When I started out in my sales career at the tender age of 20 it was an all boys’ club.
At the end of the day I was the only woman in a windowless room full of stale male cologne and big egos banging on with blokey banter.
But you know what?
It didn’t intimidate me.
The whole unsavoury experience made me work harder, smarter, as I became all the more determined to prove myself.
Saleswise, kicking big goals was reserved for Darryl (the bloke with the drop-dead-gorgeous-woman-attracting-street-machine) and his cronies.
So why weren’t the other guys doing so well?
It didn’t take long for me to figure it out.
You see Darryl was in charge of the daily handing out of sales leads to the team.
And Henry, the sales manager and team trainer, was very old school.
He was proud to be the number one campaigner of the old foot-in-the-door sales technique and insisted without exception that everyone in his team used this sales method.
(It’s not as painful as it sounds.)
The FITD technique (which is still in use today in the digital world) is a compliance tactic that aims at getting a person to agree to a large request by having them agree to a modest one first.
Waaaaay back in the day it was a popular tactic adopted by door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesmen.
I’m sure you’ve come across it.
Perhaps you use it in your own online business?
(Guilty says she, putting her hand up.)
It’s when you or your prospect sign up for a lead magnet and on the thank you page you get offered a complementary product for a small investment.
And from there you get sent to another page where you’re encouraged to purchase another product for a slightly larger investment.
Then another page.
And then another.
And so on and so on.
Anyway I wasn’t a fan of the FITD technique when it came to promoting the company’s cutting-edge high-tech office products.
Unlike Darryl’s, my clients weren’t one-off sales to “I’ll probably never see you again in my life small business owners”.
My clients were dealers, repeat customers.
I preferred to get to know them first, find out what their needs were and then introduce them to the products and services that provided the best solutions for their key-account customers.
It made sense to me to build trust-based relationships if I was going to be calling on them on a regular basis.
Without realising it I’d taken a problem-led rather than a product-led approach, better known as a solution-based sales process.
And it worked wonders.
Before long I started to overtake Roger, then Rodney, and then Darryl in taking out the coveted monthly sales award.
And I didn’t just hit my targets, I was doubling and tripling my monthly sales quota.
As the guys slowly got their egos in check, one by one they started coming to me and asking for tactics and strategies.
Reluctantly, even Henry joined the queue.
And that’s how I got my first sales training gig!
The Truth is: Women Rock At Selling
We women know that charisma helps, but charisma alone isn’t what makes a good salesperson.
To be a top salesperson you need to build strong, ongoing, deep and meaningful trust-based relationships.
We women are hard-wired to be nurturers and collaborators.
We’re good at making connections, which gives us a strong advantage when it comes to sales.
Being curious by nature, we tend to ask probing questions, listen intently, and have engaging conversations.
The Sales Game Has Changed
Today more and more women are taking their careers into their own hands, and striking out on their own to build amazingly successful businesses.
The time has come ladies to tap into our innate strengths, to build our confidence, and to get out of our own way.
Teresa Hollingbery is a passionate sales and marketing expert and specialises in creating strategies to gain and retain your ideal clients, and convert your sales leads into high paying customers. Teresa is also Founder of Teaser Marketing, Ms. Entrepreneur and Convert Like An Expert, a comprehensive and supportive Sales Coaching, Consulting & Training Program designed to get you setting more meetings and finally closing those bigger, more profitable deals.