Ursula Mentjes says at least seven issues block sales for women business owners.
And, like many people, she initially never really considered herself a salesperson, until she was given a job cold calling dozens of clients a day. The Minnesota farm country native spoke Jan. 27 to the local chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners luncheon meeting at the Santa Barbara Yacht Club. Abut 60 members and guests attended.
After running her first sales office at age 23, Mentjes said she learned, “It’s not about working hard, it’s about working as much as you want.” She said many women think, “I have to do it myself.” After many years of leading sales teams, he said she prefers to “speak, write and coach.”
She urged women business owners to remember that 2 percent of sales close on the first call, while 81 percent of sales close on the fifth call. She said many potential clients actually want sales people to call them back, if they tried to call at a time when it was just not convenient.
She said most businesses have “unworthy sales goals.” Another block is that some women don’t see themselves as salespersons. Business owners should hire help or get more support. They also need to find their financial set point and see the power of planning.
Another sales block is not realizing that a month does not have 30 days to make sales; it has only 15 days, she said. Working with the wrong clients is another sales block. “Use only the top 20 percent,” she said.
Lack of making appointments and followups is another impediment to sales. And finally, a key sales block is forgetting to ask for for the right amount of money in a contract.
Mentjes said it’s unfortunate that “sales” has been turned into a four-letter word.