eric, she sold a lot of cookies, but who’s going say no to a little girl?”

That Helped, But the Point Is…

The few bucks for a box of cookies became nothing compared to the initial request.

As I am writing this to you now, it made me think of how I actually used this strategy in a way when I was around 10.

I was in baseball and we sold raffle tickets door to door to raise money for the league.

The 1st place winner would win a 10 speed bike, some cool electronics and get to make the line-up schedule for our team. I would go door to door and tell them the amount we’re trying to reach, which I believe was something like 5,000 dollars.

Then I would say…

“Would you like to help us out by reaching our goal of $5000, by buying x raffle tickets today you get a chance at winning some cool prizes also.”

The $5000 seems like a lot, but a few dollars a ticket seems like a real bargain now.

I actually did sell the most raffle tickets that year as well. I guess it was almost the same thing the girl scout did.

She asked for the large amount needed and then followed up with the cookies which became a real deal.

It’s amazing, my little one and a girl scout are way ahead of so many sales people already.

I’m kinda getting hungry talking about all these cookies, so let me ask you this real quick…

How can you apply these simple but profitable strategies into your business starting right now?

Any business can use these tips, so how are you going to put these into place starting today?

You think on that, take action and watch how many toys and cookies you’ll be able to buy really soon.

About Eric Barton

Eric Barton is an author, marketing strategist, SEO/PPC specialist, direct response copywriter and serial entrepreneur who helps clients improve their results online and offline-fast and easy. You can learn more about how Eric can help your business by calling 262.716.1786. And while you’re over at his site, grab some valuable nuggets waiting for you at Fast Easy Success Marketing.

18 thoughts on “How To Be Persuasive? Advanced Tips from a 4 Year Old and a Girl Scout

  1. Hi…great article. I wanted to let you know that when I tried to sign up for the “Cheat Sheets on your website I got an error message that said it was no longer active. I only tried it once and have to run, but wanted to let you know asap. Thanks for the tips!

    • Hey Linda-
      Glad you enjoyed the article. Not sure what the problem is with the opt-in is but see what you’re speaking about. I tried calling the auto responder company and emailed them to get that fixed. Appreciate the reply and heads up. You and anyone else on FirePole is welcome to email me at…

      If have issues later grabbing those cheat sheets and I’ll personally email them to you in a pdf format.

      Have a great weekend everyone and hope you take action on some of these goodies first thing Monday.

      To Your Success-
      Eric Barton, the “Results Specialist”

  2. Eric,
    I think you touched on the key to sales without really calling attention to it. The key is taking action and actually asking for the sale. Both your son and the girl scout did it.

    Way too many want to be marketers think they can put their products out on the Internet, Facebook, etc and just have sales roll in. Unfortunately it gets lost in the white noise.

    To make sales you have to be a sales person. You have to ask for the sale. You have to ask for what you want and follow up with questions to get to that result. It is uncomfortable for a lot of people to put themselves out there, but that is what it takes.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Absolutely Mike. You may have heard the old saying knowledge is power. It’s kind of true.

    Knowledge is power but taking action on the right knowledge is the key and most powerful thing. Like you said, without asking or taking action, nothing comes.

    Thanks for the comment Mike.

  4. Hey Fellow Business Owners and Entrepreneurs-
    Just wanted to let everyone know if you were trying to grab your cheat sheets and had issues, we’re all set now so you’re welcome to claim them anytime you choose. Have a great night everyone.

  5. It’s amazing to see the natural talents of your son! It must be in his blood – the marketing gene! I love this story and how it taught a lesson and entertained us!

  6. What a great story! That little guy is a monster salesman in the making.

    I wrote a similar post a few years back (I’ll post the link below). I think many little kids are natural salespeople because they haven’t yet picked up the idea that they don’t deserve to profit. And they’re not afraid to ask for what they want!

  7. Nice post Anne. Checked it out and the almost exact thing happened at my door (but with these girls selling magazines) but these girls didn’t ask for the sale or really hint at the sale, but felt so bad for them, that bought a couple anyway.

    The reason had nothing to do with their salesmanship or even the need for their somewhat expressed offer. It really was the fact that they were way too young and adorable to say no to.

    Now if it wasn’t a couple first graders at my door, definitely would of went another way. This is why having the right knowledge and skills in your arsenal and taking action on those is key for success since we all can’t be adorable little kids forever.

  8. Brilliant article! It just goes to show that we all naturally have what it takes to sell … we just don’t realize it! Out of the mouths of babes, as they say!

  9. You got it Karen. I think not only some of us people have it, possible even animals. If danny allows me, maybe I’ll share next time what my dog maybe learned from me when it comes to marketing.

  10. Hi Eric,

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful story. You are right kids are naturally good at selling. I guess when we become adults we think too much & make things complicated.

    I can use these strategies when I request prospects to sign up to receive some free information or on a sales letter. I believe I need to explain the benefits in such a way to show how the prospects life is going to be better by using the product. (Just like your little one explained to you about how both of you going to play with the toy)

    Now, I am not quite sure how I can incorporate the value to my sales page copy? I know I can say that the value of this is X but you are getting it for x or free. But, I am not sure if I got the message right here.


  11. I’m in the process of writing letters to corporations who might be interested in purchasing large quantities of my book to distribute during Baby Safety Month, and your article reminded me of the few simple but important points I need to make: keep it short, list the strengths of the product, point out the mutually-beneficial advantages of this sale, and stress the goal we are both striving for. And the icing on the cake was , “If what you really want is a hamster, start out asking for a pony.” Great article! (p.s. please keep your punctuation inside your quotation marks!)

  12. Hey Damayanthi-
    With your sales page or in any other place…

    It’s important to explain the value not only in price but in all parts of their life.

    Make sure you get the save them x amount of money and make them x amount out there but also…will it save them time or make times in their life easier, increase their x, and so on. It’s important to remember the saying…

    People buy on emotions and justify with logic.

  13. After reading a lot from your site I found myself saying ” you know what…it would be great if you could put this stuff on video.” I love all the great content but my eyes are getting tired and while its great to read, it would be even better if you got this on video for lazy days. Could be that’s it way past my bed time but I got caught up in all your great stuff you have posted on this site and had no idea how late it got.

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