“You must be successful because you’re so easy on the eyes!”
No joke – those exact words were said – to my face – by a man I had just met!
I just about clocked him!
Seriously – the dumb things people say sometimes is astounding and while I’m certainly not always a perfect wordsmith myself, I strive for tact in my public appearances and I would never diminish someones success down to something so petty.
I have worked hard in my career and I can tell you with certainty that any success I’ve enjoyed hasn’t been due to the fact that I take pride in my appearance. It has come as a direct result of hard work, grit, determination and a willingness to always be learning and evolving.
For your information Mr, I happen to have a post-secondary business degree and a CHS insurance designation. I have also spent countless hours investing into my professional & personal development.
So, No – drunk insurance guy at the bar – I am not successful because I’m pretty.
I’m successful because I am a badass who is committed to her craft and has never expected it to be easy.
If you’re in the industry then I think you’ll agree with me when I say that sales is not easy. Of course there are people who have more natural sales skills than others, but the vast majority need to be taught and they need to acquire confidence and a thick skin along the way. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to selling which is why I’m so passionate about creating alternative and holistic approaches to providing sales tips and advice.
I can’t even tell you how many sales training seminars, work shops and conferences I’ve been to throughout my career. Some have been more productive than others but one thing that was consistent throughout them all was that no one ever addressed the fact that women face very different challenges in sales than men. To be clear, I whole-heartedly acknowledge that men face challenges as well, ours are just different. How often do you think men are told that they’re only successful because they’re attractive? My guess is, not that often.
However, our looks are unavoidable in this industry.
Yes, I’m intelligent. Yes, I’m charming. Yes, I bring value to the table. But I know without a shadow of a doubt that my smile and the fact that I’m a confident, attractive young woman have sometimes gotten me in the door. I would be lying if I said that my physical appearance doesn’t matter because it does and I’m not going to try to say that it doesn’t. It’s part of what makes me memorable and approachable which is something I won’t apologize for.
I know how that sounds though.
We all want to live in a world where people aren’t judged by their looks but by the depth of their character and my career is no different. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve gotten meetings because someone liked the way I look, but I also know that my looks have never been the reason I got the sale. Not ever – not once – have I closed simply because I’m pretty. It doesn’t work like that and neither do I.
I get the sale because I demonstrate value.
I get the sale because I cultivate relationships.
I get the sale because I’m invested in the services I provide.
I get the sale because I’m passionate & authentic.
It will always be a battle to juggle the challenges we face as women in sales and I promise to tackle as many of those challenges with you as I can. But this guy – this drunk dummy in the bar – really set me off and I felt it was important to acknowledge that as a woman in sales, you are worth SO much more in your career than your looks.
Know that you have value.
Know that you are unique.
Know that you are strong.
Know that you too, are a badass.
While I think it’s important to take pride in our appearance and be conscious of the way we look and present ourselves in sales, it will never be the one specific thing that brings you success. It’s so, so much deeper than that kind of surface-level BS and our looks are just one piece of the bigger puzzle.
So as much as I wanted to lay the smack down on that dude, I chose to let it go. That was just ONE example of the countless times over the years that I’ve encountered comments like that and I decided a long time ago that they don’t deserve my energy. As a woman in sales, I’m always networking and creating new relationships which means that I never really know who I’m going to meet or what I’m going to get from them. It’s not my job to change people. It’s my job to love myself and be the confident, intelligent and best version of myself that I can be.
It’s my job to be a badass and that dude clearly missed my memo but it’s all good. I”ll just be hustling hard in silence over here and letting my success speak for itself!
Cheers my sisters in sales!
Stay slaying in your lane and don’t ever let the comments of others change your self-worth. You are beautiful – in so many more ways than one.