At the same time, I know why they feel that way.
Women are nurturers; we help, we give, we do the right thing, we put others first, especially over making money or profit. It’s part of our values system. I personally believe this is one of the biggest reasons women struggle with sales. I have found that women price their services low or give discounts to products when they don’t need to. Or worse, they want to give everything away for free.
That is not sales.
Sales is about believing in the value you provide.
Sales is the value your product provides to your customers.
When you believe your product is priced fairly, you won’t have a problem selling. When you believe you as person provide value to your clients—you won’t have a problem selling.
Sales is helping and serving others. As women, we must reprogram our mind to accept and believe this as fact—period.
Women: Designed to Sell
Sales isn’t a cut and dry thing. It’s very intuitive. The best sales people build strong relationships, strive to help, serve, and add value to their clients.
All of this is already built into a woman’s DNA!
We spend every minute of our day serving our family and community.
We were born to juggle it all. From the minute our eyes open, it’s about taking care of our kids, husbands, homes, clients, bosses, community, civic and philanthropic organizations.
We do it all… and we love it!
By changing how we look at sales, from pushing things onto people to caring, helping, and serving, we find out that we’re already doing all of that.
Then sales becomes the world’s best profession. And it’s perfect for women. Women should be selling…based on their values.
Not men’s values, but women’s values.
The Scary Five Letter Word; S-A-L-E-S
This paradigm of selling with a masculine approach prevents women from using their own strengths to sell. Creating a masculine environment of competitiveness, aggressiveness, being a strong closer, doesn’t work well for women. Many companies don’t focus on this concept and for this reason are not maximizing and celebrating women’s strengths in the sales profession. So many women believe they could never be successful in sales because of this.
And it’s only made worse when we see so many unethical practices in business—mostly greed and putting profits over doing the right thing. Based on my experiences and research that is published, men are more willing to compromise their values to make money and be successful. If a woman wants to succeed in business, she’ll inevitably be put in a compromising and/or unethical situation to be successful.
I Drank the Corporate Kool-Aid
As a woman in sales for over seventeen years, I was a victim of this conflict. When I reflect on my experiences in sales, I can truthfully admit, I became numb to some of my values and ethics in order to be successful. I did things I felt uncomfortable with. I became consumed with making money and being successful… only to feel bad about myself.
There’s this culture there that makes you think, in order to be successful, you must work insane hours, do whatever it takes, sell more every quarter, make more money! And if you don’t, then sales isn’t for you. Based on that culture I thought it was okay and that was who I needed to be.
Instead, when I was focused on building relationships, teaching, serving, helping others, and solving problems, I loved it!
And guess what? I was still selling!
Sadly, these moments were always overshadowed by doing whatever it took to hit my numbers. The men I was working for didn’t want to hear about that gushy stuff.
It was all about winning.
Ethics and Values
Ethics and values are very important to women. This is why I left that environment, because I took a hard look at myself and realized it didn’t align with my personal values—who I wanted to be. Corporate America still doesn’t allow us to have a work life balance in order to raise a family.
If women perceived sales practices as more ethical, they would be more willing to enter this profession. It can be one of the most rewarding and flexible jobs for a woman. Women need flexibility. We juggle so much in life that without it, nothing would ever get done.
Profit with Purpose
When the focus shifted to competitiveness and quotas over doing the right thing for our customers, business practices stop feeling natural to me. In fact, based on a women’s value system, this is unnatural to all women. It may feel natural over time, but it takes a long time to get there. And when you’re doing something unnatural to you, you’re not going to be giving it your all.
The problem is most corporations and their leadership (mostly compiled of men) would see that as a weakness.
When will Corporate America embrace women for who we are?
We are different from men, and so we sell different than men.
What Makes Us Good at Sales?
We are Emotional—We truly care about the well-being of our clients. Our relationships with our clients run deep. They become our friends and we treat them like family.
We are Uncompromising—When I start to think/act more like a man, it starts to feel uncomfortable. When we do things that are unethical or go against our values, it makes it difficult to focus and enjoy the “success” that comes with it. There were times that I hated it and it was because I was compromising my values. But when I didn’t compromise my values and made the sale, I truly enjoyed the success that came with because my client was taken care of as well.
We are Intuitive—Women empathize very easily with others. And we can tell when someone’s not being genuine with us. We can tell when our customers are experiencing problems and need our help. We are more focused on making a difference than winning.
I’m not saying we don’t need men in this profession. Like all professions when both women and men are involved, and allowed work according to their values, it creates a healthy environment. Women bring in attributes that men don’t have. Men have great attributes that women don’t have. Attributes like the unwavering ability to close the deal or ask for business, to name a couple.
Women Should Be Selling
Why aren’t there more women in sales then? The answer is very simple: Our American Society has taught us if you want to be successful in business, you must act like a man. You must adapt to a man’s value system.
That’s changing though.
In order for it to change there needs to be more saleswomen out there selling. And not selling like a man but selling emotionally, uncompromisingly, and intuitively.
I am so passionate about this topic that I have based my business on this idea.
It’s not only to get more women into sales, but because we are needed to change the perception of this profession as more ethical. To make that happen we need to change the perception of women in sales. We need to make sales less scary. We need to transition away from the idea that only men are good at this and towards the belief that women are designed for sales and running businesses.
To do this, it’s very simple…
Women should be selling.