Do Women Make Better Salespeople than Men?

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Some experts believe that women have innate exceptional selling skills that are easily honed to perfection. Tom Peters, co-author of In Search of Excellence and The Little Big Things notes that women make better salespeople than men, and that women working in sales jobs love selling and excel at what they do.


But ask a woman in a non-sales job to consider selling and she’ll shy away. This is unfortunate because sales experience is the pathway to most line jobs, P&L accountability and eventually senior management.


Research conducted by McKinsey & Company, revealed that 62% of women in the largest US corporations hold “service" positions that don't directly generate revenue. Ultimately, such staff jobs seldom lead to senior management posts, which explains why only 3% of women in Fortune 500 companies are CEOs.


Clearly, more women need to get into the sales pipeline, partly for their careers and also because they are naturals at selling. IBM's global sales leader, Ginni Rometty led a number of key diversity initiatives, but it was her sales experience that got her into the executive suite. She insists that a woman can close deals without spending hours on the golf course. There are plenty of other social venues—like concerts—where one can talk shop and close a deal. "I knew these clients would be with me for life when we were jumping up and down together to Jimmy Buffett," said Rometty.


Women have the needed selling skills to bring in clients and close them. They have a natural ability to nurture relationships, to build trust and create a consensus. According to Peters, women are more likely to appear in front of a prospect because they’re 25% more willing to make cold calls than men. He believes that women are more effective in getting an audience with their prospects. And while "hunting and closing" skills are statistically the same, women generally have more selling skills and strengths than men.


In real estate, a Trulia data compilation revealed that women nationwide tend to sell houses that are far more expensive than those sold by men. Do women have a knack for selling more expensive homes? Or do men compensate for reduced commissions through more sales? A co.Design infographic shows the sales differences and how they trend by state.


A recent article by Carolyn Cohn highlights why women make better salespeople. She attributes a woman’s success to some basic principles. One, they recognize the needs of potential (and actual) buyers; two, they are good listeners—women spend 80% if their time listening and 20% asking questions. They also understand the important elements involved in successfully closing a deal. These characteristics apply when women are selling online, on the phone or in person.


Photo courtesy of MorgueFile 


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  • Elektroniske S
    Elektroniske S
    Great article, totally what I was looking for.
  • Renee K
    Renee K
    Being a woman and in luxury item sales ,I totally agree with this article .The bottom line is,woman have more patienceand will look at the long term results ratherthan short term.
  • Alex Kecskes
    Alex Kecskes
    Thank you, John and Dennis for your comments.
  • John R
    John R
    I feel that this artcle  is 100% correct without saying that if the male can understand the factors that are intertwiened Thus he is able to succed and nothing can get in his way.
  • Dennis A
    Dennis A
    If another variable is used like job status women tend to do a better job according to my study

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