This week we’re pleased to have Cynthia Barnes on the podcast. Cynthia is helping women in sales reach the top 1% of their profession. But what are the differences between how men sell, and how women sell? If there are big differences, surely the training we all need should be different. Cynthia addresses how she finds women in sales working differently to men and how the results differ too…
In this podcast, you’ll learn:
Do Men & Women Sell Differently?
Thoughts on Women Selling To The Enterprise
Strategies for Personal Brand Building
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Do Men & Women Sell Differently?
John Barrows: So my question is what areas have you noticed that women and men sell differently? Not who’s right and wrong, but where are the overlaps and the differences?
Cynthia Barnes: I think there are distinct differences in sales training. For example, relationships. Women develop relationships naturally, so we don’t need as much training on developing relationships because that is an innate strength that we already have. What we do need is help with things like negotiation.
How to actually come up with win-win scenarios that are not detrimental to either party. And if you think about in a negotiation, for example, if a woman comes across assertive, traditional societal norms, say that an assertive woman is an aggressive woman, a man could say the exact same thing and the exact same tone come across decisive and confident. A woman says them in the exact same tone and the exact same way, the exact same verbiage and she’s aggressive.
So how is it that women could come across decisive and confident without being perceived as aggressive because an aggressive person is a turnoff.
John Barrows: So, let’s dive into that one specifically. How, like how do you coach women on being decisive and without coming across as bossy or pushy? I’d rather be called passionate than aggressive but what are some tactics that you can use to do that?
Cynthia Barnes: Remember I talked about that, that skill that we have that innate skill of relationships, we go back to developing the relationship ahead of time. The words that come out of our mouths are better received, if you will. So if we go into a sales process and that relationship is not fully developed and we may even have to go further to make sure that it is very, very well developed, that aggression is less likely to be perceived as aggression.
Because I have a relationship and I like you and I’m not going to take offense to what you say as easily as if you were to come in and just start selling to me.
Women Selling To The Enterprise
John Barrows: So now I can see the challenge in Enterprise sales with this. If you’re breaking into large accounts you’re running a lot of touches before you get in the door. Lots of calls, where you get seconds to get rapport.
Given tech specifically is a male dominated industry, how can we start to use that strength of building relationships better with that in mind?
Cynthia Barnes: Who’s to say that the only type of contact I have with you is via the phone.
There are other avenues in which I can touch you and I can reach out to you and I can develop a relationship. Social selling is one of them. And who’s to say that when I pick up the phone, I don’t have to get straight to business. I can ask you how your weekend was. If I find out that you have kids, how was Johnny’s baseball game?
People love talking about their kids. You love talking about your daughter? No. Why not insert that into the conversation. We can get down to business. No problem, but at least try to find a personal element about them. Are you familiar with Harvey Mackay and the [inaudible] 66 no, I’m not. Oh my gosh. It is gold. Harvey Mackay came up with this list of 66 things that you need to know about your prospect before your competition does.
So even if you were to take 10 of those, find out little things about your prospect.
Personal Brand Building
John Barrows: I follow a lot of the Gary V model of you can, you can take the same piece of content, but you have to cut it up in different ways for different formats, right? Because if you can go to LinkedIn for one reason versus Instagram for another reason versus Facebook for another reason versus Twitter for another reason.
But if you sell into government or markets like that, Instagram might be pointless where Twitter is really good. It can be seen differently if you’re putting in bold work on different channels. So how should people out there be starting to brand themselves?
I think there’s the short term benefit of building a brand which is the “get famous” aspect of it where you get likes and followers. There’s the longtail part too where I’ve definitely skipped parts of the sales process because of my content and how people have consumed it.
But the short term stuff if you’re starting out is not actually converting from a sales standpoint. Should that concern, you should you play the long game here for a bigger purpose, myself and my career be the focus? Or should you start to think more specifically about what you can do to drive those short term results?
Cynthia Barnes: I would look at the long term. Not everything is going to happen when we want it to, but if we’re doing the right thing and we’re following a success formula, the dividends will pay off and they pay off big. When I started in 2016 as a woman in sales influencer, nobody knew who I was. And fast forward to 2019 with 14,000 members contracts with companies like Toyota and Michelin, it pays dividends. But I wouldn’t have gotten where I am today if I had just stopped with my first video.
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