There is a unique perspective required when it comes to creating effective sales training for women. There is a tremendous benefit to such training being created by women and for women. To discuss the topic it was only natural for Bernie to invite Cynthia Barnes, Founder and CEO of the National Association of Women Sales Professionals to be his guest on this episode of The Social Business Engine Podcast.
Cynthia has been recognized as one of the most influential women in sales. She is a former top 1% saleswoman and founded the NAWSP in 2016, which is the only organization in the US dedicated to helping women sales professionals reach the top 1% and Dance on the Glass Ceiling™. In this episode, you’ll hear more from Cynthia on what it means to “dance on the glass ceiling.”
As you listen, you’ll also be inspired by hearing how the reality of gender discrimination in sales motivated her to launch an organization devoted to advancing women in their sales careers. Cynthia is an engaging and motivating speaker, so take the time to listen.
Cynthia’s Experience Motivated Her To Provide Sales Training For Women
It’s both inspiring and refreshing to hear a person so enthused and committed to their profession as Cynthia is. In her own words, she’s been selling since Girl Scout Cookies were $1.50 per box. Through sales, she discovered that she loved being in control of her own income and ability to rise through her personal effort and diligence. She has learned how to use her own experience of overcoming gender discrimination to help women who aspire to achieve success in the sales profession.
Her example is a large part of what makes her the outstanding leader of the National Association of Women Sales Professionals. Cynthia’s main goal is to level the playing field. That means providing women the sales training needed to be in the top 1% of sales professionals right alongside the outstanding men in the profession. Listen to this episode to hear Cynthia’s explanation of what needs to be included in sales training that is specific to women, how sales training for women empowers them to succeed, and how the NAWSP can help make it all happen.
An Inspiring Goal: Women Can Dance On The Glass Ceiling
We’ve all heard the phrase that women need to “break through the glass ceiling.” While it’s understood by most people that the phrase refers to the unseen career barrier many women experience based on their gender, Cynthia finds that there is a better, more women-centric way to address the issue.
Her approach is simple: acknowledge that the ceiling is there and strive to overcome it – and encourage it with language that resonates with women. Rather than using language that is aggressive or violent, such as “breaking” the glass ceiling, she likes to talk about “dancing on” the glass ceiling. It’s imagery that communicates powerfully to women that they can not only overcome the barriers that exist but that they can do so in uniquely womanly ways.
Sales Training For Women Means Helping Where Women Are Not As Strong
Cynthia is not one to say that women and men are the same in every way. In fact, she’s well-known for admitting that women in sales tend to have particular areas where they are not as strong. In her mind, sales training for women has to address these realities head-on.
She says one of the first areas to be addressed is the issue of confidence. Women tend to discount their product or service for the sake of getting the sale. But Cynthia says it’s not at all necessary. The sales training NAWSP provides teaches women how to deal with price objections and other pressures in ways that increase and enhance their confidence – which in turn allows them to close more sales at standard pricing levels.
According to Cynthia, a second area where women need help is in dealing with the tendency toward perfectionism. She cites the example of women sales professionals being hesitant to actually make sales calls until they have their sales script down pat. But she’s learned that they shouldn’t wait for mastery of the script. Instead, women should write down their script, word-for-word, and use it as needed – even reading it if necessary. This enables them to overcome the perfectionistic tendency that often holds them back.
The Best Outcome Is For the NAWSP To Become Obsolete
The National Association of Women Sales Professionals has many goals:
- A national conference in October of 2019
- 100,000 members over the next 5 years
But those are not the biggest and boldest of the organization’s goals.
Cynthia wants to see the NAWSP be so effective that it becomes obsolete. She wants its emphasis of leveling the playing field for women to become so well received and embraced, and its sales training for women to be so effective, that women no longer need an advocacy organization like the NAWSP.
Cynthia’s inspiring approach of turning adversity into opportunity is opening doors for women in sales across the country. Listen to this episode to be inspired, to find out more about the National Association of Women Sales Professionals, and to learn how you can connect with this amazing organization and its founder, Cynthia Barnes.
Featured on This Episode
- Connect with Cynthia on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cynthiabarnes/
- Follow Cynthia on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cynthiambarnes
- Cynthia’s organization: https://nawsp.org/
Outline of This Episode
- [2:22] From meetup groups to an official organization
- [7:10] Why it’s time to transform sales training (for men and women)
- [11:34] Strategies in NAWSP’s training to strengthen women in sales
- [14:50] Trends Cynthia sees happening for women both young and more experienced
- [18:50] The future of the NAWSP: 100,000 members, 15 cities, and becoming obsolete
- [21:43] Bernie’s summary and Cynthia’s final comments
Resources & People Mentioned
- The Selling With Social Podcast with Vengreso CEO, Mario Martinez, Jr