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About This Episode
It’s something we don’t like to talk about a lot, but whether we like or not, the sales industry as a whole is predominantly male.
In fact, according to one recent study only 19% of sales leadership positions were occupied by women.
Whatever the reason for that, it’s unacceptable.
But it being unacceptable doesn’t mean a whole lot when you’re the only woman in the boardroom with 12 other men.
So on this episode of the Sales Engagement podcast, we chat with Jessica Breslav, the Executive Managing Director at Critero, all about her journey through the sales world, being the only woman in the room, and her advice to her younger self.
Being the Only Woman in the Room
We obviously have a long way to go in terms of equality in the boardroom, or the sales meetings.
But Jessica had a few fantastic pieces of advice for those that might be dealing with some of these feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt.
1. You Earned Your Seat at the Table
Remember that you’re just as deserving of benign in the room as anybody else. You earned it. You put in the work, spent the long hours cold-calling, prospecting, and grinding.
And now you’re seeing the fruits of that by sitting at the table. Don’t let anybody tell you that you’re not worth benign in the room. Every person in the room is bringing their own insights and perspectives.
Your confidence makes all the difference.
2. Be Prepared
Anybody that tells you that they don’t prepare before meetings is lying.
There’s this idea that walking into a meeting and “winging it” is somehow noble or a sign of a great sales person.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Life is about being prepared. Taking the steps to be prepared and knowing your materials.
3. Don’t Participate for the Sake of Participation
Yes you earned your seat at the table by putting in the work and making sure that you knew your stuff.
But sometimes the smartest thing you can say is nothing. We’ve all been in a meeting with that person who has something to say about everything, even if it’s not helpful or relevant. And we’re all annoyed by that person.
You have value. So where you can add value, add it.
4. Make Allies
Get to know people before you walk into the room. You never know when a relationship that was made outside of the conference room might be the deal-breaker.
It’s always good to have relationships that exist outside of the meetings.
Advice to Yourself
So after getting this far in her career, what advice would current Jessica give to 22 year old Jessica? What would she wish that she knew?
First, don’t discount the fact that you can learn things from anybody, so keep your eyes open. Whether it’s from a leader or a peer or a prospect, when you go through life with your eyes open to learning, you’ll be amazed at the things that you can pick up.
And second, have goals.
It’s crucial to make sure that you know where you want to go, otherwise you’ll drift through your career and bounce from thing to thing.
But a person now has clear, defined goals? That person is dangerous, because they know where they’re going, and they’re not letting anybody get in their way or stop them from getting what they know they deserve.
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