Ep 195 Women in Sales

 In Podcast

Join me today as I discuss some areas of difference and the gender gap within the sales industry for women.  I am using a number of stories from my career, and from the work I do with others, as I share some mindset shifts that could be useful for you. 

In This Episode:

  • Being a woman in sales
  • Communication differences
  • Differences in self promotion
  • Money mindset
  • Dan Sullivan – the 4 C’s
  • Not needing confidence
  • Setting boundaries
  • Limiting beliefs around sales
  • New Free Guide:  3 Simple Steps to Excel in Your Career without the Stress & Overwhelm:  www.michellebourquecoaching.com/3steps


Podcast: Play in new window | Download Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Android | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS


Episode Transcript:

Michelle Bourque 0:00 You are listening to the it’s your time podcast and I’m your host certified life coach Michelle Arnold Bourque and today’s episode, I’m discussing women in sales. Welcome to the it’s your time Podcast, the podcast where busy professionals like you get the practical solutions and support you need to gain control of your schedule. So you can strive to be the best in your career, but without the stress and overwhelm. If you’re looking to increase your energy and decrease your stress, you are in the right place. Michelle Bourque 0:37 Hello, hello, hello, welcome back to the podcast. Friends. As always, I am thrilled that you are here. And I’m going to ask a favor before we jump in. If there is something that you love about the podcast, would you be so kind to share it, we are doing the work to have the ripple effect in the world, as you know, and you are a part of that. Now, there’s no special direction that I’m giving you here. It’s really whatever works for you just old fashioned, pick up the phone and tell a friend or send a text or a voice message. Whatever it looks like for you to help someone else who might need a little extra support, I would appreciate it. Okay. Now today, I want to talk to you about women in sales. And of course, I will use medical device sales as a lot of my reference points because it is after all, where I’ve been for over 16 years now. But I did do other sales. Prior to this, I worked in pharmaceutical sales. And before that, I sold TV commercial airtime for an NBC affiliate. And before that, I was selling ticket packages for hockey games. So I know a thing or two about sales. And I know it is different for women and sales. And so today, I want to share some stories and some tools that might help you along the way to not only be able to excel in your career, but to do it in a way where you are not stressed and overwhelmed. Which speaking of I want to let you know, I have a new free guide available for overwhelmed women who want to excel in your career, but without the stress and overwhelm so that you can do more of what you want. Just go to MichelleBourquecoaching.com/3steps. So that’s Michellebourquecoaching.com/3steps. Super easy. Put your email address in and then watch for the downloadable PDF to come to your box. I really want it to make it simple for you to be able to gain control and do more of the things that you want. And of course, you can always DM me your email. If that works better on the socials at Michelle Bourque coaching want to hook up? So whichever way works, you just let me know. Now, part of the reason that I wanted to do this podcast is because I’ve seen some guys out there on the socials speaking on the socials telling people how to become reps. And I kind of chuckle. Now listen, you know, I think it’s all great that we’re helping each other and being mentors. And then I listened to some of it and I’m thinking, what device job are you in dude, that you get to make your own flexible schedule, and you get to just come home during the day and play with your dog whenever Michelle Bourque 3:39 you want. I mean, I might be the one doing it wrong here. But there is a bit more to it. And I like to keep it real. As much as I love that we can help each other along the way. I do think sometimes there might be somewhat of a disservice for women who are not familiar with what goes on in the industry, where the jobs might have some differences and their lives. And I know, although it is better than when I started, there is still a gender gap when it comes to men and women and device sales. And I imagine many areas of sales. I remember. In fact, when I first started in the OCR and nurse said, Oh, we don’t normally see little girls in here. It’s usually big guys, too, which I was like 32. I was far from little. And you all know that this gal was 99 pounds in third grade so little is never an edge to that I used to describe myself. I also remember some of the first national sales meetings where I was one of the few women in a sales role. There are plenty of women there at the meeting, but many were what we call clinical specialists. Now the CEOs role is an integral part to the success of every team. It’s just that it’s not tied to a sales number. So it’s a little bit different. And it’s interesting. As we’re talking about titles, each company also calls the role by a different name. So I’m considered a sales rep in my company. But the competition might call the same exact role, a territory manager, or a district manager. And then our district manager equivalent might be their regional manager. So I’m not getting into the weeds today about the levels and the differences. I’m just talking about being a woman with a number tied to your compensation. Usually, having the upside of your income comes from the Commission, part of that, versus the salary part. And if you’re not in medical device sales, this is still for you. It can be any sales, let’s face it, most of us sell in life, you sell to your kids on the vegetables, doctors sell to patients on treatments, I sell you on yourself for coaching. It’s just that I’m focusing more on how I see women show up versus men in this episode. So I want to talk about how communication might be different, how self promotion might be different, and how making money might be different. And I’ll start with some stories around communication. I remember in fact, when I was in TV sales, and that was 100%. Commission, and the male manager now back then I was in my early 20s. He took me into the office to discuss some business opportunities that we had been working on and he said, Michelle, you need to be humping the streets and betting on the come. And I was like, Excuse me. That was the first time I’ve ever heard that. I mean, I could probably also get the same idea if he just said, We gotta be working hard. And I hope it all comes to fruition. And by the way, if you try to Google search that statement these days, you can some pretty interesting links. Michelle Bourque 6:58 I think communication with management is also a really important topic. I was recently chatting with someone about some team dynamics, and he is a male district manager. And he was surprised when I suggested I didn’t think a female on his team would come to him to discuss some issues that she was having with other team members. Now, I’m using some generalities in this episode, right? I know not everyone is the same. But more often than not, women aren’t as willing to speak up. In an effort to avoid conflict. Women have been socialized, for the most part, to be nice to be seen and not heard, to just do what needs to be done to get the approval from the teacher or the boss or the parents, and to keep it all together. And then we wonder why the hell we’re burnt out and feel so overwhelmed, right? But it makes sense. I know many women who actually will leave the job before going to management to have this conversation. This is the work we need to do my friends, we need to set boundaries, which by the way, can be set from love, not manipulation. As my girl Robin from peloton says boundaries are sexy, right? We need to do more boundary setting in our lives. And often in our work, so our professional life as well as our personal life. And we also need to be willing to have, quote unquote, hard conversations. Guys have these conversations all the time, but it’s usually not, quote unquote, hard for them, right? Because they don’t make it mean anything about them. Now often, women don’t want anyone to be mad at them. We want to people, please, and we don’t want to rock the boat. What if we just decided to let people have their own thoughts about us? In fact, their thoughts could even be wrong about us. And maybe we don’t think that standing up for ourselves is rocking the boat anymore. We just need to unlearn what we have been told through the years. And yes, it might take some time. Start with some small ways in which you can set boundaries and expectations within your team, especially around your time. For years. I, for example, would miss doctor’s appointments when I first started in this industry, in fact, full transparency. I remember when I started and a rep told me this was not a good mom job. And at that time, we were planning to have kids, but I never felt like I could keep appointments to do anything as far as the in vitro process, for example, because the schedule for work, especially in the LR is always so unknown. And of course, if you’re doing something along the lines of in vitro, it kind of needs to be tied to specific times. So back then, I did not have the conversations, I did not set the boundaries. And now quite honestly, this is part of what I think my purpose is you’re doing this work to help more women step into their power. So they can be examples to the little girls in their lives. And I might not be a mom, but I can possibly have a way bigger effect in the world. So don’t take this work lightly. If you’re investing in yourself, it matters, you matter. And the eyes watching matter. And for me, that’s nieces, right? It doesn’t have to be your own kids. Okay, keep that in mind. Next up the idea of self promotion. We all know there are studies that discuss how women are less likely to toss their hat in the ring for a promotion, or maybe even just a job to begin with, until they know that they have checked all of the boxes. Now, guys, on the other hand, they’re like, Sure, Sign me up. Wait, what was that job again? Guys, if you’re listening, I pick because I care. But the truth is, women hold themselves back. And I think part of that is some of the negative connotations around sales, that it’s slimy, that it’s pushy, that it’s aggressive. Michelle Bourque 11:22 I remember when I told my really good friend, my first sales position, she said, Oh, you’re going to be a maggot. Like, there’s a lot of baggage that comes with old ways of thinking about sales folks. And we could also choose to think that salespeople are solution oriented, helpful. collaborators, we care. And a lot of times, when you’re thinking about the promotion, or the job, you might even have the boxes checked. But you don’t give yourself the credit you deserve for it. I’ve worked with a number of people where I just keep digging and asking, and we try to find answers to what other experiences you are they might have, where the skill set could be adapted to what is being required. It doesn’t have to be a linear path, you might have the same skills for something you did years ago when you just forgot. So open your mind. What else could be possible? Where else might you already have filled that need? It’s so crazy what we tell ourselves. I was recently speaking to someone who received a promotion. And the way she mentioned it was along the lines of oh, I’m now able to take associate off of my title now. And this example, associate tends to be more of an entry level position, speaking specifically to what it is that she was doing. And I was like, what you don’t just take associate off your title, you got a promotion, own that, right? Don’t discount it. Give yourself credit where credit is due. And if you aren’t going for the promotion. Start before you’re ready. A lot of times, we want to feel confident before we go after something. And I’ve talked about this a number of times here on the podcast, Dan Sullivan discusses the idea of the four C’s. The thing is, we don’t need confidence to begin, we need commitment. So if it’s a promotion or a job, are you committed to getting what you want? Most? If yes, then the next thing that you need is the courage to get started. Do the resume network with the folks in the know. And as you do more of that, you build your capabilities. And as you increase your capabilities, guess what? That’s when you become more confident. Confidence doesn’t just like rain down from the sky on us. My friends, confidence is a feeling. And you need to think a sentence that allows you to feel confident. Remember the think, feel do model. Our feelings come from our thinking. So what can you think that allows you to feel more confident? Perhaps it’s simply I will figure this out no matter what. It has to be a sentence you believe it cannot be rainbows, daisies and butterflies. So what is it for you? It could be as simple as like I said, I will figure this out no matter what. Because when we hold ourselves back on the promotional opportunities, it brings me to the last section. Now I could keep going and going and going about women in sales but I also like to keep it short and respect of your time. So maybe we’ll have another one of these down the road. But the last part of today’s episode is around the idea of women making money So when you are not going for the promotions, or maybe it’s that you’re just not even going for the sales position, which will allow you the opportunity to make more money, because of all of the thoughts you have around what it means to be in sales. Again, the idea is that it’s slimy, pushy, dishonest, whatever you think about sales, evaluate that. Observe it. What else can be true about sales, because, again, selling is human. We all sell just in different ways. And you might miss out on the possible increases in pay, because of your mindset around the job, nothing to do with your capabilities. I think that the other thing to consider speaking of mindset is the mindset that you have around money. So it’s the mindset that you have around the job, the promotion, the new opportunity, and it is also the mindset that you have around money. Do you think that you don’t want to seem too greedy? Michelle Bourque 16:05 Do you think that it would challenge the relationship if you were the breadwinner? Perhaps? Or do you think that money is the root of all evil? Do you think it’s the hogs that gets slaughtered? Right? All of these are socialized statements and beliefs that we have around money that may have come from family, friends, school, like question them? Are they your beliefs? Or are they someone else’s? Examine all of them, and decide what you want to believe about making money and about sales? And about all of your capabilities? There are actually some really good folks that do really good things with a lot of money. What if you make a lot of money because you care so much for your clients? Not because you’re trying to pull any fast one on them? How do you show up every day to help find solutions for your clients? There are a lot of ways people sell right now there are closer sales people that are challenger sales people. I like to think that I come from a servant’s heart perspective, do what works for you. But mostly, I just want more women to feel empowered enough to really go after your dreams. Don’t believe all those old stories from the past your limiting beliefs and everything that is holding you back. You can totally be an amazing salesperson, and a mom or a partner or have a pop, you are a woman who can excel in your career and live the life you want to live. Whatever that looks like for you. No more holding yourself back. And I want to close it here like I started. I consider you the ripple effect in the world. How do you show up today in a way that shows you love yourself enough to do the work and to be an example for others to see that it can be different. Have fun with it friends, okay, that’s what I have for you today. Don’t forget to get on the list and grab the free guide three simple steps to excel in your career without the stress and overwhelm just go to Michellebourquecoaching.com/3steps so Michellebourquecoaching.com/3steps and let’s circle back next week but for now, make it a great day. Take care Michelle Bourque 18:46 Did you know you can take this work to a deeper level with me one on one. Go to Michellebourquecoaching.com and click on get started to begin

Leave a Comment