No doubt about it, a woman's selling style is radically different from a man's. We have a unique set of values, communication traits, and behaviors—characteristics a woman must express when selling, if she wants to feel comfortable and confident.
Unfortunately, far too many women sell in a style that works better for men. This isn't terribly unlike building an igloo in the Sahara; as soon as you lay the foundation for a great structure things dissolve before your very eyes. No matter how hard you struggle, the pieces never seem to come together.
To avoid watching your sales dreams evaporate into thin air, take heed of the following techniques:
1. Sell yourself first. Nurturers by nature, women often spend more time building the self-confidence of others than cheering themselves on. Granted, boosting another's self-esteem is a great attribute—or at least, it is until your performance suffers. Excessive caretaking can cause fatigue. When exhausted, how can you possibly pump yourself up about value of your products and services?
It can be a challenge to hide any hesitation surrounding the worth of what you offer. So before you meet with a prospect, you need to take the time to sell yourself first on why you and your goods the best deal in town. Only then you can look after others, including your clients.
2. Change your thinking to change your outcome. To change any limited thinking, write "Build selling confidence," at the top of your to-do list. Next, block out 20 minutes of uninterrupted time to journal. Sit quietly and list at least 10 reasons as to why your products and services are terrific value for the money. Follow that up by jotting down what makes you perfect for the job.
Each morning, read your list aloud. Within a few weeks this new and improved version of yourself as a seller will become your reality.
3. Leverage your natural communication style. When women communicate, we take turns sharing information. During your sales conversation you can apply the same style…with minor adaptations.
When speaking with your client, devote the majority of your exchange to asking questions. Once your buyer responds, you then reciprocate. At this stage, you briefly share information about how you or your goods will meet the need just discussed. To re-engage the customer back into the conversation, you then ask your next question. As you can see, when you leverage your natural communication style, the discussion flows with ease.
4. Anticipate all objections in advance. To further enhance your selling skills, you can look at the sale from your customers' point of view. To do so, simply tap into your intuition. Once you have channeled your inner customer, ask yourself, "If I were considering this purchase/investment, what buying concerns or objections might I have?" The answer(s) to your question enables you to foresee any potential roadblocks to the sale. The next step is to prepare your responses in advance.
5. Only offer targeted selling solutions. Women need to resist the urge to try and fix every problem, especially in today's market. High on most priority lists is finding the right solution for the right price.
Make it your role to work with your buyer to determine their must-have needs. Then inquire as to what price range they are looking to spend. At the end of your discussion, only offer the solution(s) that solve the real problem and fit the expressed budget. Otherwise, you'll be working work far too hard for the money.
When you sell in a style that works best for you, everything becomes easier. As a super saleswoman, you get to show up as yourself and save the day—without feeling like you sold out.
Kelly McCormick is a regular columnist for SMM, in addition to the author of the forthcoming book "OutSell Yourself." To obtain her sales e-tips, in addition to information on her sessions, keynote talks, and tele-classes, visit www.outsellyourself.com or call 800-889-9637.