Women have unique strengths that, when tapped into, have a powerful impact in selling, such as compassion, collaboration, and empathy. The vast majority of sales and leadership training has been geared toward helping women succeed by following male success techniques. We have spent years being indoctrinated into believing that fitting into a male mold is the path to success, and have therefore learned how to fit in. Research indicates that finding your unique voice and authentic self is the best path to success. Finding your true self, however, is not as easy as it seems.
The theory of universal archetypes made popular by Carl Jung states that all personalities represent an aspect of universal consciousness that hold within each an inherent potential. Many goddesses who personify this greatness are evident in the business world. You can easily see Athena the Wise taking charge in meetings, or Demeter the Primordial Mother uncovering and protecting the needs of her customer. Tapping into your goddess or goddesses is a powerful way to gain access to the potential that lies within us. But the one Goddess that I look to most for persuasion techniques is Peitho. The daughter of Aphrodite and wife of Hermes, she was known for powerful persuasion, presentation, and influence. Peitho's symbol is a white dove.
A great way to build trust with your customer is to begin presentations or discussions with an undeniable truth. Eric Lafholm, a scripting expert, uses this as another one of his powerful scripting techniques. Make a statement that your customer would indeed agree with, as it is evidently true. An example would be "Women are less represented in C-level ranks than men." That's pretty easy to believe, even if you live under a rock.
Truth Language Pattern
In The Psychology of Persuasion, Kevin Hogan also mentions using a "Truth Language Pattern." It is essentially kicking off the rhythm of a "yes answer" conversation, the type that I imagine you would see in a church sermon. It is pretty powerful, and therefore I would reiterate that all sales techniques should only be used with the highest integrity in mind: "Woman are less represented in C-level ranks than men. Women in business have utilized male-authored success techniques for decades." Yes, yes. Can I get a Hallelujah? "Women are more successful in business when they lead using their authentic style. Women can benefit from The Authentic Sale to unleash their true sales goddesses."
Manifesting the Next Step
After I complete an informal presentation, I love to ask the million-dollar question: "I'm curious to know, what do you see as the next step?" This is my favorite technique of all! If they cannot answer this question (for any number of reasons or objections), then you can ask the following: "I see. Out of curiosity, if that issue (the budget, the personal change, the holidays) were resolved, then what would the next step be?" This is what I call manifesting the next step. Each step has life, and even when you have a conversation about hypothetical next steps, life has just been given to it. This wonderful step helps take your customers out of their own limitations and into a place of options, and play. It helps them see the next steps, even when they are facing a barrier.
The next time that you need to deliver a persuasive presentaion, remember Peitho--my friend and yours. 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