Presented by Lisa Fey
Lisa Fey began her corporate career as a sales associate for The Coca-Cola Company. At her first big business meeting, she realized there was no line at the ladies’ room – it was at the men’s room! During her 30-year tenure, she held leadership roles in sales, customer management, and marketing. Lisa shared her top nine lessons learned as a female in a male-dominated corporate world.
1. Learn how to play golf…. or something
Early in her career, Lisa’s manager suggested she learn to play golf, the sport of choice for decision makers in her industry. By participating in the game, she had hours of uninterrupted access to CEOs and others who could say yes to what she was selling. Lisa’s recommendation: find the game in your industry – be it golf or something else. Find where your decision makers go and be there.
2. Talk their talk
When meeting with clients/potential clients, avoid using your internal jargon and acronyms. Find out how your decision makers measure success and use their terminology when discussing their needs.
3. Quit selling when they aren’t buying
Just because you are in front of a prospect doesn’t mean they are ready to buy. Everyone has their own timetable and process. Follow their lead. As Lisa cautioned, don’t be what you hate in a salesperson when you go out selling.
4. Change Happens
Nothing stays the same forever; for example, technology. Early in her career, she would travel with a roll of quarters to make phone calls and check messages with her answering service. Now everyone has a cell phone. Lisa’s advice: adapt to change, be an early adopter.
5. Know Yourself Well
What are you really great at? Lean into it and focus on your strengths. What are you not good at? Identify your weaknesses and don’t put yourself in situations where you set yourself up for failure. Surround yourself with people who are good at the things you aren’t. Successful teams are filled with people with diverse strengths.
6. Invest in You
Once you determine what you are good at, do what it takes to become great at it. This will increase your credibility and your confidence.
7. Flex your communication style
Be aware of how others communicate and bring information to them in the way they prefer to receive it. Lisa’s example was “women shop and men hunt.” A former male manager of Lisa’s just wanted the final recommendation from her, not all the options she considered prior to making a recommendation. After taking the DISC profile, she realized her tendency was to give too much information when presenting to him. Once she adapted her communication style to better match his, she was much more effective.
8. Rally Your 3 Musketeers
To grow and succeed we need to make sure we surround ourselves with three kinds of people: coaches, mentors, and advocates. Coaches teach you how to do the job. Mentors have been there before and help you navigate your way and succeed faster by learning from their experience. Advocates are your cheering section. They are the people who speak up on your behalf when you aren’t there. They recommend you – to management for a promotions and special projects, or to potential clients. It’s important to get more advocates and give them the right information about you and your skills and services.
9. Take feedback seriously
For continuous improvement, we must ask for feedback. And listen! Be ready to take it in and consider it. Do not be defensive. Instead hear what is being shared and then decide what you want to do about it.
Lisa’s presentation was chock-full of wisdom and laughter. If we take her feedback seriously, we too can succeed, and then the longer line at the ladies’ room will be a very good thing.
Photos from the luncheon. Click on an image to see an enlarged version.
Synopsis by Carolyn Briner of Sandler Training
ProWIN Meeting on July 20, 2016
Hyatt Atlanta Perimeter, Atlanta, Georgia