Taste of success

30th January 2016 |   Deirdre Coleman

Nicola Robinson

Nicola Robinson is UK & International Sales Director, Kettle Foods and was previously Field Sales Director, Coca-Cola Enterprises. Winner of Best Sales Director, Women in Sales Awards 2014, she shares her advice for women starting a career in sales and why she’d like to see more open dialogue on the supports needed to retain female talent. She talks to Deirdre Coleman.

Women can be “naturals at selling” because generally speaking, we are good listeners and consequently can identify the right product or service and subsequently apply the appropriate sales techniques, which secure the sale.

Women can harness our innate strengths by spending more time in the preparation and planning phase, thinking about the questions to ask which are going to deliver the most valuable information. It’s crucial that the interest and the commitment to delivering for the buyer must be genuine.

Flexibility and open dialogue are fundamentally key to opening up advancement for women in sales and in senior leadership roles generally. If companies would broaden out their leadership styles and attitudes towards organisational structure, it would allow for more flexibility in working patterns at the most senior levels. Of course, this can come with a cost, but I firmly believe it would be more than offset by the experience and talent which would be retained and therefore create incremental value for the company.

Content Director, MAPS, the Medical Affairs Professional Society | + posts

Deirdre Coleman is a regular contributor to the International Journal of Sales Transformation. She is Content Director, MAPS, the Medical Affairs Professional Society and previously worked as Editor, eyeforpharma.