Whether you are a commissioned salesperson, a distributor for a direct sales company, or somewhere in between, the fact remains that you are still a salesperson. But as a woman, there are certain things that can help you feel better about the sales process and how you can make it work for you, rather than trying to copy the way the “boys club” does it.
1. Share, Don’t Sell
When you start to think of it as selling, as a woman, you might feel a little dirty. That’s just because we don’t like to be “sold.” So if you’re trying to sell people, you won’t want to because you wouldn’t want it done to you. In other words, you’ve put yourself in your client’s or customer’s shoes and decided that you wouldn’t want a pushy salesperson in your face. That’s fine. Instead, share. When you share a product or service you truly believe in and believe will benefit the client or customer, then all you’ve done is shared good information. This leaves the decision making to them and they don’t feel like they are being strong-armed into a sale. Share your enthusiasm for the product or service and give the client or customer an opportunity to see that you aren’t just out for their money.
2. Ask Questions
People love to talk about themselves. But when you are a salesperson, you have to be interested in other people. Ask them questions about their job, family, etc. You want to find out as much about them as possible so that you can pair them with the best product or service your company has. A client will appreciate the customized approach to their sale rather than using a cookie-cutter approach and trying to sell them something that is incompatible with their wants and needs.
3. Find Common Ground
People buy from those they trust and like. As you ask more questions of your customers, you will be able to find common ground. That is key because you and your customer will be able to relax more when you have something in common with which to discuss. Whether its sports, family, you went to the same college, etc, you have established a common ground. This common ground can be used as a jumping off point to better find the right product or service for your customer. It also makes you more likeable, increasing your likelihood of closing the sale. That doesn’t mean you pretend to like something you really don’t. Be honest and sincere.
4. Do the Same Thing on Social Media You Would Do in Person
Some of your sales and networking, because of your industry, might be done online via social media. If this is the case, then you don’t need to change anything about yourself just because you’re online. Be the same person online as you are in a face to face situation. This also adds to your credibility. Just because you’re online doesn’t mean you constantly bombard people with sales messages. Instead, remember to share and find common ground (as in the earlier steps). And as you stay in front of people on social media because you are sharing and helping, you will attract more people who will become customers or clients.
5. Fight the Fear
We all fear rejection. We all fear that people won’t like us. At some point, we have to remind ourselves to get over that fear and let it go. Why is that so important? It’s important because you cannot be all things to all people. Instead, there is a customer or client out there looking for someone just like you. Someone who is like them and can relate to their circumstances and life. The only way you are going to connect with these customers is fight through your fears and accept that everyone will not like you or your product or service and that’s okay. By persevering, you will eventually connect with those who are looking for you. As someone used to say about direct sales, “Some will, some won’t, who’s next?”
The bottom line is that in order to succeed in sales, you need to be yourself and essentially forget that you are trying to sell. Remember that you are sharing a product or service that will benefit those to whom you’re reaching out and there’s nothing wrong with that. By following the above tips, you will be well on your way to being a successful businesswoman who just also happens to make a lot of sales.
Kim Duke, The Sales Diva
Chalene Johnson: Social Media 101