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Issue 18,  August 17, 2009     —      Elinor Stutz, The Sales Personality: Do You Have What It Takes?

In this issue:   FEATURE: Elinor Stutz, The Sales Personality     Michael Michalko, Carpe Diem     Linda Sapadin, Can Men and Women Be Friends?     Guy Finley, Enter Into The Untroubled Now   Sharon Elaine, Love Yor Body... One Day at a Time   Gabriella Kortsch, Cellular Responsibility   Wider Screenings, Beyond the Boomers   Events   Reviews   Earlier issues   Submit Article

To begin a sales career or a business takes a lot of courage. To go into sales as a woman has its own particular challenges. In addition to offering value and promoting your own services, there are intangibles to be learned, such as human emotion, and ideas and words that motivate prospects to become clients.

Your work to uncover the intangibles is based upon your ability to read the prospect. Note when your prospect’s face lights up, or when he or she frowns, what excites the prospect, or what makes his or her arms fold. Observe what it is that you are doing to motivate the prospect to move through the sales cycle.

Aside from your sales goals, you need to set personal goals for achieving the knowledge to become successful. The category of knowledge includes sales skills, knowledge of your own industry, your top competitors’ business models, and your prospects’ businesses and industries.

All of these goals take a great deal of time and you will feel as if you are moving backward instead of forward. In spite of setbacks, you must be prepared to persevere.

Another key to success is to politely acknowledge negative comments with a smile as a Nice Girl would, and then proceed more determined than ever. Most often, you will find the negativity stems from the other person’s insecurity. They fear you will succeed where they could not. Your attitude is everything. Knowing the negative party is fearful of your intended success means they actually believe you will succeed. This is why you should smile upon hearing negative comments! Turn the negativity into motivation to propel yourself to success.

The copier industry in the 1990s was so difficult and competitive that office doors were continually revolving with new employees in and old employees out faster than you could count them. People just gave up, plain and simple. They weren’t willing to work to get beyond the obstacles or to motivate themselves to get to the next level.

One of my favorite memories is from my first job. I kept a list of all the people who became employed by the company and quit within thirty days or less. A notable fact is every single one of these people were men. As I wrote their names on a yellow legal pad and drew a line through their name when they left, I wondered if other women would have left as quickly if they had been given the opportunity. These salespeople walked out and never said goodbye.

Of the core group of five salesmen, two quit by the end of the first year. The first salesman of the two that quit was focused on a highly specialized calculator whose market was rapidly shrinking. The second salesperson fell into the category of being fearful to ask for business. He enjoyed making friends with prospects but was fearful of helping to solve their problems and asking for their business. Three of us remained at the east Bay branch of the company.

A coworker, who had helped me recall some of the names listed on my yellow pad, was in the San Francisco office on the day I resigned. I faxed the list to him, with my name crossed out on the top. To my surprise and embarrassment, the director of sales happened to be standing at the fax machine at the exact moment the list was received.

He was not amused by the list, which was entitled “Company Hit List,” but my colleague was figuratively rolling on the floor—and laughing uncontrollably.

My mantra is to always succeed. I would find it terribly embarrassing to fail at any step of the way. Failure is not in my vocabulary and is simply not an option for me. When I encounter difficult times, I step back from the situation and analyze where I am stuck, what the options are, and formulate how to proceed.

Believing in my ideas and my ability always got me through the tough times. In fact, I would like to publicly thank those individuals who rolled their eyes and had a smirk on their face when I told them what I was about to embark upon. And, thank you also to those who said:

“Too many people are already providing sales training, books, and CDs.”

and others who said:

“It’s a myth you can make money on the Internet—don’t believe it, and don’t waste your time.”

Why, you ask, would I thank these individuals? I love a good challenge, and they presented me with a great one. Developing creative and untried methods to attain goals is part of the challenge and the competitive fun. Additionally, I find great satisfaction in proving I am right!

My Story

I spent fifteen years at home raising my two children. During the last eight years, I had a word processing business that I ran from home while the children were in school.

The income helped with everyday expenses, but was limited. There are only so many hours a day one can sit in a chair and type, and there was only a certain amount of money that could be charged per-hour for such a service.

My husband and I both knew that one day I would have to work full time. There was huge uncertainty as to my capabilities after having been home for fifteen years. One night, my husband came home and announced:

“I’ve got it. You have the personality of a salesperson!”

With disbelief, upon hearing that announcement, I quietly asked:

“Is that a compliment or an insult?”

My initial visualization of a salesperson was an unshaven, plaid jacket wearing, gum-chewing, used car salesman. At that time, the word “salesman” had an unsavory connotation.

Looking back, I now know it is true—I do have the personality of a salesperson and I changed my perception as to what that means!

As a salesperson, I’m intuitive about reading people. As a saleswoman, I care about what my clients tell me and strive to help them achieve their goals. Women, in general, have a greater need to be liked and strive to make certain everyone’s needs are met. Saleswomen tend to go to greater lengths to ensure a client’s happiness, including paying close attention to the details. While this entails more work, the end result is a thriving business stemming from repeat business, referrals, and testimonials. Most salesmen I have worked with do not understand this. They generally are in for the quick hit. Prospects sense this and buy from competitive vendors. This, in turn, accounts for the quick turnover of salesmen and their lack of success.

Care about others, and they, in turn, will provide a loyal following.

Ask yourself the following. Do you:
• Love a challenge?
• Have the determination to be right?
• Look for creative ways to find solutions?
• Persist in most matters?
• Not care when people tell you “No” or “You can’t do it”?
• Fight for yourself?
• Like competition and gamesmanship?
• Enjoy finding solutions and helping people?
• Prefer a win-win scenario with clients?
• Enjoy being known for getting results in your office or field of expertise?

These are essential traits for a successful salesperson.     ###
As CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC and Author, Elinor Stutz has through speaking, training, and private coaching, motivated and inspired audiences to their own success.

Men and Women alike exclaim her system is natural and easy to implement, and most importantly, greatly increased their revenue stream! She is viewed as an insightful business growth strategist.

Elinor's book, “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale” was featured in TIME Magazine, translated into multiple languages and sells worldwide.  Elinor interviewed on ABC-TV KGO San Francisco “View from the Bay”, as well as numerous radio shows.

Elinor is also a Contributing Author to Wasabi Venture Blog, Samantha Ward's Habla Blog, Women's Connection and Diversity Edge Magazines

Visit Elinor's website

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale:
Relationship Building That Gets Results

by Elinor Stutz

Featured in TIME Magazine, Translated into Multiple Languages and Selling Worldwide!

Readers describe this book as "laugh-out-loud funny and containing so much valuable information, I need to read it with a highlighter in hand."

It was against all odds after being a stay-at-home mom for 15 years that Elinor Stutz survived her first corporate sales job. The men did everything imaginable to force her out but she refused to go!

Although Elinor knew nothing about business, the copier technology she was required to sell door-to-door or sales itself, she became the top producer by the 4th month due to her persistence and ability to make friends with everyone she met.

Writen for salesmen and saleswomen, everything she learned in her 11 year corporate sales career, is shared with you in her book. It's as if you are having a cup of coffee with her in her kitchen as she reveals the stories and lessons learned one by one.

"I found your stories and battles fascinating.  It says a lot to me about your character as I read how you dealt with all of these life challenges in your career, especially dealing with us males who often have a tough time getting beyond our testosterone.  Your tips on how to handle all of the obstacles you encountered are great mind joggers of the things we knew and forgot or didn't learn at all.  I look forward to finishing your book and I'll suggest to my executive wife that she at least glance at your book as well.  Thanks for sharing your insights."
— Michael Olson, Pleiades Technology Futures

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ISSN 1835-7164