From the Maverick Spirit Archive, January 1998
Back in 1948, a lady called Dottie Walters turned to selling through the necessity of making paymets on the mortgage taken out to establish her husband's business. Dottie sold adspace in her local newspaper to start with, then established "Welcome Wagon" and had over 4,000 independent agents across every state of the US.
In 1965 Dottie wrote what was called the first sales book ever written for woman by a sales woman... "Never Underestimate the Selling Power of a Woman." Originally a poor seller, Dottie purchased back the copyright from the publisher and used the book as a foundation for a publishing company... the book has gone on to become a best seller with over a million copies in print and it is available on Nightingale Conant tapes.
I have visited Dottie at her home in Southern California and had the pleasure of bringing her to Australia for a seminar tour in the late 80's. As if by fate, one of Australia's leading sales achievers, Joan Bishop called me recently and recalled her visit to America as the No. 1 Salesperson in the world for Apple Computers and her visit with Dottie.
Believing in fate, I went to my bookcase and found my rather worn copy of "Selling Power". Here are some thoughts on successful woman in sales from the book.
1. Going the extra mile. Successful sales woman go the second (or extra) mile in their dealings with people. The best way to define this is to say the extra mile gives your customer and company 13 eggs to the dozen. In other words, they do more than is asked or expected. This extra something is the badge of successful saleswomen.
The extra mile means always trying again, after no matter how many defeats. A winner never quits; quitters never win. A good salesperson, man or woman, always goes the extra mile.
2. A Love Affair with work. Successful saleswomen are truely in love with their work. They are so completely swept up and absorbed in their product or service, that it takes them out of themselves.
They take pleasure in hard work. They are overwhelmingly proud of their goods and services. The money they earn is important, to be sure, but eventually their sense of accomplishment becomes even more so. Many would work for nothing, they get so much pleasure from accomplishment.
3. The source of women's persuasion power. Dottie noted that the third attitude is a never ending enthusiasm for people - all kinds of people. Each customer - no matter how odd or difficult - presents a lesson to be learned.
4. Turn on the power. All successful saleswomen have an inner resource to combat depression and fear. Many are deeply religious and regularly turn to their Bibles. Others have favourite authors whose writing revitalises them. Still others have a hobby like gardening which renews them. Or a charity which not only gives them a change of pace but a sense of paying rent for the space they occupy on this earth.