bm-woman-megaphoneWomen in sales don’t need to cold call. Our relationships help us seal the deal.

“Dear optimist, pessimist, and realist: While you guys were busy arguing about the glass of wine, I drank it! Sincerely, the opportunist!” —Lori Greiner  

You’re in a meeting and make a great suggestion, but the group pretty much ignores you. A few minutes later, a man proffers almost the same idea, and heads start nodding enthusiastically. I know you’ve been there. All saleswomen have. But there’s plenty we can do about it.

Women in sales must grab every opportunity to get our voices heard. It’s up to us to demonstrate behaviors that change perceptions, contribute to company goals, and accelerate our own success. However, we won’t get the chance unless we call out bad behavior when we see it.

My client, a partner in a prominent CPA firm, doesn’t let such nonsense slide. When someone else tries to claim her suggestions, she simply says: “I’m so glad you liked my idea.” (She assures me this shuts the credit-stealers down quickly.)

It’s up to you to get your voice heard. What are you going to do?

For ideas and insights, check out my September blog posts—all of which are dedicated to advancing women in sales. Then share them with your networks:

5 Tips for Women in Sales: Get Ready to Change the Game

Growing up, I had sales all wrong. I believed salespeople were life-of-the-party types—extroverts who could talk to a wall. I wasn’t like that, and I´m still not. But charisma isn’t what makes a good salesperson. Top salespeople build strong, ongoing, trusting relationships. We’re not the center of attention. We ask probing questions, listen intently, have engaging conversations, and make connections—all of which gives women in sales a strong advantage. (Read more.)

How Eleanor Roosevelt Paved the Way for Women in Sales

I never knew what a maverick Eleanor Roosevelt was until I read why she might soon become the first woman featured on the $10 bill. She stood up for what she believed and used her role as first lady to fight for equality in all walks of life. Think there’s an unconscious bias towards women today? Imagine what it was like then. We definitely still have progress to make, but there is certainly something to the saying: “We’ve come a long way, baby.” Thankfully, women leaders like Eleanor Roosevelt blazed the trail for generations to come. (Read more.)

Women in Sales: What’s Standing in Our Way?

Men tell me the best salespeople they know are women. They say women have strong intuition, ask good questions, don’t rush the sale, connect with people, and are terrific at building long-term relationships with prospects, clients, and referral sources. Research confirms that saleswomen outperform their male colleagues. Yet, men are still running the show at most organizations. Is the system rigged against us, or do women simply need to learn how to play the game? (Read more.)

Leading a Negotiating Team—10 Success Secrets for Women in Sales

Most salespeople would pass Negotiating 101, but negotiating in teams? I think I’d flunk. My sense is that most sales professionals, especially women, would jump at the opportunity to learn how to win at team negotiations. That’s why I invited Carol Frohlinger, president of Negotiating Women, Inc., to guest blog this month. I respect and admire Carol’s approach to negotiations and her unwavering commitment to research-backed data. Here’s Carol’s advice. (Read more.)

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

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, run a company, or work 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. In fact, 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. (Read more.)

What the 15 Top Women Leaders Have in Common

Tell your kids to do something? Forget it. They’ll either ignore you or do the opposite. Find a way to influence their thinking so they learn to make wise decisions? Well, that’s a different story. This is as true in business as it is in parenting. You can’t just tell people to perform. Effective leadership today means influencing and collaborating with others, including people over whom you have no authority. And this happens to be an area in which women leaders excel. (Read more.)

Test Your Referral Savvy

I’m conducting a study on referrals, and I need your help. Please take my 14-question Referral I.Q. Quiz. The questions are mostly “Yes/No,” and it should take less than four minutes to complete. Once you’ve finished, you’ll be bounced over to a results page, where you can see the aggregated answers from everyone who has participated.

Take the Referral I.Q. Quiz now.

My goal is to get a 1,000-person sample, so please invite your network to take the quiz as well. Participation is anonymous, and I promise you won’t be added to any lists. Thanks in advance for your support!