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Women in Sales

TSE 1262: Equaling The Playing Field For Women In Sales 

Women in SalesSales used to be a man’s world, used to. The same can’t be said now because women have found their place in the sales industry as well. 

Lorraine Ferguson is one of the great saleswomen. She started her career in the industry in the mid-eighties by working for a startup company. Like many women, she didn’t see herself as a salesperson but her job for the startup company called for it and Lorraine ended up joining a team of salesmen. 

Lorraine’s challenges 

Lorraine was young and inexperienced so she did what she could by imitating what she saw the salesmen were doing. With so much pressure sales, the job didn’t seem appealing. Sales were all about making the deal and sharing the benefits and features of the products and services. Lorraine did what she could but the biggest challenge wasn’t selling. It was her gender. Lorraine felt that she wasn’t taken seriously and several times during a negotiation, she was asked to bring in her boss. 

It wasn’t just her lack of experience and knowledge that became a challenge. She was also conducting herself based on the way she was raised. She was taught that being a good girl meant being accommodating, knowing her place, and waiting for her turn. Lorraine didn’t immediately realize that she was carrying all these lessons as she became a salesperson. When somebody told her to jump, she’d say, “How high?” She just wasn’t being treated as an equal and she wasn’t acting like one.

Women and sales 

People have developed a negative view of sales, women included. It’s not a career you immediately want to join or take a part in. This is the mindset that many people have toward sales. Women are also not told encouraged to join sales as a potential career, especially by your guidance counselor. People don’t typically see sales as an option. 

Another reason why women don’t perceive sales as a possible career is the hiring process. Men are still the favored gender because the majority of the sales leader positions are occupied by men. Women aren’t seen as a fit for sales. A lot of people look at sales as a stepping stone or last resort. It’s the mindset that if you’ve got nothing else to do, then try sales. 

This, of course, isn’t true. There is so much more to sales and it can be a very profitable career. As a profession, it’s very flexible, and women have many natural strengths that are needed by today’s sales professionals. 

Convincing the saleswoman in you

Women can make a big difference in the sales industry for many reasons. They have the right skill set to become successful in this career. It’s not just knowing about the products and services, it’s also about having the natural ability to connect and understand another person. Consumers today are expecting salespeople to know about their businesses as much as they know the products and services they sell. 

Women have the innate ability to connect the dots when trying to understand a  problem and how they might solve it. Women are great listeners and asking the right questions is always a good start in a sales conversation. When women talk to their best friend, they give their attention and they listen. They also ask tough questions to help their friends solve the problems themselves. This can also be used in sales. Women in sales are bringing a lot to the table because they tend to be more concerned about others than they are for themselves. It’s their nature to put others first. Women tend to like to help others and this is what sales is all about. 

Other skills women have is their ability to organize and follow-through. A woman who wants flexibility, to make their mark, to be a problem solver, and to work on her own schedule is someone who would fit the sales industry perfectly. 

Work more, hustle more 

In a male-dominated industry, women have to work harder to prove themselves to the person they are working for. This can be difficult to do but women’s organizational skills help. The truth is that when most salespeople think they have a sales process, the reality is that they either have one that doesn’t work or they don’t really have one, to begin with. 

Women make sure to make a roadmap for their sales process. These questions guide and shape the sales system. 

  • What should I do?
  • Where am I trying to go?
  • What’s my end game?

Women do things in the right order so they have a high predictability of success. A woman with a process will always win over the salesperson who has no real system. She knows how to start a conversation, gain control, and set expectations. A woman with a sales process understands what it is that she needs to uncover to qualify someone. 

Women couple their natural skills with their sales process so there’s no pressure. It’s conversational and disarmingly honest. 

Make the change 

Lorraine had an awakening in her sales career. It was during the time when men dominated the industry and one day, she got angry about being ignored. She decided to make a change and she had an unconditional commitment to making that change. 

Lorraine would go to her sales calls with a voice in the back of her mind reminding her to be polite, to refrain from asking questions, and to let everybody else go first. She didn’t think of herself as an equal. She had to change that mindset by working on her personal presence. Lorraine looked at her reflection in the mirror and observed her body language and how she was coming across. She started to prepare more for her meetings to be able to take control of the conversation. 

Lorraine found that if she practiced and prepared for her meetings, she got better outcomes. She’d meet her clients and with her agenda already planned, she’d take control of the situation right away. The little changes that Lorraine made in her sales process and her personal presence advanced her quickly. She took control from the very beginning of the conversation but then ensured her client that the conversation was collaborative. She wasn’t being aggressive, she was being assertive. 

Having the ability to set an agenda made a huge difference for Lorraine and it eventually became an effective habit for her. She also started ending each meeting by sharing her next steps and she saw how her potential clients would sit up in their chairs in anticipation of that next step. 

Sales for women then and now 

Unfortunately, not a lot has changed in sales in the way men perceive women in the industry nor has the way women respond to this perception.

There’s still some work to do on that front but Lorraine shared that the tide is going to change. This can be credited to how women are showing their male counterparts that they don’t need to sell like a man to be successful in what they do. There’s a level of respect when women are successful. As a woman, Lorraine takes some risks. When she’s uncomfortable, she’s upfront about it. The worst-case scenario when women take risks is that they don’t get to do business with a potential client. Still, the best-case scenario is that they’ll close a deal. Take a chance. Ask the hard-hitting questions and be okay with feeling comfortable.  To make it easier, you can ask, “Can I ask a tough question?”  Buyers are desperate to talk with someone who is willing to really listen and understand what is going on. 

The sales industry is still a challenge for women as they get put in uncomfortable circumstances and feel disrespected but they can also stand in their strengths. 

“Equaling The Playing Field For Women In Sales” episode resources

Sales is a good fit for both men and women but there are three things that we need to work on: 

  • A mindset towards sales and toward ourselves must be healthy
  • Having a sales process/system in place
  • Having the discipline to do these actions each day. 

Women in sales can level the playing field and be competent in the sales industry if they keep those three things in mind.  Reach Lorraine Ferguson via her email or visit her LinkedIn account. If you are interested in more sales stories, you can talk to Donald about it. Reach him via these channels: LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook about any sales concerns. This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals.

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. We have a new semester beginning this March and we would love to have you and your team join us. Follow this link to apply to the program. We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill.

Oprah Winfrey for the best seller in history series

TSE 1256: The Best Sellers in History Series 10 – “Oprah Winfrey”

Oprah Winfrey for the best seller in history seriesWelcome to yet another episode for the Best Sellers in History series. For this episode, we are featuring one of the most influential individuals in our century. She isn’t only known among the African-American community. Her fame reaches worldwide and this individual is now worth over $3.5 billion. She started from nothing but didn’t let that stop her as she overcame obstacles all the way to success and influence. She is Oprah Winfrey 

Sales Spotlight – Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey was born on January 29th, 1954 and her parents are Vernita Lee and Vernon Winfrey. She grew up in a humble community where she was raised by her grandmother on a farm. Oprah entertained herself by playing and acting in front of an imaginary audience. She had her first speaking gig in front of the congregation at church, where she spoke about Jesus and how he rose up from the dead on Easter Sunday. It was the beginning of her knowledge that this was something she could do. 

She’d listen when sisters in the congregation would tell her grandmother how talented and gifted Oprah was. Oprah heard it over and over again and she eventually believed it. Her grandmother was strict and forced her to learn how to read by the time she was three. When she was in kindergarten, she wrote a letter to her teacher telling her why she deserved to be in the first grade. She eventually skipped another grade in third grade when she had to move to  Milwaukee with her mother. 

Growing up in a difficult environment 

It was difficult as they lived in some poor and dangerous circumstances; however, being Oprah, she didn’t focus on the negative things. She kept moving, living, and enjoying life. When she turned 12, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee to live with her father. She began writing speeches for social gatherings and churches. At one point, she earned $500 for a speech! It was then Oprah knew that she wanted to become an orator and get paid for speaking. Unfortunately, she had to go back to her mother’s home and the dire circumstances strained the mind of young Oprah. She became disobedient and problematic. 

At 9, Oprah was being sexually assaulted by men she knew, even family. This eventually led to early pregnancy and losing a baby. She was around 14 years of age when she was sent back home to her father. 

Having structure and expectation 

Oprah’s father was very different from her mom. With her father, Oprah was given structure and the expectation that she would not perform below what she was capable of. She became an excellent student and participated in several school activities. Her track record helped her get a scholarship to Tennessee State University. She was invited to the White House the following year for a youth conference. 

Oprah would also be crowned Miss Fire Prevention by a local Nashville radio station, WVOL. She didn’t think she’d win because there were other girls that looked more like “typical” pageant girls. At one point, they were asked a question about what they would do if they received $1 million. Oprah’s answer was authentic and from the heart and the judges took notice. 

Oprah then went on to study journalism and worked for some radio stations. People liked her so she was then brought over to do television and eventually had her own talk show. Through all these experiences, Oprah Winfrey is the woman she is today.

Oprah Winfrey was successful because of five key elements: 

  • Relatable and knowing how to build relationships
  • Creativity and willingness to act in difficult circumstances
  • Hard worker
  • Thinking big and pushing herself
  • Being selfless 

Relatable and knew how to build relationships

When Oprah first got into the industry, she wanted to be like Barbara Walters. Oprah would imitate Barbara and wanted to be as great at her job. It would take practice. In one situation, she was reporting a story and reading from a script. Oprah was reading the names of places and read Canada as “kah-nay-da.”. On air, she acknowledged her mistake and corrected herself. Oprah was told not to talk about her mistakes on air but Oprah did the opposite. She made fun of herself and made herself vulnerable. Oprah knew that she couldn’t be perfect and there was no point in trying to pretend she was. She wanted to be real with her audience. 

Oprah was also empathetic to the people she was asked to interview and chose not to pressure people who were going through a difficult time. Producers were upset because she wasn’t interviewing people like other reporters. She would see them in their humanity, grieving over the loss of a family member or how they’d their homes in a fire.

Being relatable

Oprah also didn’t have a fear of embarrassment. Because she didn’t have that fear, she was able to do what she needed to do. She was comfortable with being vulnerable and it made her easy to connect to. People could relate to her and that encouraged people to listen to her and to talk to her. 

When her story of abuse was released by a family member,  Oprah used it. Instead of being embarrassed, Oprah leaned into the story, and it made Oprah even more human. People felt like they knew her on a personal level.  She wasn’t just a TV host, she was Oprah, a person like them, and she had troubles too. 

As a sales rep, it’s impossible to be perfect in everything you say and do.  Making mistakes is part of the process and when you do, some buyers may not want to work with you anymore. Or, it may be the very thing that draws them to you. Being honest about a mistake is going to be infinitely better than trying to fake an answer.  Your buyers will know you don’t have their best interest at heart. You’ll lose their trust and their confidence that they are safe in your hands. Be honest and be vulnerable. Be okay saying you don’t know the answer and then be quick to do the research.  People need to see that you are a human being but still ready to work hard. Connect with them on a personal level. 

Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. People will never forget how you made them feel.” 

Be creative and be willing to act

At one point in her career, Oprah was demoted. She was removed from her position of being in the main anchor position and was given a five-minute slot during the early morning show at 5:30, not a popular time for their viewers. Instead of resigning herself to a tough situation, Oprah took the position and dove in headfirst. The segment was a cooking show and while she didn’t have a particular interest in cooking, she was creative. She brought in awesome guests and made something amazing out of a slot that had been previously considered a dead end. 

Oprah didn’t sit back and complain.  Instead, she took action and turned things around. This can be used in B2B applications. You may be in a position where you need to sell in a difficult territory and it’s not as fruitful as the top territories in your organization. Maybe you’ve inherited a team that doesn’t perform well. You may have been given a situation that has been historically difficult but this is a situation that can present some great opportunities for creative thinking! 

The current situation may not be difficult in its own right.  It could just be that previous employees or managers didn’t have the imagination to make it work.  You could break that trend! Just like Oprah, you need to take action and be proactive. 

Work hard 

Oprah worked hard but she wasn’t an overnight success. She didn’t start speaking in her teenage years or her college years, she started speaking when she was two. Oprah started speaking at a very early age with farm animals as her audience. She read books, memorized poems, and started to share them. Oprah worked and she hustled. 

She exemplified hustle when she went to all the churches in Nashville and offered to give sermons she’d memorized. This served her when she was working on a set and could pick up a script and read it right away without having the need to study it. 

Sales representatives need to have the same mentality. You need to master speaking and articulating your message. There’s no need to be flawless and perfect but you need to be able to speak with confidence. Master the principles beforehand, know how to ask effective questions, master how to listen, do the research, polish your look, and more. Anything to keep you at the top of your game, do it. 

Think big and push yourself

As a kid, Oprah wanted to become an actress but she ended up in journalism. When Oprah talked to someone close to her and shared she wanted to be an actress, that if she’d really wanted to be an actress, she’d already been an actress. She had become a journalist.  Oprah was told to have a vision for being an actress and start doing things that would lead her towards her goal of becoming an actress. 

Oprah eventually became an actress and debuted in the film,  The Color Purple. She’d previously read the book and started to share it with everyone. Oprah related to the story and became her character in the book, long before she got the part.  She already felt like it was hers before she was asked. Eventually, she was asked to be in the film and won Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Oprah began her own TV show, bought the rights, and created her own production company. Still, that wasn’t enough. Oprah thought bigger and said she wanted to create her own brand, start a book club, and more. When she wanted to retire from doing TV shows she created her own network. It started rough but eventually pulled it off. Because she was willing to push herself and didn’t become complacent, she’s now valued at $3.5 billion. 

Speak and act

As a sales representative, you need to speak and act. Some say they want to be the top sales rep but they aren’t doing the things to close the big deals. These are the complacent sellers. If you want to play bigger, start with a morning routine, have a vision, and act accordingly. 

Sales representatives need to have big dreams, push themselves, and get outside their comfort zone. 

Be selfless 

Oprah is famous for being selfless. She’s helped a lot of people and has given away millions of dollars. She even founded a school and organization for young girls in South Africa who have lived in very difficult situations. 

Last year, Oprah went to Tyler Perry’s studio celebration and stopped by Morehouse College to donate $13 million for the Oprah Winfrey scholarship program she helped create back in 1989. There have been about 600 students helped by the program. 

Sales representatives may sometimes feel the need to give things, with strings attached, in order to get ahead. You can also choose to act selflessly and do things without asking for anything in return. When you do, you’ll notice doors start to open you didn’t know were there. You could even see your referrals increasing and your customer base start to widen.

Bob Burg has a book that discusses the concept of an endless giving mentality called Go-Giver. The book talks about giving and being selfless. Be like Bob Burg and look for ways to be a Go-Giver. 

The Best Sellers in History Series 10 – “Oprah Winfrey” episode resources

Oprah Winfrey became a successful woman because of these five things: she’s relatable, creative and willing to act in difficult circumstances, she works hard, she thinks big and pushes herself, and she is selfless. 

Sales reps like you can be successful too by imitating the good example set by Oprah Winfrey. 

If you want more stories, you can just reach out to Donald. Reach him via these channels: LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook about any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

We have just started a new semester and there are still few seats left. This semester will begin late this March. Enroll to the program for $549 that would run for eight weeks. Follow this link to apply to the program. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill.

Harriet Tubman, The Best Seller in History

TSE 1253: Best Sellers In History Series – “Harriet Tubman”

 

Harriet Tubman, The Best Seller in HistoryIt’s another episode from the Best Sellers in History series. This month, we will be focusing on African American individuals who have been very persuasive. One such individual was Harriet Tubman, also known as the Black Moses. Harriet was born as a slave but managed to escape and rescue more than 300 slaves. In this episode, we’ll focus on why Harriet was so successful in convincing people to leave the life of slavery, even if getting caught meant death. 

Sales on Spotlight – Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was born as Emerita Ross in March 1822. The exact date was never known because a slave’s birth date wasn’t recorded. Slaves were considered property and weren’t valued as individuals. She was born in Dorchester County, Maryland and growing up, she was beaten and whipped by her masters.  There was one incident Harriet endured when a slave owner threw a heavy metal object at another slave and hit Harriet instead. This injury caused a scar she would wear for the rest of her life and she suffered hypersomnia as a result. 

Harriet had a Methodist upbringing and was deeply religious. That faith helped carry her through the worst times of her life. Harriet escaped to Philadelphia in 1894 and immediately returned to Maryland to rescue her family. She brought slaves out of Maryland, one group at a time, into a life of freedom in Philadelphia. This is how she got the nickname “Moses” from the other slaves.  They saw her as bringing people out of slavery and leading them to the promised land. She was a modern-day Moses who used the Underground Railroad to save hundreds of people.

Drive to help others 

When the Fugitive Act was passed in 1850, Harriet could no longer bring escaped slaves to the northern states. This didn’t deter her, however. Instead, she went further north and brought them all the way to Canada. There, she helped them settle as free people and they were able to experience building their own lives. 

During the Civil War, she became an armed scout and spy. She was actually the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war. Included in her tasks was to raid a Combahee ferry which liberated over 700 slaves. After the war, she retired to her home in Auburn, New York and cared for her aging parents. 

Even after her impressive feats during the Civil War, she kept fighting for rights and this time, it was in women’s suffrage. She was an impeccable icon for courage and freedom. When Harriet Tubman made a decision she stuck to her guns. 

Harriet Tubman’s persuasiveness made an impact on history. It was the following five traits that made Harriet Tubman a force to be reckoned with. 

  • Vision 
  • Cause and bravery
  • Selfless
  • Passion and a strong drive
  • Creative

Having the Vision

Like all the other individuals talked about in this series, Harriet Tubman had a vision. Regardless of what your role is in the sales industry, you need a vision of what you want your life to look like. This vision is the hope that pushes you when things get hard.

Harriet didn’t always have a vision for a better life. She was just trying to survive from one day to the next and hold onto hope.  Her religious upbringing helped to keep her hope alive. Jesus Christ and God gave them hope that they’d eventually be saved and delivered from slavery, in this life or beyond

To fortify one another, the slaves would meet in secret and sing songs to signal one another about where the meeting would be held. At these meetings, they started to discuss other slaves who had runaways to the North and were living a free life.  They began to hear about the underground railroad. 

The catalyst of Harriet’s change of vision

Harriet only knew the life of a slave, not a life of freedom. She didn’t grow up thinking she could own anything or make choices for her own life. Hearing the stories about freed slaves inspired Harriet and it awakened a vision. At the time, Harriet was married to a free man and when their slave master died, her family had the option of running away or getting sold to another master. With the vision of freedom firmly planted in her mind, Harriet talked to her husband about running away. He opposed the idea and even threatened to tell someone about Harriet wanting to run. 

Like many people, her husband feared change. Even though he was free, he didn’t feel free. He still had the mindset of a slave.

Be the mastermind

As a salesperson, you need to protect your mind and only surround yourself with people who are there to elevate your vision. Harriet could have stayed and shut her vision down, but instead, she moved toward people who elevated and encouraged her. She listened to the people who told her stories about freedom in the North.

Even when her husband opposed her idea and others told her it was dangerous, she still went. Salespeople need to be the mastermind of their thoughts and actions. Make sure that you have a vision, regardless of what your vision may be. It just has to be something you want to reach for and accomplish. Don’t sign up for easy. Sign up for what you want to accomplish in this life. Create a vision, surround yourself with people who can elevate you, and seek help from people who will take action.Whether that is to create your own organization, build your business, or increase your sales, just keep going. 

Having a cause

Harriet Tubman had a cause. She wanted to do something and make an impact.

She reasoned that she had the right to liberty or death and if she couldn’t have one, she would have the other. With liberty being her driving force, she put a plan together and ran with her brothers. On the first day, they got scared and went back, leaving Harriet alone. She pressed forward and made it to the North where she claimed her freedom. Her vision helped push her forward.

The same can be true for sales reps. You need to have a vision that will push you forward. This vision will help you overcome the challenges you may face. It’s just reality that deals fall apart but get to a new day where you could close a new deal. Always make sure your why is bigger than the circumstances.

Develop bravery

Harriet Tubman was able to be persistent because of her bravery. She didn’t let her fear get in the way of her freedom. Her husband threatened to tell on her, and her life was at risk. She was left on her own the first time she ran; however, all those things didn’t matter because she had a strong purpose and an even stronger belief. She believed that God would empower her when she got into trouble. Her purpose made her powerful. 

As a B2B sales rep, you need to be brave. You have to be willing to do things that are scary, including talking to “whales” in your industry. Speaking with executives from a large organization takes more than just confidence, it takes bravery. While it won’t always turn into an opportunity, it is a practice in overcoming fear. 

Develop selflessness 

Escaping slavery wasn’t easy. The Underground Railroad wasn’t an actual railroad. It was running, walking, traveling through the night, and battling the elements. They were exposed to potential attacks from animals and they were being chased by people who wanted to kill them. It was a dangerous trip but Harriet did it 19 times and rescued over 300 people. In all those trips, she never lost an individual. She put herself in danger to help other people so they taste freedom as well. 

B2B sales reps need a burning desire to care and help others. This doesn’t mean you have to go back to being a pushy salesperson. Instead, be the sales rep who sees things from the buyers’ perspective. Put the interests of your clients above your own.

Stephen Covey’s says to seek first to understand and then be understood. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes.  Dig deeper, discover, and understand your client before you present your solutions. Closing the deal can’t be your only priority. Just as important is how the client can benefit from what you have to offer. 

Have a strong passion 

Harriet kept going back and forth, rescuing people. She had a strong passion for helping people.  She was willing to do whatever it took to save people from slavery.

Salespeople need to have the same mindset and have the willingness to go above and beyond if they want to be successful in what they do. You may have to do things outside the norm and make sacrifices.

While on the run, Harriet carried a gun to make sure that people stayed committed to the journey. Are you committed to the journey?

Creativeness 

Harriet Tubman was also creative. She utilized a variety of disguises every time she made a trip, even dressing as a man when needed. She thought outside the box. 

In sales, creativity will set you apart from your competition. 

Best Sellers In History Series – “Harriet Tubman” episode resources

Harriet Tubman was a great seller because these traits made her a force to be reckoned with. 

  • Vision 
  • Cause and bravery
  • Selfless
  • Passionate and strong drive
  • Creative

Let us answer your sales inquiries. You can also talk to Donald directly via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook about any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

We have a new semester beginning on February 14th and we would love to have you and your team join us. Follow this link to apply to the program. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill.

Gia Le, The Sales Evangelists, Business referrals

TSE 1207: How to 10X Your Income With Repeat and Referred Business

Gia Le, The Sales Evangelists, Business referralsBusinesses, regardless of size, will always find ways to grow. One sure tactic to 10x your income is to use repeat and referred business. 

Gia Le is from Australia with a mixed heritage of Chinese and Vietnamese. She started her career in finance and insurance with an automotive dealership. That’s where she got her start in sales. In the beginning, she went from almost being fired three months into her job to being the top-performing consultant in Australia’s largest automotive holding company. Later on, Gia realized she wanted to have more flexibility in her life. She looked for ways she could use her skills and pursued another career that would give her more freedom and flexibility. 

She tried real estate for a year and noticed that digital marketing, an emerging platform, was being underutilized in Australia. Four years ago,  the use of social media was just starting to blossom. She saw that as an opportunity and decided to build a digital agency where she made just  $500 in her first month. Today, her agency is growing across Australia and Asia. 

Selling using out-dated  methods 

When Gia started with the dealership, her company offered several training programs. She learned the techniques and rehearsed the scripts but nothing was working. The old methods of selling didn’t work for sophisticated customers who saw sales tactics as insincere. She was in the new world using out-dated methods of selling. She struggled for three months until the right mentor appeared. He pulled her aside and told her not to focus on the sale. Instead, he instructed her to focus on the people and realize they’re more than just selling finance and insurance. 

Salespeople want to solve a problem and deliver a service.

When Gia started connecting and focusing on her clients’ pain, empathizing with them, and gaining their trust using the art of storytelling, she started closing nearly 70% of her clients. The dealership was fast-paced and it was important the salespeople could close a transaction in less than a day. 

In Australia, financing and insurance make more money than the actual vehicle, comprising 60- 70% of the dealership’s profits. Gia learned to never give out her business cards because she knew that was a customer’s consolation prize, that they were leaving her with hope and hope she didn’t pay the bills. She had to close before the client left.

Growing the business through repeat and referred business 

People think referrals happen by luck. Getting referrals is actually all about having the right strategy, being disciplined, having a strong thought process, and making sure that the system is bigger than yourself. Gia took advantage of her downtime as a salesperson when Facebook and Google were still growing in popularity. While everyone else was busy trying to find new clients on Facebook, Gia was busy prospecting her old clients. She understood that 90% of her next sale was going to happen before they even walked into the door. When her clients came back, they had made a conscious decision to return to Gia. They remembered who Gia was, what she did and the way she’d treated them.

Not many salespeople kept in touch with their clients the way Gia did. It takes a lot of discipline and tenacity to follow-up, especially when you’re busy. Gia made it a point to have at least six touchpoints when working with a new client.  For example, sending a gift, making sure a thank you note got sent within thirty days, hand-writing birthday cards and calling on an anniversary. With consistency and automated systems in place, relationships were built. It was because of her dedication that clients were consistently referring to family members and friends.

Build a connection

Staying connected is the key. The relationship began when clients signed the contract. Gia would assist them when they wanted to make a claim due to an accident, enabling her to assist clients with a replacement vehicle. She could also help with the contract and make more money for the dealership. Everyone benefited because she stayed connected and earned the client’s trust. 

Gia’s current team also emphasizes having a relationship with their clients. They go beyond what they offer and know they aren’t just selling products and services but also trust and a promise. They even help clients who have poor credit ratings. 

There are many ideas to grow your sales but discipline and consistency are key when using repeat and referred business. If you decide to make 10 phone calls a day to original clients, do it and watch your business grow. 

“How to 10X Your Income With Repeat and Referred Business” episode resources

Visit Gia Le’s digital agency website to see helpful sales strategies, tips, and tricks. Also, check out her own company site. 

For other sales concerns, you can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let him know how they work for you. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. We hope to see you there! You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

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Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Women in Sales, Barbara Giamanco, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 861: Stepping Up And Standing Out As Women In Sales

When companies make a conscious effort to attract women, it’s good for the business on all levels. Women are often more consistent at exceeding quotas, and they’re strong leaders as well. But there’s another component as well: stepping up and standing out as women in sales.

On today’s episode, we’re talking with Barbara Giamanco, host of the Conversations With Women In Sales podcast. Her lifelong passion to help women in business has led her to try to impact the presence of women in sales by influencing the women and the businesses who hire them.

The case for women

In a global report called Gaining the Talent Advantage, researchers found that 62 percent of companies who have 45 percent or more women in their ranks drove higher-than-average levels of profitable revenue.

Having a more diverse team makes it easier for you to connect with people on multiple levels. There’s a case to be made for the money.

The problem isn’t simply that companies aren’t hiring women. Some women hesitate to lean in to new opportunities.

Barbara said that women often put their heads down and work, expecting that someone will notice their efforts. That may or may not be true.

On her Razor’s Edge podcast, men make up 98 percent of the people who request to appear. They have no problem asking to be noticed, while women aren’t as comfortable.

Women often doubt their expertise and downplay what they have to offer. They also fear that pointing out their own successes will be perceived as bragging.

Sharing your experiences is good for the entire sales community, including the men. What you’re doing could impact others in a tremendous way.

Where to start

Organizations can begin by prioritizing women in management and leadership roles.

Barbara is quick to point out this doesn’t mean giving them jobs.

Organizations should choose women who are good at their jobs. Look for talented women and nurture their careers.

Additionally, women need to acknowledge their desires to progress in their careers. Instead of assuming that people will notice your success and consider you for promotion, let your leaders know where your interests lie.

When positions open, the hiring parties likely already have candidates in mind. Let your leadership know that you’d like to be considered for other positions.

Volunteer for special projects. Familiarize yourself with departments outside of your own. If you recognize a recurring problem, ask if you can put together a team to seek solutions to the problem.

If you’re a leader with female employees who want to advance, include them in special projects and encourage them to volunteer for things.

Employees in every organization have a responsibility to ensure its health and success.

“Standing Out As Women In Sales” resources

Connect with Barbara on Twitter @barbaragiamanco.

Find her on LinkedIn, and connect with her blog at barbaragiamanco.com. You can also find her on the Women in Sales Hub.

Call her at (404) 647-4925, because she’s still a big fan of the telephone.

You can find her podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and multiple other platforms.

There’s a reason I continue suggesting the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happenfrom our sponsors at Wiley. It’s a fantastic blueprint of all the things buyers say they expect from sellers and want from sellers.

I’m so convinced of its message that I’m offering a free excerpt of the book so you can check it out.

Leave us a review wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

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