How a Career in Sales can be a Ticket to a Better Life for Women
Sales is one of the highest paying professions yet the number of women aspiring to become a salesperson is very less. Why?
The answer is that there is no simple answer. Sales is not the first choice for women for a variety of reasons – the pay gap even for equal work, the fast-paced corporate world that does not care about work-family balance, the discrimination and offensive behavior in the workplace, the fear of not being good enough, and the list is never-ending.
But do you know, a lot of companies are moving towards gender diverse teams, with flexible work schedules, better maternity, and work-from-home perks, women-centric training and mentorship programs, and of course, equal pay?
“Women don’t realize the potential they have and can be better if they pursue a career in sales.“
It is a golden ticket to fulfill all their dreams. Let’s see how.
Development and honing of skills
The profession of selling is a training ground for a number of skills. Smart selling or successful selling is when a rep is able to patiently listen to the pain points and challenges of the prospect, empathize with them, and strive to make business operations simpler for them. This happens through the positioning of your product as a solution, knowing the product inside out, and being confident enough to take on their skeptical questions.
When you want to sell something to a prospect, and you give time to listen to them, it lays the basis of a rep-consumer relationship. When this relation is cultivated, and effort is put in from both ends, it can result in the prospect turning into a consumer. It is like going from an acquaintance to a trusty advisor with a stranger.
You are selling all the time!
Hard skills and soft skills are equally required when you sell, or even while convincing. If you look at the experiences you have in your daily life, you are basically selling all the time. You are selling your personal brand in interviews, your viewpoints in debates, your authority during family arguments, etc.
Once you enter the sales field, you will learn how to communicate, negotiate, develop and sell – all important skills when you are trying to prove a point or a product. Believe it or not, these are skills you want to learn because nothing feels more powerful than having people respect you for your skills.
Taking on entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is a challenge; a test to all aspects of a human being. People who are willing to put in an infinite amount of dedication and work, keep innovating until it is perfect, don’t stop even when nothing is working, and never lose out on hope are the ones who make their businesses successful.
Often, entrepreneurship was a quality associated with men, but with time, many women have proved otherwise with their talent and hard work.
Women are great entrepreneurs!
The first quality of an entrepreneur is that they know how to sell. They sell their ideas to investors, talented employees, and potential consumers.
A background in sales trains you for the steps leading to the success of a start-up. You know how to prospect, you know who to target, you know how to reach out, you know how to talk and what to talk about; when to talk, and when to let them talk.
With the advantage of the knowledge of sales, you can make your way to a successful entrepreneur and run your own business. There will be limitations and challenges, but you will have some control over how they turn out for your team. Women take on challenges, and with the determination you have, you can take on entrepreneurship as well.
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Sales is a very lucrative profession. There is no end to the opportunities you will get if you deserve them. Sales also do not require a degree. You just need the will to learn the way things operate and learn to fail.
In many professions, almost all sadly, women have complained and spoken up against the pay gap between them and their male colleagues solely on the basis of gender. There has been a lot of advocacy on equal pay for equal work. But sales is a profession where your performance determines your pay. It is more or less similar for everyone who works as a rep.
Of course, there will be discrepancies here as well, but you will know that your income is dependent on how much you are able to close. In sales, the more you can work and close, the better pay you get.
There are also some challenges
However, the downside is that you will always find yourself working. There is an important meeting you have to prepare for or a presentation that needs change or something work-related that you’d want to be perfect and it will torment you 24*7. Believing that you can balance your work/family life by 50-50 will not help because it will never be 50-50.
Some weeks the ambitious rep in you will take over the hesitant mother and some weeks, the doting mother will take over the tired rep. Most managers understand and allow you to be flexible in your schedule as long as you hit your quota.
Sales reps are one of the most visible job profiles of a company, and working in that role will earn you more attention and opportunities. You will be able to climb the corporate ladder and take the pathway to more powerful roles of leadership. You have the respect an the salary and you have a flexible work schedule; trust me it is very enviable.
Growing as an individual
The best salespeople are empathetic, compassionate, and helpful. Studies show that in most places, women can outperform their male colleagues because of the skill set they have.
Because of the idea of being a perfect wife or even a perfect person being drilled into our minds from a young age, women are more likely to hear people out, feel more intensely than others, and are able to build trustworthy relationships with ease. This makes them better at closing sales and subsequently, a better representative.
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Take the leap of faith!
It takes a lot of courage and support for women to pursue a career in sales, and the rigorous work they put themselves through to stand out in their teams makes them better individuals. It trains us not only professionally but also personally; in the way, we mentally approach a problem or issue and the self-esteem that is built.
The most important thing that sales teach is to learn to fail. Often, women are looked down upon when they fail. Sales mean that you will often be faced with rejections, and if you can deal with that, you can deal with anything.
Working in sales also means that you will meet a bunch of new people from time to time and get to interact and learn about their backstories. When you rise higher, you will learn the importance of building a team culture and how to handle the people under you. Sales is a world of constant learning and improvement.
Sales has long been seen as a male-dominated field, and that is why when we think of a sales rep, we often refer to it as a “salesman”. It is challenging and stressful but satisfying and luxurious at the same time.
If you are a newbie in sales or are looking at it as a career path, try to take initiative and get involved in the operations. Maybe attend a meeting of an experienced individual or work in contracts. Maybe take a class or a seminar.
Learn more about the sales world and decide if you are made for sales or not. And if you are, I am sure it has a lot in store for you. Get ready to change your life!
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