Home Articles Sex and the saleswoman. How to keep it professional

Sex and the saleswoman. How to keep it professional


Women are great at sales. But should they use sex to sell?

More and more women are using their “womanhood” to sell, rather than focusing on their expertise, intellect, communication and other skills. It is sad that women would use a “sex sales” strategy to effect B2B sales, leading to a trivialisation of good business practices and of women as legitimate business professionals.

With so much “sex selling” in our face, it is important for us women to ask ourselves: How seriously do we want to be taken?

Mind your ethics

Sex as a consumer marketing and sales strategy infiltrates our daily lives via advertising, celebrity endorsements, tabloids, publications and other means. In fact, it has done so for as long as we can remember. At the end of the day, if we don’t cross any personal ethics and moral codes, we should use whatever sales strategy works best. However, with sexuality being one of the most common sales ploys around it can be easy to take this type of sales strategy as the “norm.”

Women have many innate traits that potentially can help them rise to the highest levels in sales. They have a natural ability to really “listen” to their customers, recognise and understand others’ needs. What’s more, they are great at harnessing their emotional intelligence.

When it comes down to it, selling is all about the customers. Without understanding them, we can’t sell. With women being in such a great position to use their knack for selling to really help their business partners.

Besides, today, businesses rely heavily on innovations, cutting-edge ideas and expert knowledge to make sales pitches, and use suppliers to help map pathways forward to the future.

Being well presented and taking pride in your appearance is important. Making the effort to look good makes the statement that you value how you portray yourself and your reputation. This imputes in your business partners, clients and customers the feeling, and confidence, that you will put the same effort in your work. Surely, showing cleavage or flashing other “bits” is a distraction, rather than an asset.

Consider the following to make sure your intellect, integrity and professionalism remains the highest priority:

  • Raise confidence, self-worth and belief in your capabilities
  • Win the respect of your peers and seek to become a professional role model for business women
  • Focus on healthier, and more productive business relationships
  • Offer your clients, business partners and customers the highest quality of advice, ideas and service

Sue Barrett is a sales expert, business speaker, adviser, sales facilitator and entrepreneur and founded Barrett Consulting to provide expert sales consulting, training and coaching.