250 adults attended a conference, each in pursuit of making connections to bring their business, service, dream, product or idea to life. Another attendee had brought her 5-year old son, Gabriel, with her to the week-long event.

One evening, while seated for dinner, Gabriel walked over to my table and stood next to my chair. He was small for his age, and his head barely crested the top of the table. But height and size had nothing to do with Gabriel’s spirit.

Pint-sized Gabriel clearly and calmly proclaimed: “My business is, I draw pictures that you can put on your refrigerator with magnets. Give me a 10, a 20 or a hundred.” Then he stood there. Silent, serious, and waiting for a reply.

Now, what do you say to a 5-year old who you certainly don’t want to disappoint, but at the same time you don’t want to reach into your wallet and give away what would amount to the equivalent of payment for a week’s worth of groceries?

So, I asked, “What can I get for a dollar?”

Gabriel tilted his head down and pondered my response for no more than three seconds. He then looked up at me with a big smile and said, “Nothing.”

Maintaining that big smile, he walked over to another table. Within 3 days, 5-year old, Gabriel, had $400 in his pocket!!!


Let’s examine Gabriel’s strategy:

The Offer

Gabriel’s offer was: “I draw pictures that you can put on your refrigerator with magnets.”

When you read this pitch, can you immediately see an image in your mind? Yes. Absolutely. You can see a picture on your refrigerator. The visual is clear. There’s no ambiguity about what he is offering.

The Ask

Gabriel’s ask was: “Give me a 10, a 20 or a hundred.”

Was there any doubt about his price point? Any ambiguity? No, not at all. He was clear and concise.

Holding His Value

When I asked Gabriel what I could get for a dollar, was he willing to compromise his value? Absolutely not! Not only was he not willing to compromise his value, but when he said, “no,” he had a big smile on his face.

Not Getting the Result He Wanted

When Gabriel wasn’t able to get what he wanted, did he feel like a failure? Did he give up on his dream? Or did he have a meltdown or a pity party? Again, no. Not at all. What did he do instead? He walked to another table with a big smile on his face and asked again.

End Result?

$400 in the pocket of a five-year old!

This story is courtesy of Randy Peyser the Founder and CEO of Author One Stop.
Randy edits and ghostwrites books and sells manuscripts to publishers.

Too often our desire for sales causes us to spend time trying to talk people into what we want them to do.  It is too costly and almost never works.  Sales is a lot more productive if we focus on finding people who want to buy what we offer.

This same concept applies in many other areas also.

If you’d like to talk about this more, you can contact me here.



“Simple and to the point is always the best way to get your point across.”

– Guy Kawasaki

Leave a Comment