#861: The gentle salesperson, Part 2—Letting the little guy get ahead

So, back to that lemonade-sicle-and-cookie-pop stand.

You know how you know when a person is too nice and gentle to be in sales? When she actually wants the other guy—the little guy—to succeed.

You see, when you’re a naturally nice and kind person, and you set up a stand, and the other guy’s manager (i.e., mom) says cheerily, “Oh, X could set up his lemonade stand next to yours!”, what could you possibly say and do except root for the little guy, who after all is only five years old?

As the day proceeded and the little friend yelled out from his end, “Lemonade! Come get your lemonade!”, I noticed that the Girl was only pushing her cookie pops, and keeping absolutely mum about her lemonade-sicles. Sometimes she even directed customers to his table and volunteered information that he had lemonade for sale, when he was off playing. Even at one point, when a customer noticed her sign and said, “Oh you have ‘lemonade-sicles’ for sale? That’s so cool!”, she seemed still a bit reluctant to say anything about them, let alone try to sell them with enthusiasm.

Finally, I had to say to her, “What’s wrong? Why aren’t you telling people about your lemonade-sicles for sale? You were so proud of them, and worked so hard on them. Did you change your mind?”

She replied, “I don’t want to make a big effort to sell my lemonade-sicles, when [friend] is selling almost the same thing. He’s just a little kid, and I want people to give him their money.”

So what do we have at the end of the day? A cooler of rapidly-melting lemonade-sicles which we enjoyed ourselves and gave out to some neighbourhood kids, and a child who shows us that sometimes helping out the little guy is more important than winning.

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