“Today more than ever we are in the business of building relationships and learning to gain the trust of our prospects through vulnerability and empathy. And who can do that more naturally and without having to think twice about it? Women.”
If you’re not enlisting your feminine side, you’re leaving sales on the table. That was the main takeaway from an insightful conversation with Julia Andrews, a 20+ year sales veteran who has launched a program entitled “The Art of Feminine Selling.” Whether you’re a business owner (and by the way, you are ALWAYS selling), or a salesperson by title, Julia provided some compelling strategies on how to incorporate more feminine attributes into your sales style. This made sense to me – if you could allow yourself to show up more fully in sales conversations, it should increase your conversion rates.
The inspiration for Julia’s work matches my 10+ years of experience in sales, which is that most sales trainings were developed by men, for men, which often translates to a more competitive, zero-sum game approach to sales. Most people know that that approach is outdated, but they get stuck figuring out how to adapt.
Here are some tips from Julia to get you started on adopting a more balanced selling style.
Pay attention to your (and your prospects’) feelings. Imagine that. How novel. A good indicator that your sales style isn’t working for you or your prospects is if you don’t feel good when you sell. If you don’t feel good, you can’t access the creative side of your brain to come up with solutions for your prospect, deftly handle objections and most of all, pick up on what your prospect is feeling. One of the primary reasons prospects buy (especially with higher ticket items) is that they feel that the salesperson understood them. Let go of the script and pay attention to what’s in front of you during the sales call.
Learn your authentic selling style. You be you. Selling styles are like personalities – own your own, and don’t adopt someone else’s. In Julia’s words, this is all about aligning with what feels authentic for you. You can’t fake sincerity; it’s going to be tough for your prospect to trust you if she can’t find the “real” you. Moreover, while you’re busy being disliked for who you’re not, you also prevent the prospect from liking you for who you are.
Be vulnerable and share. As Julia says, this doesn’t mean lying down and crying, but most salesmen have a fear of looking weak and they go into sales meetings with an exaggerated offense/defense mindset.
“Being vulnerable is sharing with someone and having empathy. If people are investing in you and what you do, then there’s going to be an emotional sale at the end of the day. So you have to be comfortable going there with your prospects so that they know that they’re taken care of. And let me tell you something – women do not budge if they don’t feel safe… And women do not want to feel that they’re not safe. So if you’re not willing to open up your door and really go there with them, why would they do that with you?”
If you’d like to listen to the full conversation, check out JayRooke.com/podcast. To learn more about Julia’s eight-week course – The Art of Feminine Selling for yourself or your organization – go to JayRooke.com/feminine.