Selling in B2B accounts is not easy for any salesperson. Successful female salespeople acknowledge the power of their selling styles and how they differ from their male counterparts. That is the first trap successful female salespeople avoid – simply trying to “copy” what male salespeople do rather than acknowledging and leveraging their unique differences.
Five more traps successful female salespeople sidestep:
1. Never questioning that you belong. Successful women are confident about their education, experiences and track record so they do not seek validation every time they meet with a customer or a person inside their company. They know that doing so just feeds feelings around self-consciousness and insecurities.
2. Not seeking praise from others to define your success. These women toot their own horns – they don’t wait for their customers or their colleagues to recognize their sales successes. From closing a large complex sale to completing a successful product implementation, successful female salespeople promote their successes.
3. Not waiting for the stars to align perfectly before they act. Successful female salespeople come to every B2B sale knowledgeable about their product, competition, and the customer. They develop a clear understanding of the customer’s requirements and concerns. They also know they’ll never have complete information around the sales opportunity so they understand how to advance the sale with the information at hand.
4. Not making statements that sound like questions. Successful female salespeople are confident about their contributions and ensure their confidence comes through not only in what they say, but how they say it. They speak up and make sure they are heard. If they aren’t, they regroup and try again.
5. Not taking it personally. In a difficult sales situation when they encounter push back from the customer, successful female salespeople don’t take it personally. They focus on the substance of the issue and how to constructively fix it. While these women do not seek out conflict, they don’t shy away from conflict. Rather they have developed the ability to depersonalize the issues and keep their eye on the big picture.
Just like men, women face a host of tough sales challenges. What we’ve found from working with thousands of successful women selling to B2B accounts is: they leverage their styles, trust their intuition, and believe in themselves.
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