Top 50 books of sales training on Amazon are written by men. Most renown sales coaches for the past 50 years are men. Most fundamentals and standards of the industry were created by men.
The most recommended book to read is ‘The Art of War’ by Sun Tzu.
What does that mean for us women?
It means that we are playing the game by the rules outside our comfort zone
Look at the analogies used in sales training books:
– Poker analogy – “Keep an ace up your sleeve”.
– Sports analogies – ‘Game plan’, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
– Military terms – like ‘Sales machine’, “Aim”, “Targeting customers”, ‘Keep your powder dry’.
Commonly used word in sales is ‘objection’. One of the meanings of ‘objection’ is ‘opposition’. A war. Two sides. Winners and losers. Overtaking, overpowering, overcoming. Get your arsenal of techniques, push through your fears, detach from your feelings so they don’t get in a way, go on the “field”.
Yes, women have adopted the terminology, but how is it really relatable? How does it feel? Intimidating and scary? Or a bit too much?
Could that be the reason women are less likely to apply for sales positions?
So how can we look at sales differently? See in it not as opposition but as unity, collaboration, connection and closeness?
Esoteric? Conceptual? Maybe now. But it is the future of the sales industry. In the world where customers are becoming wiser, smarter and well-informed you need to connect their hearts and emotions. Your authenticity, your real story, your passion, your deep emotions need to come to the surface and expose inner vulnerability.
Your real emotions and understanding of them will lead you to success.
People connect with emotions. We respond with our emotions first, logic comes after. How can you appeal and ‘sell’ to emotions without first connection to them?
If you look at sales as a ‘battle’, you’ll push your emotions aside. Suppress them in order to stay cold, calculated and focused. In poker, emotions are pretty much banned. Poker face is put on and the best bluff wins. Great to sharpen the mind. Not so great to deeply connect.
And please, can we stop referring to our audience as “targets” in sales and marketing!
A target is something you shoot at. Something you want to destroy, not provide value by delivering the best product or service. How about “customers”? … Or “intended audience”… I am sure we can come up with a more peaceful term.
Now more and more women influence the world of sales marketing. I wonder how the sales industry would look like a few years from now when top trainers were women?