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5 Secrets for My Sales Sisters from "The Other Side of the Desk"

Updated: Jan 11, 2022

I've never held a Sales title. But that doesn't mean I haven't spent the past 40+ years convincing people to do things they might not otherwise think about doing.

I've generated leads for sales teams and led training, explaining the benefits of products and services to sales organizations.

In the past 18 years since I've had my own business, I've built a pipeline, closed deals, and (hopefully) delivered on my promises.

So, I guess that qualifies me as a sales mentor.

But perhaps the most important and relevant role I've played is that of prospect.

Every day, I get at least 20-30 outreach messages (via LinkedIn, e-mail, targeted marketing on social, or sometimes phone calls and texts), attempting to sell me "stuff."

I'm pitched everything from ideas for articles to high-ticket SaaS solutions to consumer products (like fashion, food, and real estate. Some of it is active pitching (direct communication) and some of it is in-my-face and repetitive social messages.

But, regardless of the media, some timeless rules of sales still hold true.

  1. Know who you're selling to. Take the time to look at my LinkedIn profile or Google me and get a clear sense of who I am and what I do.

  2. Choose your words carefully. The salutation "Hey!" is great when you're "talking" to someone you know well, but is a tad icky when it's our first connection. Be sure to proofread. I still read important communications out loud to make sure they make sense. I even do it when I'm alone. Call me weird, but it works!

  3. Avoid cheesy and aggressive techniques like asking me if I'm free for a demo on a particular day at a particular time. Or, equally weird, asking me to pick a time on your calendar. If you were on a dating app and a guy simply said, "I'll pick you up at 6 on Thursday" without having had any type of interaction, wouldn't you be creeped out?

  4. Use your close network to prospect. This week, two people who I know from different past work lives called me up to ask for help in making connections. They did it respectfully and asked what they could do to reciprocate. They didn't simply go on LinkedIn and start "contact-jacking." I viewed their requests as honest and relationship-building and I'm confident they will both reciprocate when I need help in my business.

  5. Be human. I love technology and automation as much as the next woman. But, as the world begins to open up, safely consider face-to-face interaction in your prospecting plan. Attend local gatherings and national conferences. Learn about the industry you're serving and talk to strangers. You never know who you'll meet and who they might know.

Stats (from this report by Gong) show that women are often more effective than men in selling because they spend more time listening and cultivating relationships. From my own personal experience as a "targeted prospect," I must say that generally holds true.

The best thing you can do when selling is asking yourself, "If I were sitting in front of my own phone/laptop/other device and I got that message (times 30 messages a day), would I be intrigued or annoyed?"

And, if the answer is the former and not the latter, you're on the way to sales success and leadership!

Join us this week for a great panel on how to up your sales skills. Whether you sell full-time or just want to enhance your persuasive powers, this free event may lead to more "Yes!" and less rejection.
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