Lesson From the 4th of July Parade

by Dave Jackson

We decided this year to go to the Naples 4th of July parade held on 5th Avenue to show our support for our country.  And it was fun and full of everything you’d expect from a small town on the Gulf of Mexico.  But what snagged my attention was the challenge our daughter was having getting any candy thrown from the floats.

It’s a tradition in many parades here in US that the people on the floats throw hard candy to the kids lined up along the parade route.

Rachel, our seven year old, wanted to get strategically positioned to get as much as she could as the parade passed by in all its glory.  She wriggled her way through a couple of families and got right out on the front line.  Perfect.

However, after a bit she returned and we both asked why?  The position seemed perfect, but Rachel said that there was big competition.  A couple of older girls and a younger girl were there at the same place.  It would be impossible to get anything.

We coached her a bit saying that there will be plenty and so she returned to her position.  But it didn’t last long.  After about 5 minutes, she returned saying she really didn’t want candy anyway and that candy wasn’t good for you and she just wanted to find somewhere to sit.

I thought of how much what she was going through was like many of the people I see in Network Marketing, or any marketing for that matter.

They go out and position themselves for maximum exposure, but then find out that’s where the big dogs hang out, too.  And then after a little coaching, they return but give up saying they just aren’t cut out for that, or that they really didn’t want that anyway.

But then, the dad and coach that I am, I showed Rachel that she needed to ask for the candy and people would go out of their way to give it to her.  So, reluctantly she returned to the front lines.

Then it happened.  When a big float full of people with bags of candy went by she looked up and held out her hand as if asking for the candy.  Two people threw a handful at her!  The other “dogs” or girls there waiting for candy were not doing this, so people were drawn to the open hand first.

Then something unexpected happened that really was fun to watch.

Rachel had turned the open hand into something else.  She would wave at the floats as they passed by – and that would catch their attention.  And once she had their attention, she then turned that wave into an open hand asking for candy.

Wow!  It worked SO well!  And I thought this is just what we need to do everyday.  Get their attention, and then not forget to ask for the sale.  Ask – it opens so many doors.

Rachel still has a big bag of candy at home and is proud to tell you the story of how she got it.

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