The 7 best sales tips from the AW workshop for female startups

18 November 2018

At the start of October, along with Lime Technologies, we invited female entrepreneurs to an AW workshop at Media Evolution City. The evening was interspersed with lectures, encouraging conversations and naturally a lot of socialising. We have summarised the best bits here and will give you the best sales tips from the three speakers.

Just before five o'clock, the doors opened at the Telavox headquarters in Malmö. The evening started with drinks, canapés and socialising before hosts Kim Wadhwa (Telavox) and Jennie Forsberg (Lime) welcomed everyone to the workshop. They spoke about frustration and the background to the event: the MeToo wave that swept across the world and various studies that have shown that fewer women are starting businesses.

The evening then continued with the three speakers, who shared their various experiences of the sales industry.

Kristina Lantz, marketing manager at Lime, spoke about her own experiences running her own business and making her career in sales-focused organisations.

Anna-Mari Ewing, product specialist at Lime, gave a talk on "five sales truths" and concrete sales tips on how entrepreneurs can work proactively and effectively in sales.

Henrik Thorvinger, development manager at Telavox, talked about the importance of standing by your vision and how to dare to say no to customers.

If you couldn’t attend the event, we have summarised some of the most thought-provoking and important sales tips.

1. Get to know your customers

"Getting to know your customers isn’t about having a coffee together, but about analysing your target group. Sales do not happen randomly – customers buy from people who understand and can meet their needs. So it’s a case of knowing your contact and understanding their day-to-day life." - Anna-Mari Ewing

2. Dare to invest in order to make money

"It wasn't an obvious choice for me to start in sales. When I was younger, I didn’t see myself as a salesperson and didn’t feel that I could make money off someone I met. I wanted to help, so I studied Theology. However, when I was studying, I still started my own business. And I realised that girls selling is not an ugly concept. It’s making money." - Kristina Lantz

3. Stand by your vision

"There was a reason you started your company: something was wrong and you could fix it. Don't forget this! Dare to stand by your vision – even when times are tough and customers are being demanding. Put up your own 'commandments' and always think about what you are sacrificing if you say yes to your customers." - Henrik Thorvinger

4. Define the next stage

"Everyone knows how important it is to set targets. But make sure that your target is not just a sales figure – break it down and assign figures for what you need to do to achieve it! Define the stages which will move your business forward and make sure to base your efforts on this." - Anna-Mari

5. Fail frequently  – but do it quickly

"You have to fail, and you have to fail frequently, in order to develop and succeed in the long run. But make sure to do it quickly! Put together a draft or prototype and test your ideas as soon as possible to assess whether they’re worth continuing with." - Henrik

6. Keep your promises

"There are a lot of sloppy salespeople and companies out there, who don't remember their customers or take sufficient time. Simply by knowing the situation and being easy to deal with, you can make easy wins and build a lot of confidence." - Anna-Mari

7. Be proud of wanting to succeed

"I have had a lot of excellent sales results in my career so far. But that's not what I'm most proud of. What I’m most proud of is that I don’t think it’s shameful for women to want to succeed and be successful. And I want all women to feel this way." - Kristina

Discussion: What do you do when sales aren’t going well?

After the presentations, there was a group discussion and conversations about what it’s like working in sales. Experiences and tips were shared, including about what you can do when it feels difficult to pick up the phone in B2B sales:

Set a target. Visualise that each call is worth x amount of money (which it is!) to spur yourself on to look for new customers.

Think WYWYN. Do you feel intrusive when selling? Focus on "why you, why you now" (WYWYN) and be clear about why you are calling someone and why now.

Help the customer. Everything is about perspectives. Imagine that you as an entrepreneur and salesperson have an obligation to keep your customer informed – no-one else knows your product as well as you!

Work proactively. By getting to know your audience in depth and working proactively on sales, you choose who you sell to — not the other way around. This makes it easier for you to sell what you want to sell and not to sacrifice your vision.

Last but not least, thanks to all the 70 (!) participants who listened, asked questions and shared their experiences. We hope everyone learned something new about sales and received a healthy dose of inspiration!