Women in Sales: How to Maintain (or Regain) Control in Meetings
A frequently occurring dynamic in sales arises when you get hit with a wave of critical self awareness. You take a customer reaction or lack of reaction personally. You are sitting in the lobby and suddenly you get a rush of anxiety. You are trapped in your head, pondering what you may do wrong. Stop! To gain control in a meeting, you can always morph into “process mode.” That being said, it is not as simple as it seems. How do you depersonalize the moment and escape the oppressive self-introspection that you get stuck in?
Sales is a profession that lacks a set of standardized competencies. People do not simply go to college to study sales methodologies. They learn through experience, or by studying the teachings of popular Sales Gurus. However, the predominant field on the topic comes from men and they seldom offer tools for calming the heck down when needed. Let me offer you a competency that suits more authentically to a female mind-set.
You are but a communication mechanism! I love saying that. In Executive Coaching, the rules for handling the process are very specific and standardized with core competencies and this is in order to allow the client to get the most value out of the interaction, be the expert (rather than you) and tap into the far reaches of their own imagination and ideas — rather than yours. Your job is the executor of that process and it is much the same way in sales. I have two strong female entrepreneur friends who have shared a similar dilemma. They are great at what they do but uncomfortable selling themselves. It is simply too personal and feels too self-centered. Even in this scenario, they would still take on the role of process executor the moment they step into a sales scenario. Try to remember that you follow a process that is not personal. You can absolutely make it your own, use your own style and build a unique sales brand but you can always remove yourself from the equation to give you the big picture perspective. By asking yourself what phase you are in in any sales call, you immediately jump back to process owner and take yourself out of our sometimes oversensitive self-assessment as a sales person.
Your personalized process is your framework, your road map, and your state of control as a sales person. It is easy for people to fake being comfortable in a sales role. It is even easier for the entitled old-school sales people to actually be comfortable. Let me assure you that when you have your sales process customized to meet what feels most authentic to you, you can allow the process to guide the sale and use your mental energy in more productive ways.
Rena Cohen-First is the Author of The Authentic Sale, a Goddesses Guide to Business. She has sold in the Food Ingredient Industry for the past 18 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
Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on September 5, 2015.