There’s nothing wrong with traditional training models, but with a few tweaks, you can even go further!
Cynthia Barnes shares her insights into the current sales training system and why you need to transform the way we do sales training, women in particular. Cynthia is a keynote speaker and sales trainer, showing women sales professionals how to influence decision makers before they miss out on a big opportunity.
At Barnes Sales Institute, they focus on women-centric sales training. Cynthia is also the Founder of the National Association of Women Sales Professionals, also known as Women Who Sell, a global organization that seeks to empower women sales professionals in male-dominated industries to give them the voice, to be heard, so they can stand up and be confident.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Cynthia:
Lessons from Cynthia’s uncoolest sales experience when she was the customer:
- We want to sold by someone who is an expert because we want to know, “What do you know that we can’t google?”
- Figure out exactly why they need to buy from you.
- Your customers and prospects expect you to be the expert.
Traditional sales programs:
- They’re created 40 years ago for men, by men, and at a time when men made up the majority of the sales force.
- In 2017, women make up 49.8% of the salesforce yet the traditional sales programs have not evolved with the demographic change.
- One thing often overlooked in training is the verbiage that they give you in the sales training where they let you say this to affect this.
- But they don’t consider the women’s natural nuances and the ability to be patient and the way she interacts with people.
- Instead, use your own authentic verbiage to elicit the response you’re looking for rather than a canned response.
Importance of Women in a Salesforce
Women control over 51% of the wealth and influence over 71% of the household spending. So it makes sense to have women salespeople in your organization. The alpha male approach doesn’t work for everybody.
Does the gender of the seller have an effect on the buyer?
- Yes. In male-dominated industries, they’re not used to having women talking to them. So as a woman, you have to know everything frontwards and backwards.
- If you play in a certain field, you have to know that stuff because you need to be that expert. This will then allow you from a being a sales expert to a consultant.
- As a woman, you’re able to naturally develop that relationship as a friend. You’re able to develop that trust
Women as Natural Networkers and Relationship Builders
- Women have strong emotional intelligence, excellent listening skills.
- They’re natural networkers and they build strong relationships.
- Women especially shine when the sales cycle is slow enough to build up a strong relationship with the client.
How you can transform into a women-centric sales training:
- Build upon a woman’s natural strengths of intuition, patience, and relationship-building.
- Address their weaknesses. Women tend to not have as much confidence in the selling situation. Women like perfectionism. They like to play it safe and won’t really go for it.
- Companies need to provide a safe environment where women can learn to take risks and make mistakes without the fear of being embarrassed or ridiculed.
- Let them know it’s okay to take risks and make mistakes.
- Role-play with them and ask them what is it you think you would say without giving them the answers. They may surprise you with the verbiage they would use.
- Educate them on the desired outcome and what you want and how you would get there.
How to get access to women-centric sales training:
Connect with Cynthia on LinkedIn and she can give you access to a pilot program for online training they’re rolling out.
Cynthia’s Major Takeaways:
You are you and you are okay. Everything you do is great. You have to have that internal confidence. Your competence is going to fuel your confidence. So become an expert in what you’re doing.
Surround yourself (or get a mentor) with women sales professionals making it happen. (Join the National Association of Women Sales Professionals at https://womenwhosell.co)
For male sales leaders:
Create that safe environment. Let your female sales employees know that you can help them. Be humble enough to say to women reps to let you know if you can’t get them to where you want them to go so you can bring in somebody who can.
Connect with Cynthia Barnes on LinkedIn or give her a call at 313-586-SELL.
Read Cynthia’s blogpost on Transforming Sales Training: The Case for Women-Centric Sales Training
The Experience Economy by Jason Pine II and James H. Gilmore
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