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Women In Sales transforming sales into a female-dominated career

Women In Sales may be better suited to handle sales positions than their male counterparts, says a Ball State University educator.

Recent studies have found that some females have better selling skills. Many women are more nurturing, have stronger listening skills and empathize better than males, said Ramon Avila, the George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Marketing.

"In sales, you have to be really people oriented," he said. "You have to listen and understand the client's wants and needs. If you can empathize with what they are going through, you are going to do well in sales. Women are generally better at that than most men."

With Women In Sales having more potential to be better salespeople, it is little wonder why companies are hiring women to fill the vast majority of sales vacancies, said Avila, who is also the director of the award-winning Ball State Professional Selling Institute.

A Women Sales position is an important part of any company. Every salesperson generates enough revenue to pay for nine other positions at most companies, according to Selling Power Magazine.

The magazine also reported that sales is one of the most rapidly expanding fields in the United States with about 12 million people currently in sales positions. The top 125 manufacturing companies employ 342,000 sales people who produce $1.3 trillion in sales. The top 125 service companies employ 625,000 sales people with over $1.1 trillion in sales. The amount of sales produced per salesperson across all companies averages $2.5 million per year.

Avila said Sale Women have started to outnumber men in college sales courses. It was only 10 to 15 years ago when there were few, if any, women in any of his selling classes. The turnaround came when female alumni began to speak on college campuses about their success in sales fields.

"Ten years ago guest speakers told us that women didn't want to go into some fields, such as automotive parts, because the factories were in the dangerous parts of town," Avila said. "Then we began to bring in female alumni who had been successful at Lilly, UpJohn, Hershey and other major companies. When our female business students saw other successful women and learned the potential advantages, they began going into the field."

Adding to the field's growing attractiveness is the rapid professionalization of sales. College programs are churning out graduates with high levels of professionalism as well as grade point averages. Gone are the days of the public telling jokes about salespeople and the horror stories of door-to-door selling routes, Avila said.

Recent college graduates also can expect to start at anywhere between $26,000 and $50,000 in a sales position. Rapid advancement and salary increases are available to successful salespeople.

Sales Women see sales as a tremendous opportunity because of high pay and rapid advancement, Avila said. "In every field both women and men are being hired in large numbers. If you are interested in auto parts, there is a sales position waiting for you. If you are interested in sporting goods, there is a company with a vacancy."






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WOMEN IN SALES