We have all heard of women expressing fear regarding moving into a sales role: "Oh, I could never be in sales." Many of us are, or have been, in administrative and service roles where we've won and supported the sale only to watch someone else take the credit. Others of us have gone through divorces, single parenthood, and the economic hell that has catapulted us out of our fear and into a place of career action. We all sell in one way or another. We sell to our friends, peers, and customers -- directly and indirectly -- in any business setting.
There is a misconception that only a certain type of woman can be successful in sales. My goal is to show every woman that she can move from the supportive roles, considered more traditionally feminine, to the front lines in the sales force. What's more, that she can flourish there.
In Olympic battles of business, every woman is a goddess. The trick is to find out which.
In my book, The Authentic Sale, a Goddess's Guide to Business, I make the connection between the universal sales methods and (non traditional) behavioral models such as the Chakra system, and the Maslow hierarchy of needs. I use Carl Jung's archetype philosophy to describe females that personify each of the common sales behavioral types: Artemis 'The Worker" researching and preparing for her account or Demeter " The Lover" or the primordial mother uncovering the needs of her customer, all equally incredible goddesses with different sets of inherent strengths and values.
There is no place that knowing your natural strengths is more appropriate than the point in the process where you enter into the formal close. This may be a competency that you are less than comfortable driving, and that is great to identify. Using your authentic tendencies to ask for the order will make this much more comfortable. In the close, you need to ask for the business. You do so by reiterating (as you have been throughout this process) your solution and using one of the following closing techniques:
- The Worker will give a call-to-action based on planning, inventory, obtaining documentation, and getting credit terms set up for the order. The Worker might also hand the customer the form to sign or ask the customer to authorize the order. Brian Tracy calls this the Authorization Close.
- The Connector will find out what they can do for the customer in exchange for a commitment to order. This is known as the If-Then Close or the Trial Close, seeking to understand if the customer is fully enabled to make this decision.
- The Leader will ask that the customer take the agreed-upon actions to move the order through, as she has been getting reciprocal commitments all along.
- The Lover will express how much this affirmation of the customer's commitment will mean to her and take full responsibility for getting the customer everything that she needs to move forward.
- The Speaker will express how much this commitment will mean to the customer and continue offering evidence to that end. The Presenter may also utilize some persuasion techniques such as the Time-Pressure technique, with time being limited for the offer.
- The Seer will express how much this strategic partnership will mean to both companies.
- The Knower will express how much this commitment will mean to the greater good.
As a Connector, I almost always default to the If-Then Close, and as the Lover is my secondary tendency, I also can't help but express how much this means to me. First I will restate how far we have come, and thank the customer for their support in the process. I then will humbly ask if they would be so kind as to commit to the order when my company comes through with the agreed-upon action. This highly anticipated and planned-for exchange may go something like this: "I am so excited to see that our service has gained approval through your regulatory department. Thank you for letting me know the price which I need to meet. You have been so helpful to me all along, and I can't thank you enough for your support. Would you be so kind as to let me know if getting your order is possible this week--once we get you that price that you need, of course?"
The next time you enter into this crucial step of the sales process, think about which style is most fitting for you. Know that you too are a powerful Sales Goddess.
Read more in my book; The Authentic Sale, A Goddess's Guide to Business.
Rena Cohen-First has sold in the Food Ingredient Industry for the past 17 years, selling to the largest food and beverage manufacturers in the world. She has taught online business and leadership classes as an adjunct instructor, studied Professional and Executive Coaching, completed her MBA and Served in the US Army. She resides in San Diego with her two children and husband. Her goal is to show every woman that she can become a Sales Goddess in all circumstances. See more about Rena at: www.thesalesgoddess.com