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Week 4 Recap: First, Sales

Many women choose marketing roles over sales because sales feels icky. But as CEO, you are the head of sales for your company. And you must make your first sales, because at a new company, you are the product, the vision, and the promise. 

This week, we took on some assumptions about what makes "good" salespeople. We introduced ways that you can disrupt the yuck feeling by listening, asking questions, being a collaborative problem-solver, and treating objections as an invitation to continue a dialogue.

Getting the first sale isn't about product. It's about someone trusting you.

Resources for this week:

Craig Wortmann: Craig teaches MBA-level entrepreneurial selling. He has a way of explaining sales that gets the techniques stuck in your head for recall at the right moments. (From his short course, I walk into every networking opportunity and ask myself, "Are we drinking, or are we working?") He offers a terrific Coursera self-guided course and lots of resources from his blog and LinkedIn archives

Hubspot's Ultimate Guide to Objection Handling40 common objections and shortcuts to knowing when they're a hell no, a not right now, or an invitation to keep moving toward a yes.

Movies About Selling: Hollywood does a pretty crap job of helping us with good sales practices. I referenced David Mamet's GlenGarry Glen Ross and Mike Nichols' Working Girl this week. Always be closing. Second place is a set of steak knives. Coffee is for closers. I'm one bad deal away from being under a little strip of paper. These movies shape many of our assumptions about how salespeople work. But you can sell differently.