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Wednesday
Jul202011

The ABCs of Potty Training: Getting Down to the Business of Doing Your Business

To me, being a parent is like being a salesperson- you spend a lot of time trying to convince your child to do things they may or may not be ready to commit to. This starts early on. First, you have to sell your infant on the value of sleep- both hers and yours- and its a hard sell because every kid is different and each requires a different strategy to make the sale.


It's all about understanding your particular kid's personality and adapting your strategy to suit their needs. So  first you try a little Dale Carnegie, and you sit down for a meeting in your child's office (the nursery) and you look around for clues for how to make friends with your child and influence their behaviour. "Hey..." you say, "You have a dolly? I like dollies. Maybe we can get together some time and play dollies?" and you build rapport, slowly gaining your child's confidence. Or your say, "Wow! Is that a picture of you on a rocking horse? When I was a kid, I had a rocking horse. It was the best time of my life!" And before you know it, you're influencing your child's behavior, gaining trust, and getting her to fall asleep. If that doesn't work, you try a little Donald Trump ("Boy, do I have a proposition for you") or some Warren Buffet ("Let me explain this in it's simplest terms"), until you find a way, any way, to get your child to fall asleep. And, once you've mastered that- your first sale- you can move on to bigger, better and more prosperous things.

Next, we have the up sell. First, it's eating pablum ("Boy, do I have a product for you!"), then it's eating solids ("This is our newest innovation. Everybody's eating it!"), and finally it's getting them to eat a varied and balanced diet ("Can I interest you in our extended line?"). And each sale you make makes it easier to come back with the next one: crawling, and walking, and taking both the soother and the bottle away to replace them with something else; something better. Its a process of setting them up and knocking them down; doing your homework and making the sale.  But, in the business world, you're only as good as your last sale, and sooner or later you're going to have to go after bigger fish. And, in terms of selling a concept to children, there is only one Whale: Potty Training.

How do you close this sale?: patience, and perseverance, and repetition.  You gotta own the room. You gotta take a meeting,  sit in the higher chair, look straight into your client's eyes and say: "Today's the day I change your life! Today's the day we take your "business" into the next millennium!" And, if your child doesn't buy it, you make another meeting, and another meeting, and another and another, until finally, miraculously, she turns to you and says: "I'll do it" (more like "I did it," but that's just semantics). And that's how it's done..."ABC: Always Be Closing," my friend. "ALWAYS BE CLOSING!"

Here's a few proven strategies to make that all important sale:
Dr.Phil Method of Potty Training
The Science of Potty Training
20 Potty Training Tips
More on Potty Training

 

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