Why some women struggle to seel high end. Or sell at all.
Women and the sales process.
Until very recently, little girls were not naturally taught how to be vocal and clear about the amazing things they could do. At least not when I was growing up. Don’t get me wrong, my parents were always very generous with praise, but there were silent variations in the type of praise delivered by society for boys and girls and what was considered praise worthy.
Boys were praised for the skills they learned while girls were praised for how they looked.
Boys were praised for how they overcame adversity, whereas girls were praised for how kind they were. Boys were praised for how well they spoke and girls were praised for how well they listened. (Except for me. You could never shut me up. I was running school assembly by grade 4)!
Through a repetition of many silent and subconscious cues, we learned how to interpret other’s emotional cues, how to make others feel comfortable and how to make it all ok for everyone else all the time, even if you need to ‘suck it up’ a bit. This may be somewhat handy in the first year of motherhood while you’re trying to mind read your bundle of joy’s needs and survive what would otherwise be perceived as a violation of needs (like sleep!). So you can see how primal and unconscious this ‘training’ is.
Girls are trained to be mothers (even if through nothing more than our basic animal reflexes and lizard brain perceptions as a collective – this is not a judgement on anyone’s character).
None of this helps us to sell our work.
There’s a whole heap of unhelpful conditioning, beliefs and programming that many women bring to the table when it comes to selling.
We confuse speaking about our work with being arrogant.
We confuse holding space while our client fills the gap between where they are now and where they want to go as ‘mean or manipulative’ because we have been conditioned to rescue others.
We have been taught to fill uncomfortable spaces and make them comfortable. But in order to serve your client, you need to allow them to become aware of what it is they need to learn. That, at times, may feel uncomfortable for them. And if you rush to fill that space you steal the very realisations that they need to have in order to take the next step for themselves.
We have been taught to ‘make others feel confident’, not to point out where someone needs work.
We have been taught NOT to challenge another’s thought process even if it isn’t serving them, as that would be ‘overbearing.’ This doesn’t help when you need to go deep with your clients objections in order for them to discern whether its a genuine objection (ie a deal breaker) or the very fear that has brought them into the situation that they want to change and that will keep them there.
We have been taught to CARE so much what other people think of us in every minute. When in order to serve your client you need to remain non attached to the outcome (and what you believe that says about you) in order to really help the person in front of you without it becoming personal and weird.
You need a depth of emotional IQ, nervous system regulation and artistry around selling your work in order to sell high end with ease. Most of these things are not taught to females the way they are taught to males while growing up, because we are taught to subconsciously check that everyone else is ok before we decide if we are ok. It’s a different way of regulating and its one that doesn’t help our sales. As a result, beliefs like ‘you have to become a bitch in order to sell’ are sprouted because we don’t understand at a primal level the difference between healthy boundaries and being heartless.
When it comes to selling there is still an energetic undertone in our conditioned collective: If a male does it, he is successful. If a female does it, she is a prostitute. Whilst the majority of the world does not think this way consciously anymore, there is a level of programming in our very DNA that says ‘feel ashamed if you do this’. This is our biggest obstacle as women building empires.
This is also why I get so passionate (and mad) when I see women shaming other women for learning how to sell in a way that they have decided to judge. Women need to be able to get it wrong before they get it right, look at all they are unlearning. Let’s cut each other some slack shall we? And let’s get clear on the difference between a ‘bad woman’ and someone who is learning how to sell her work, while dealing with all the projections and judgements people hurl at her at the same time.
Without becoming a used car salesMAN.