You Don’t Have to Be Superwoman to Be a Sales Success
Some salespeople are not as successful as they may seem. Even if they are exceeding their sales goals, what you are not seeing is the hefty price they have paid to make their high numbers.
And who are these “super salespeople”? These salespeople are female, and they are making a big mistake because succeeding at sales isn’t supposed to kill you.
Who are these women?
Yes, I say they are women because I’ve never seen a guy run himself into the ground like women do. These women are smart, humble, and driven—qualities which make them perfect for sales. It’s not that they are trying to break any glass ceilings. They see themselves as role models for others. Heaven forbid that they underperform and someone else decides that all women are like that. They think that they would be letting others down.
You might find that you’re one of these women now that you know who these women are. I caution you about thinking this way because it will get you into trouble.
The successful men and women that I know work hard, but superwomen do even more. They take on tasks that others wouldn’t. Here are a few examples. One superwoman did such a great job with a territory that her manager gave her three more territories in addition to her original territory. Three additional salaries, however, were not included, the additional travel caused her to have debilitating migraines—and she still exceeded her goals.
Another superwoman—while on maternity leave—ran her sales business from her home without any backup. She took customer phone calls even while nursing—and her sales increased. To this day this superwoman thinks her brilliant daughter lost a few IQ points when she got hit on the head by the phone while she was nursing; this saleswoman regrets not setting boundaries.
What will happen without changes?
Selling is filled with deadlines, challenges, and pressure. This will never change; however, the pressure must be managed. When you become a superwoman, you introduce a whole new type of pressure that can cause just one thing: your suffering.
I often tell women what columnist Ann Landers said: “No one can take advantage of you without your permission.” Your manager will not say, “I see that I’ve given you too much to do.” Your manager will give you more work than others because you are talented and you won’t say no. It’s one thing to be able to do more work; it’s quite different to take on so much work that you make yourself ill.
What should you do?
First, you have to recognize if you have this superwoman syndrome. Next, you have to recognize when it’s getting out of hand, and here’s how you know when it has. Your health suffers and your relationships suffer—but you won’t see your business suffer because a superwoman will simply sleep less and work harder.
Once you recognize the situation you’re in, you must make changes. If you’ve been given an increase in your job responsibilities, reexamine your accounts and refocus your energy. The Pareto principle (80/20 rule) applies: You cannot make sales calls on all your accounts; change how you work with your lowest priority business. You can call these accounts and let them know your responsibilities have increased so your time to see them may be limited; however, they should still feel free to contact you when they need to, or you can delegate their contact to someone else, if that’s a possibility. Keep in touch via email. I promise you that your business won’t suffer. Why? These were low priority accounts and weren’t contributing to your overall success.