2670 words | 14 minute read
Here’s the million dollar question: if women can succeed at high ticket sales, why aren’t more women in sales professions?
High ticket sales – selling value items – in telecommunications, computer systems, and real estate – is a lucrative career choice. With sales occupations paying up to $185,000 or more annually, sales is a high income skill that women should be pursuing. Sales is the one area, excluding C-level executives, where performance, and not gender, matters. When it comes to income, the sky’s the limit. But in the past decade, there’s only a 3 percent increase for women in sales professions. Why is this the trend?
Table of Contents
- The 11 Percent Advantage
- Why Aren’t More Women In Sales?
- Why Women Should Be In High Ticket Sales
- Sales And Leadership
- From Corporate To High Ticket Closer
According to a CEB report, “Only 19% of women in sales are in leadership positions—(sales industry has the second biggest gender equity gap).” Even more disturbing is the statistic that women are better at closing, but make less income: A slightly higher percentage of women in sales (70%) make quota over men (67%), and women are paid less than men. Click To Tweet
If women perform better at sales, why aren’t there more women in sales roles? Let’s take a closer look at the close ratio for women, and why they have a slight advantage.
The 11 Percent Advantage
When it comes to high ticket sales, it’s less about selling and more about educating potential clients and solving their problems. High-ticket sales are B2C (business to customer) or B2B (business to business) services or products that range in price from $3000 to $1 million or more. At this price range, potential clients are less likely to buy without speaking to someone first.
Clients want some assurance that they are buying something that will solve a problem they are having. For example, a new business owner is looking for a business coach for mentorship. Before paying thousands of dollars, they want to make sure this mentor is the right fit.
This type of selling requires someone who is great at listening and building relationships, not someone who aggressively pushes features and benefits to get a sale.
This traditional view of sales could be why women aren’t drawn to sales professions. This view needs to change, particularly for high-ticket sales.
Researchers believe women are strong at listening and building relationships. These traits are why they are successful at closing sales. Statistics show that women are 11 percent more likely to close a deal.
In a study of 30,469 actual sales calls, men on average had a 42:58 talk-to-listen ratio, while women averaged 46:54. That meant women talked 9 percent more often than men. Did that mean that women weren’t as good at listening than men? More statistics were needed to clarify what was happening.
In that same analysis, researchers noticed that men were 49 percent more likely to move a sales opportunity to the next stage, while women were 54 percent more likely. So even though the data suggests women talk more, it also suggests they “close deals at a higher and faster rate than men.”
Now if you’re wondering if you should be hiring more women on your sales team, here’s proof that you should. Researchers believe it is the nurturing aspect of women that adds to their success. Regardless of beliefs, statistics tell the story, and in the end, what matters is whether they close the deal.
Why Aren’t More Women In Sales?
Just how many women are in sales? According to a LinkedIn report, 39% of the workforce in sales are women. As seniority increases, the percentage decreases, with the lowest percentage of women represented in VP and CXO positions.
Despite the potential to succeed in high ticket sales, and a proven success rate, women aren’t choosing the sales profession.
1 Role Models
One theory is that they don’t have successful role models in this occupation, so they don’t think of sales as a possible career choice. Many people still think of salespeople as the slimy, pushy, aggressive car salesman or telemarketer who doesn’t make a good income. They don’t think of influential sales people who are thought leaders with decades of sales experience. Here is a short list of just a few highly accomplished female sales leaders that could be role models:
- Nancy Nardin, Founder of Smart Selling Tools, Sales Technology Stack Expert, has a customer list that includes Fortune 100 companies such as Microsoft, Intel, and Hewlett Packard as well as many of Silicon Valley’s start-ups.
- Jill Konrath is a world-famous sales speaker and one of the most influential sales experts of the 21st century.
- Trish Bertuzzi, Founder and CEO of The Bridge Group, Inc. and Inside Sales Evangelist, is an expert on all things inside sales and a writer.
- Alice Heiman, Co-founder and CRO at TradeShow Makeover, is a sales coach and internationally renowned sales expert.
- Tiffani Bova, the global customer growth and innovation evangelist at Salesforce, is a legend in tech sales.
2 Family Obligations
Another possibility is that women don’t think they can handle a sales job and having a family. Some sales jobs require a lot of travel, either within the same city, or from one part of the country to the other. Women with children may not want to spend days away from their children, or they may not be able to make arrangements for another caregiver while they are out of town. But not all sales jobs require travel.
A third possibility is women have a misconception about what selling is. According to Salesforce,”The aggressive, hunter/kill mentality often seen (and rewarded) in many sales organizations holds no appeal for many women.”
They don’t like hounding people to buy something. Women often want to work in collaborative, team environments where the focus is on serving customers — not crushing quotas. Click To Tweet
4 Application Process
Yet another theory on the shortage of women in sales is based on how women apply for jobs. A Hewlett-Packard study revealed that”women tend to apply for roles only when they believe they meet 100% of the qualifications listed for the job. Men, on the other hand, apply even when they think they only meet 60%.”
For more women to choose sales professions, a shift needs to happen, both in the way that women view sales occupations, and in how people hire women for sales positions. For example, changing sales job ads to have more gender neutral language, and less focus on crushing quotas as the main method for evaluating high sales performance.
Why Women Should Be In High Ticket Sales
Women in sales, even high ticket sales, have advantages. The majority of sales jobs pay based on results, meaning the best salespeople make the top commissions. But what exactly, gives women the slight advantage when it comes to high ticket sales?
They have the higher closing rate when it comes to sales in general. Hubspot reports that women are 5% more likely to close a deal than men. In a study of a group of sales students, they found that the female students had stronger results.
Professor Joel Le Bon of the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business performed an analysis of his 989 students’ sales performance over 7 years. The results showed that “there were 62.5% more female top performers than male top performers. Moreover, the female top performers outperformed the male top performers by 73.9%.”
The results have been the same for women in direct sales, also known as multi-level marketing or network marketing. The low business start up cost and flexible hours are two of the reasons women are drawn to direct sales. Another reason is mothers can work part time and from home in this business.
According to the Direct Sellers Association (DSA), “Canada has 1.3 million independent sales consultants, which generated $2.6 billion in annual sales in 2017. Of all the independent Canadian consultants, 82 per cent are women.” This statistic is similar in the USA, where the ratio is approximately 3 women: 1 man involved in direct selling.
One reason for the disproportionate number of women is the social aspect of direct selling. There is a high emphasis on parties, social events, and group meetings to promote a product. Networking and building relationships is a key part of the business.
Similarly, in high ticket deals, building a relationship with the prospect has an important role in whether the salesperson can close the deal. Unlike transactional sales, where a one time sale is the goal, consultative sales depend on your getting to know the client or customer. Consultative sales, like high ticket sales, involves a long term investment. If the salesperson takes the time to understand the needs and pain points of the prospect, they will have a higher chance of closing the deal if the offer is the solution the prospect needs.
Building rapport and getting to know the prospect are crucial for closing deals involving $3000 to millions of dollars. For high ticket deals and enterprise sales, a lot of time is spent nurturing a relationship with the prospect, from adding value, to one or more calls and meetings with the prospect. Multiple meetings are typical of enterprise deals where millions and even billions of dollars are involved in a long term investment.
The ability to listen to and understand the prospect’s needs is where women excel. As stated by B2B sales speaker Lori Richardson herself, women “have been raised as nurturers we tend to (not always, but most often) have strong communication skills, great listening skills, and large amounts of empathy – all which make for a foundation as a great modern seller.”
High Ticket Sales
High ticket sales appeals to women because those who succeed at high ticket closing focus more on helping the customer than closing the deal. Click To TweetAnd if the closer is able to help the customer, they get paid a good commission. It’s a win win for both parties. Here are other reasons why high ticket closing appeals to women:
- A high ticket closer can work from home, from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection.
- You don’t need to have a background in sales to be a good closer. A good closer is more of a consultant and coach.
- You decide on your own work hours, so you can work full time or part time. Whether you have a day job or you like to work late at night or on weekends, you can close deals for prospects who live in another country or time zone. If you have children, you can have a work schedule that balances time with family.
- If you are closing for offers that are $5000 or $10000 at a high close ratio, you can make a six figure income without working standard full time hours.
- As a high ticket closer, your role is to ask questions and listen to the prospect’s answers to see if the prospect is a good fit for the offer. You won’t be pushing a sale on someone who is not a good fit.
- You’ll be your own boss without having all the stress and costs of starting your own business. The influencer or company that you are closing for will provide the prospects, the marketing, and the offer. Your job is to get on the phone with the prospect and close deals.
Sales And Leadership
An ability to sell is everything. You’re always closing, from getting a significant other to agree to the house you want, to getting a client to choose you. If you want to be a leader and become a CEO of a company, sales is a great place to start.
Before I become CEO of my company, I was in sales. I was selling using words when I was a copywriter. I was selling when I closed clients on my marketing services. The skill that makes me a high income is high-ticket selling and I am the strongest closer in my company.
Now I am mentoring closers who are leading their own sales teams. Many of these leaders are women. Some have a background in sales, while others do not. They were able to dive into the unknown, face adversity, and rise up to become leaders.
For example, one of the female closers on my team was chosen as Closer of the Month because of her accomplishments. Not only does she excel at closing deals, she also excels at leadership and community building.
I want to share her story because she is proof that with hard work, you can develop a new skill, and emerge as a leader with a bright future.
From Corporate To High Ticket Closer
Watch this video to see her story.
A Demanding Life In Corporate
One year ago, or what seems like a lifetime ago, Emma had a massive burnout in corporate after working in it for over a decade. She had a reputation as a fixer, as someone who fixed the messiest part of a business. That was her work for ten years, until the situation worsened 18 months before exhaustion hit.
She had a new role that was demanding and she was working 18 hours days with lots of pressure and no resources to support her. She become sick and unhappy in her environment. Then one Friday night, Emma said she, “cried the whole day home and then didn’t get out of bed for a week.”
It was while she was recovering that she realized she couldn’t continue on the same path. Her environment hadn’t changed and she wasn’t feeling fulfilled. She wasn’t sleeping and she didn’t have time for self care. That’s when she started to look for options and a way out.
Emma started googling how to make money online. She laughs at it now, thinking how desperate she had become. Emma had started to follow life and business coach Stefan James and then one of my ads popped up on his channel. She watched it but she didn’t think high-ticket closing was for her.
Massive Financial Returns In Sales
Fast forward several months, after she graduated from my High-Ticket Closer ™ program, and she was successfully closing on my team. Then she was closing different accounts on her own. Eventually she became a leader of her own sales team, where she said the “return is massive.”
In the next few months, she expects to surpass what she made in corporate. Would she have guessed she would be where she is today?
Never. She’d always thought she would be an employee in a corporate environment. She wanted to have her own business but that seemed like a dream.
Leading A Sales Team
So what does she like about closing with a team? She says, “I love developing people as individuals.” It strengthens her “why” when she sees people succeed. She’s working with a team of “sixteen amazing closers right now.”
Her advice to others who want to consider a future as a high-ticket closer: if you have a tough time closing, it doesn’t mean closing isn’t for you. You just have to have a strong vision and conviction.
There will be days when a prospective client doesn’t show or you don’t close a deal. What you need is a cheer squad, an accountability group that will pick you up when you hit roadblocks.
Emma is an example of how a career in sales can get you to a role in leadership. She’s closing high-ticket deals and leading a sales team of her own in less than a year.
Women can be very successful in high ticket sales. In general, statistics show that they have higher close rates – about 11 percent higher – than their male counterparts in sales occupations.
But although they have proven success rates in sales, women still make up a minority of the sales force. Part of the reason could be misinformation about what a sales job is, or what it takes to be successful in sales.
Women who choose a career in high ticket sales are likely to be successful because of the need to build rapport with a prospect to close high ticket deals. Also, the flexibility of the profession appeals to those who want to work from home or have control over their work schedule. Women can also be successful as leaders of sales teams, or eventually becoming CEOs of companies.
Are you a woman or is there a woman you care about who can excel as a closer? To learn more about how to close deals, click here.