Judy Hoberman of Selling in a Skirt has been in sales over 30 years. But she says, "I've never sold anybody anything - ever. It's about a conversation. People do business with those they know and trust. Referrals, recommendations, and repeat business come from those relationships."
As the only woman in many of the businesses she has worked with, Judy notices the ways that men and women do business. She says, "Women - you don't have to be one of the boys, but at the same time, don't turn your back on the way they do business."
In her book, Selling in a Skirt, Judy shares her SKIRT philosophy:
S - standing out
K - keys to success
I - inspiration
R - results
T - time management
Judy shares some great stories about building unlikely relationships that last years and become partnerships as well as friendships.
On becoming an author: Judy said, "I never wanted to become an author. I didn't want to write a book." But her business coach kept making it a goal until Judy finally did it. Her coach knew that Judy's ideas and years of experience would be incredibly valuable for other women in business.
Judy says, "I use my book as a calling card. I have sent it out to people I thought I might never get in front of without a book. A book really does give you credibility."
"For some reason, when you have a book, people think that you are the expert. When you are building a business, you have to be the expert. You know your business better than anybody else."
Impact: "Women - you are more than enough. You have to believe in what you're doing."
Positivity: "It's not always rosy, not always upbeat, not always fun. But you have to go back to why you started your business. If you're doing something amazing and you get praise for it, ask people to write it down. On those days when you're not positive, you're not having fun. Pull those notes out and remind yourself why you're doing what you're doing. Your day will change, your life will change, your business will change."
Advice for people just starting out in business and sales: "As an entrepreneur, you are selling you. Figure out who you want to play with - that's your community. Then find out what the problem is that you can solve. Then sell it to them. It's about having a conversation."