Men say they don’t understand women. Women say men don’t listen. Men say the best salespeople they know are women, but they also say we should stop talking so much and get to the point. How do we ever get any work done with such a big communication divide between the sexes?
Saleswomen have the skills and grit it takes to be top-tier sellers. In fact, many studies show women in sales outperform their male counterparts in quota attainment, retention, and leadership effectiveness. Why? Women have many innate strengths that most men recognize. Women:
- Have intuition and actually trust it. (We’re not afraid to go with our gut.)
- See the complexities in a deal. (We don’t accept the first problem we hear. We explore all possibilities until we identify the real need and the right solution.)
- Build strong relationships. (The ability to build strong relationships is the reason we win. All things being equal—and they never are—clients will always work with people they know and trust.)
Women are just plain naturals at selling. We don’t have to think or act like men to become rainmakers. In fact, many salesmen could take a lesson or two from us. It’s time for women to get out of their own way. Don’t accept tired sales techniques that aren’t working, just because other people are doing it. Instead, challenge the status quo and find your own groove.
Here’s how to get started:
- Ask for advice from people you respect—men or women. Listen carefully and adopt what makes sense.
- Step out of your comfort zone and test new ways of working. It’s better to apologize than to ask for permission.
- Get your voice heard and share your points of view and insights. Yours are just as valid as the next person. Trust your intuition.
- Show up early and take your seat at the table. Then stay there.
Above all, make time for yourself and the people you care about. Don’t let the corporate world gobble up all your energy and dull your creativity. To be successful in sales, you’ll need plenty of both.