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Women in Sales Take Fewer Risks (Why That’s a Good Thing)

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salesWant to make more money? Hire a woman.

Do women really take fewer risks? Sure, we take time to dig deep and understand the core issues before making a move. If that means less risk, it also means less volatility, more consistency, and a deliberate agenda.

Women adapt these principles whether we lead a team or run a company, or whether we’re women in sales. But that doesn’t mean we’re slow or that we lack confidence in our decision-making abilities. It means we perform at higher levels. It’s actually a key reason women do so well in business.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary—a.k.a. “Mr. Wonderful”—says this is exactly why he prefers to invest in companies with women at the top.

Forget “Politically Correct”—Women Hold Their Own

If you watch Shark Tank, you know Mr. Wonderful only cares about one thing: making money. And he’s more likely to bet his money on women.

In a recent interview with Entrepreneur magazine, O’Leary explains why 55 percent of the companies in his investment portfolio have women leaders, and why he plans to add more:

I’ve invested in 20 different entrepreneurial and mid-cap companies and I’ve made more money with the women executives. It’s that simple.

What makes women leaders so special? As he told reporter, Carol Roth:

 Attributes that I have observed are that they take less risk, they are more goal orientated in terms of setting targets and meeting them. If they say, “I am going to expand capacity or we’re going to increase distribution in the next quarter,” they deliver. It’s not an intuitive feeling. It’s actual hardcore results …When I am faced with two opportunities, whether it’s large cap, mid cap or otherwise, and the CEO is a woman, I tend to pick that option first because it’s the path of least resistance. I’m not looking at it from a social or moral point of view; I’m looking at it from a financial return point of view. I just make more money with women, period.

What makes playing it safe better than risky business? O’Leary explains:

It’s not just about achieving the highest returns, it’s about achieving a high return with lower volatility and that has a value. It must be that as they make their decisions…they dig harder or… they are less “cowboyish.”  I’d rather have a smoother ride.

(Read the rest of Roth’s article.)

Sales Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

These are pretty surprising statements coming from a high-stakes investor, but it’s not a new idea. In fact, we all learned this lesson as children. Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? Slow and steady usually wins the race. (Apparently, girls pay closer attention at story time.)

Whether we’re talking about women business leaders or women in sales, the moral of the story is the same: We’re a sound investment.

Want to learn more about women in sales? Check out my latest speaking topic: “Big Deals and High Heels: Why Women Are Naturals at Selling.” Come listen to the presentation at Dreamforce on September 16, or contact me about speaking to the saleswomen in your organization.

Connect with No More Cold Calling

Follow Joanne on Google+ or Twitter @ReferralSales, or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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