Whenever Possible Build the Relationship

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The Competitive Edge of a Saleswoman

An interview with Elinor Stutz

Many would agree, that the sales industry has changed over the years from once being dominated by salesmen to now employing a growing number of talented saleswomen. In a field where relationships matter most, women have excelled given their inherit relationship building skills. And joining us today, is a woman who knows a great deal about the field of sales, Elinor Stutz. She is a well known and respected international speaker and author in the area of sales.

1. What positive changes have you seen for women in Sales during your career?

My sales career began in the 1990’s in the business equipment industry after being a stay-at-home mom for many years.  The only job I could get was to sell an known copier door-to-door.  The entire sales team and management were disgruntled that I was hired.  Consequently, no training was provided and nasty tricks were played in order to get me to quit.  But I refused to leave, as I wanted to be a good role model for my teenaged children.  Simply by making friends with everyone who invited me in for an appointment advanced me to multiple sales.  By the 4th month I became the top producer!

Since that time I do believe treatment of women has improved, however, I am not convinced base salaries are equal.  From my perspective, I knew I had the sales advantage and would make the monetary difference up with commission.  However, social media has leveled the playing field whereby everyone has an equal opportunity.  My crowning glory came this January upon learning about Open View Labs.  They devised an algorithm system to find the best of the best.  They honored me as one of the “Top 25 Sales Influencers of 2012”.  That designation signified much has changed!

2. What advice would you share with a woman that has no Sales background, who wants to get into Sales?

Several points come to mind when it comes to making it in sales.

  1. Work with integrity for yourself and your clients
  2. When you encounter negative others, move forward more determined than ever to be successful.
  3. Provide the best customer service possible
  4. Make friends with everyone you encounter
  5. Commit to continual self-education
  6. Work on public speaking – this made a huge difference in my sales effort.

3. Do you think women have a competitive edge over men when it comes to selling?

I do believe women have the advantage when it comes to sales. In particular, two areas stand out:

  1. Women are known for their multi-tasking abilities.  Many salesmen tend to be single threaded.  In sales, one needs to manage multiple accounts and tasks at the same time to do well.
  2. Most women are natural relationship builders and that’s what it takes to get past the gatekeepers as well as develop a bond with the prospect/client.  The ability to do this well produces a returning and referring clientele – my definition of the Smooth Sale!

4. Lastly, what advice would you give to female Sellers that could help them advance in their career?

No matter which stage of your career you happen to be, always prioritize what is most important to you and which aspects of work you enjoy the most.  Consider these questions:

  • Is your company allowing you to excel by granting you permission to perform according to your interests and talents?
  • Are you continuing to grow in your position?
  • Is the company and its industry doing well; are they current and do you feel as if you are a team member treated fairly?

The very last piece of advice is, should you decide to interview for a new job, never quit your current job before you have a new one lined up or it becomes increasingly difficult to find one.  On interviews, present your reason for leaving in the best possible light.

About the Author

Elinor Stutz

Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC was honored by Open View Labs listed in their “Top 25 Sales Influencers in 2012”.  Elinor authored the International Best-Selling book, Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results.” Community Service led to her second best-selling book, HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews.”  Elinor invites you to connect online. www.smoothsale.net

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