Women aren’t good at sales.
This is a pernicious stereotype – and fortunately, it is one that seems to be utterly untrue. In fact, according to HubSpot, women are 5 percent more likely to close a deal than men. Another study conducted by the University of Houston found that female top performers outnumber male top performers by 62.5 percent, and those female top performers outperformed their male counterparts by over 73.9 percent.
Still, many women fail to flourish in sales due to some deep-seated insecurities or ingrained behaviors. Whether you are preparing to launch your own business or want to find success selling within someone else’s, here are a few ways you can boost your sales abilities fast.
Sell Yourself When You Sell Your Product
Products don’t speak for themselves; that’s why businesses hire extensive sales teams to close deals and bring in profits. Fortunately (or unfortunately, as your case may be), customers are as swayed by the person selling as they are by the product for sale. It doesn’t matter whether you are selling snake oil or the real cure for cancer: When you are making a sale, you are selling yourself as much as your product.
Therefore, when you engage in sales, you need to be able to self-promote. You shouldn’t be afraid of bragging; customers want to know that you have a history of success, so they will trust you with their hard-earned cash. If no one knows about your skill and knowledge, they might as well not exist, so you should promote yourself effectively when you sell.
Ask for Help When You Need It
Men are notoriously bad about asking for directions, but women in male-dominated fields tend to adopt a similar behavior. In an effort to look strong and in-control, many women limp through confusing or difficult problems when they might have flown through thanks to the assistance from a colleague or superior.
You shouldn’t feel embarrassed to ask for help when you need it. By asking for help, you can accomplish tasks faster and smoother than you might have otherwise, and you can generate camaraderie with your peers by working together to find a solution. Asking for help might also require using tools to enhance your workflow; sales intelligence tech shouldn’t be ignored because you want to seem macho.
Don’t Focus Too Much on the Relationship
It is important for you to develop a relationship with your customer when you are making a sale – but that relationship shouldn’t be the sole focus of the interaction. Too many women in sales invest too much in their customer relationships to the effect that the relationship gets in the way of the sale.
You might have already experienced this. For example, you might have dissuaded a beloved customer from making a purchase, informing them that the product they are interested in isn’t ideal for their needs. Alternatively, you might have accepted a prospect’s “no,” eager to maintain some relationship, when you should have pushed to educate the customer further on the options and features available. You should build a relationship, but you should remember that a relationship is meaningless if it doesn’t result in a sale.
Be Ambitious in Your Prices
When you are shopping, you probably tend to disregard any clothing that falls above your typical price range. As a result, you might be overly cautious in providing prices to customers, whom you don’t want to scare away with too-high numbers.
However, because you don’t currently have a paying customer, you lose nothing when you don’t win a sale. Therefore, you should be more daring when you propose prices to your customers. Then, you don’t risk leaving money on the table, and you are more likely to get the payments you truly want.
Make Yourself Visible and Vocal
For much of history, women were not seen and not heard; they existed behind the curtains of society, toiling silently and invisibly. Unfortunately, vestiges of those old norms linger today. Too many women in the workplace try to stay out of the spotlight due to fear of social repercussions.
If you want to find unmitigated success in your sales career, you need to be visible and vocal. There is no other way leadership is going to recognize your contributions to the sales team without your voice and presence making an impact. Modern workplaces need women to stand up and be heard, and you can do so in your sales department.
Women are more than competent in sales – but you wouldn’t know it. By creating space for your success in your sales department, you pave the way for future women to do the same. Women in sales must work harder to receive the recognition they deserve, but eventually, the world will thank them for it.