Women are not as good as men at sales is a common misconception. This could not be further from the truth. Studies show that when it comes to closing deals, women in sales are more successful than men.
So why do we continue to believe that women are not as good at sales as men? One reason may be that we tend to equate aggressiveness with being good at sales. And while men may often be more aggressive in their approach, this is not always the case. Women can be just as successful in sales by being assertive and confident in their abilities.
Women in sales are often told that they need to emulate the qualities of a stereotypical man to be successful. They must be loud, forceful, and unafraid to take control.
But this isn’t true. Research has shown that women who adopt traditionally male qualities to succeed in sales see a decrease in their sales performance. Conversely, when women embrace their natural qualities – such as being warm, supportive, and collaborative – they see an increase in their success.
“You may often be the only woman in the room, but use that to your advantage and don’t downplay the qualities that make you unique”. – Rakhi Voria, Director, Global Digital Sales Development, IBMTweet
This blog post aims to set the record straight by addressing the 10 most common misconceptions about women in sales.
- 1. Women can’t sell as well as men.
- 2. They are not aggressive enough.
- 3. Are too emotional when selling.
- 4. Can’t handle stress as well as men.
- 5. Not good at problem-solving.
- 6. Women prioritize family responsibilities above work.
- 7. They are not as decisive as men.
- 8. Don’t have the same level of confidence as men.
- 9. Women are not as comfortable with numbers as men.
- 10. Are less likely to take risks than men
Misconception 1: Women can’t sell as well as men
Well, let’s be honest. Not just women in sales, women almost everywhere have been a victim of this bias – “they are not as good as men”. However, research has shown that this is not the case. When it comes to sales, women often outperform men.
There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, women are better at building relationships and creating trust. They are also more likely to ask questions and understand their customers’ needs.
Additionally, women are better at multitasking and are more organized than men. This allows them to manage their time more efficiently and make better decisions.
Misconception 2: Women are not aggressive enough
To debunk this common misconception, it’s important to first understand what it means to be aggressive in a sales context. Many people think of aggression as being pushy or overly assertive. However, women can be just as effective in sales by using other strategies, such as being passionate and persistent.
One study found that women who use more feminine strategies (such as being warm and supportive) are more successful than their aggressive counterparts. This is likely because these strategies create a more positive relationship with the customer, which can lead to more sales in the long run.
Women in sales are often found to be more persistent and they refuse to take no for an answer. This strategy can be especially effective when selling to men, who may be more likely to buy from someone persistent and determined.
Misconception 3: Women are too emotional when selling
Women have long been accused of being too emotional and not rational enough when it comes to making deals. This misconception is based on the stereotype that women are not as logical as men, and that they make decisions based on emotions instead of facts.
However, a study by the Harvard Business Review showed that this is not true. The study found that women were more likely to use logic when making decisions and that their decisions were based on more information than those of their male counterparts.
Women are also better at multitasking, taking on more responsibility and possessing stronger emotional intelligence. This makes them better leaders and decision-makers.
Misconception 4: Women can’t handle stress as well as men
There is a pervasive myth that women in sales jobs can’t handle stress as well as men. The thinking goes that women are too emotional and can’t handle the tough conversations or high-pressure situations that come with the territory. But this is simply not true.
A study conducted by the American Psychological Association shows that this is not the case.
The study found that, when it comes to handling stress, there is no gender difference between men and women. The study showed that women are better at handling stress than men in some cases. For example, women were more likely to seek out social support when dealing with stress, while men were more likely to engage in risky behaviors.
However, when it came to overall coping abilities, there was no difference between men and women.
Misconception 5: Women are not good at problem-solving
Another common misconception is that women are not as good as men when it comes to problem solving. However, a study by the Harvard Business Review showed that this is not the case. The study found that, when it comes to problem solving, there is no real difference between men and women.
The study looked at data from over 7,000 business professionals and found that, when it comes to problem solving, there is no real difference between men and women. When it comes to creativity and innovative thinking, women outranked men.
So why do we still believe that women aren’t as good at problem solving?
One reason could be that we are more likely to see men in positions of authority in the business world. This can lead to the assumption that men must be better at problem solving than women.
However, as more and more women assume leadership roles, this perception is changing.
Misconception 6: Women prioritize family responsibilities above work
This is absurd on so many levels. Both men and women should be able to balance their work and family life.
According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 59% of working mothers said that it’s difficult to balance work and family life, and only 26% of fathers said the same. This is likely because women are still often the primary caregivers for their children.
This research is important because it busts the myth that women inherently prioritize family responsibilities over work. It also underscores the importance of workplace policies that help parents manage the demands of both work and family life.
Misconception 7: Women in sales are not as decisive as men
A study by the University of Wisconsin found that when it comes to closing a deal, women are just as effective as men. In fact, they might even be more effective due to their ability to build relationships and connect with clients.
The study also found that women are better at multitasking and are more likely to use their intuition when making decisions. This can be an advantage in sales, where it’s important to make quick decisions based on the information available.
Misconception 8: Women don’t have the same level of confidence as men
We are down to number 8 and as you see, misconceptions about women in sales are abundant and often harmful.
One of the most common is the belief that women lack the confidence and assertiveness that is necessary to be successful in sales. This misconception can be damaging because it perpetuates the stereotype that women are not suited for this type of work.
In reality, no evidence suggests that women are any less confident than men when it comes to selling. Research has shown that female sales representatives are more likely to achieve their goals than their male counterparts.
Women are typically better at building relationships and creating trust. They are also more likely to ask questions and probe for information, which can help them better understand their customers’ needs. Additionally, women are more likely to be seen as credible and reliable sources of information.
Misconception 10: Women in sales are less likely to take risks than men
There is a persistent myth that women are less likely to take risks than men. But the data does not bear this out. When it comes to risk-taking in sales, there’s no real difference between the sexes.
A study by the Sales Management Association found that when it comes to making decisions that could lead to a financial loss, both men and women take risks at about the same rate. In other words, when it comes to risking their careers and income, there is no gender gap.
So why do we think that women are less likely to take risks? There are a few possible explanations:
Studies have shown that women are more likely to doubt their abilities, which could make them look less risk-averse.
Women may be penalized more harshly than men when they do take risks. For example, they may be passed over for promotions or be seen as less competent.
Gender roles and stereotypes may play a role in influencing how willing women and men are to take risks. For instance, women may feel pressure to conform to traditional gender roles, which often includes being more risk-averse.
Misconceptions about women in sales need to stop
The sales industry is still a male-dominated field, and this is starting to show in the way women are perceived. This article discusses some of the misconceptions about women in sales. We can start to change the way we think about them.
We still have barriers that hamper the rise of women in the labor market and resistance to women in leadership. My team is quite diverse, but in the past I’ve been in situations where I was interrupted when speaking, for example, but I kept going, even if I felt that I needed to go the extra mile to get respect from the team. There is a great responsibility for women in leadership roles, to take this diversity agenda to the boards of companies and make the change happen.Adriana Karpovicz (Director of Sales, Stilingue)
I have previously written about common biases that exist in workplaces. Gender based bias and discrimination is universal and rampant. It needs to stop and stop now.
The objective of this article is not to position women in sales on a pedestal above their men counterparts. It is about equality and equal opportunities.
I’d like to present facts and convince you to join forces that work hard to break gender-barriers at work. Women in sales and elsewhere don’t need any favors or special arrangements to perform and excel at what they do.
At the same time, they want to stop being judged for who they are. They want to break free of these rusted misconceptions. It shouldn’t be about gender or race or so many other “isms” we encounter so often.
Let’s break the bias.