He’s 11, A Business Owner And Just Landed The World’s Most Famous Client
Lessons from an 11-year old boy. I love this story that appeared on NPR. It’s about 11-year old Frank who wrote to the President of the United States to ask if he could mow the lawn of the White House. He included a flyer showing several different options (a good idea when dealing with powerful people).
There are so many lessons we, as sales professionals, can learn from this 11-year boy. Here are a few:
- Be courageous! So many sales people suffer from “Call Reluctance”. They think their company is not worthy to play in the big leagues. However, there is little doubt that their company is bigger then this 11-year old’s, and the organizations they are calling on are smaller than the US government! No excuses! Pick up the phone or write that letter now!
- Define your dream client. I speak to a lot of sales people. When I ask them to describe their ideal client many of them hesitate and it becomes clear this is something they haven’t thought about. The result is they pursue everybody with equal rigour. Taking the time to identify the attributes of your ideal client will immediately draw your attention to those prospects that are not a good fit for your organization. It will also help you gain clarity around who influences your ideal customer. 11-year old Frank is not under the illusion that the White House is his ideal customer. He does know, however, that if he can cut the White House lawn, that would give him great credibility with those prospects that he does, in fact, want to pursue. Hence, his offer to cut the White House lawn for free.
- Exposure matters! Even if Frank never cuts the White House lawn, he saw an opportunity to get exposure for his business. The result is 10s of millions of people now know about his budding landscape business. They know he’s ambitious and he’s organized (I love the fact that he has multiple packages for the president to choose from!). Also, he’s been invited by the President to come to the White House and to learn how the landscaping company that has the contract goes about servicing the White House. Even more exposure as the press will be on hand to record the day!
Entrepeneurs and sales people must never silence that 11-year child within. Get organized! Be bold! Be brave! Opportunities are waiting!