Girls, are we too timid?

The New York Times tech columnist, Joe Nocera, has been wondering about the health of Apple’s (very secretive) CEO Steve Jobs.

Mr. Nocera’s view, expressed in the NYTimes, is that this CEO’s health is really NOT a private matter. Apple’s success is due, everyone agrees, in very large part to Mr. Jobs’ strong creative drive, marketing skills and extraordinary love for what he does.

Anyway, Mr. Jobs called him up the other day. Mr. Nocera, tells the story:

“…much to my amazement — Mr. Jobs called me. “This is Steve Jobs,” he began. “You think I’m an arrogant [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][expletive] who thinks he’s above the law, and I think you’re a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong.” After that rather arresting opening, he went on to say that he would give me some details about his recent health problems, but only if I would agree to keep them off the record.”

After that they had a civil conversation, reports Nocera.

Is this a boy thing?

Years ago I was involved in a legal dispute. It happened that my attorney, one of the most famous in town, was up against another, equally famous lawyer. As my guy strode into the deposition room, he greeted the other attorney with “Hey Jim – I see you’re putting it on. Not enough exercise?” After which the other guy returned a shot, and then they got to work.

It’s been 20 years. I never forgot it. (I can’t recall what the dispute was about.)

I wonder ladies, if we are just to civil and polite to make an impact with the words we use. How many women just don’t want to rock the boat?

Screaming is not the answer. Insulting is not necessary. But bland words, or predictable words, have no impact. No impact = no sales.

Are we to timid and too concerned with what “they” will think of us to do a bang up job of using language that has an impact on the right people?

Or is it that we really don’t feel that strongly about what we’re selling?

Yes, maybe we feel strongly about needing/wanting money, but no one else cares about that. “They” owe us zip.

The good news: We don’t need that many good people. In my last business, I personally sponsored several hundred reps. Three (three(!)) grew to tens of thousands of reps and customers. One of my super stars was not even front line to me.

Ladies: Is it time to either market something about which you have really really strong feelings? Or if you think you have it, must you find the courage and language to express it – so your words have an impact on the few who could change your world?

P.S. The more success you experience, the more detractors you’ll have. Goes with the territory. If you’re afraid of detractors, or want to convert them all, you will never make it in sales.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Hi there Kim,

    You have done it again, made me think!

    Your question,” are we just to civil and polite”

    To answer that question, Yes,In my opinon you are correct in that statement.
    Being 65, looking back how I was raised,with verbal, non verbal messages, men and women where, and still are treated differently.

    It’s hard to kick old habits. But kick it I will!

    I will find the courage and language to express what I feel about my product and company. Seems to me, I need to tweak a few things.

    Kim you made another statement that I’m hoping you will explain further.
    ” The more success, the more detractors”
    Will you expound on that a little more please?
    Lynn Rothfuss

  • Kim, I think women *are* more timid and gentile when it comes to selling. Afterall, we have had to domesticate men for centuries! :o) But it also has to do with vanity. Our vanity keeps us from speaking out for fear of what others may think of us.

    We just need to get over ourselves!

    Rhonda in GA

  • Civil and polite does not climb ladders and move mountains. The key is the strength of the words you choose to use.

    After sponsoring over 350 people into the industry in the past several years you learn the power of your words and which ones to use and not use. You also formulate your words and sentences based on the type of person you are speaking with.

    It is a process, almost a form of psychology in knowing ‘who’ you are talking to, how they think and what to say. Having to steer the conversation to see if the person truly is interested in the opportunity as you don’t want to waste their time if they don’t have the drive to make it happen.

    You have to focus on points of interest and things that will reveal their strengh or weaknesses, not to you, but to them, to help them find themselves and realize if the opportunity is for them or not.

    We as the sponsor or sales person know the strengths and weaknesses within moments of the start of the conversation in language, emotion, and body language.

    I never sell or ‘convince’ anyone, they have to sell themselves. I am not a sugar coating recruiter, I want people who are like me, those with the passion to make it happen.

    So I’m blunt, to the point, and lay my sticks straight so they can see it all in full color. No black and white or gray shadows.

    Of course I’m friendly, personable and build a rapport – because that is WHO I am! I have to mix in business with all of that too 🙂

    It’s like almost presenting it as a ‘challenge’ to them. This in turn helps them ‘feel’ if it’s something they can or want to do, or a challenge they want to step up to.

    If I was just ‘civil and polite’ that shows weakness with no ‘heart and soul’ and I’d not be the sponsor that I am building the team I am.

    People ask me how I do it all the time…it’s all in the words above…

    My dad always told me you need to be able to tell someone something and let it impact them an hour after the meeting is over… That, is impact…

    ~Alethea Anderson

  • “I wonder ladies, if we are just to civil and polite to make an impact with the words we use. How many women just don’t want to rock the boat?”

    Hello Kim,
    The quote above from your post struck such a cord in me that I am inspired to respond. I still have a tendency to be one of the ladies who is too civil and polite to “makes waves” but I have made great progress in seeing life differently.

    I can see how, in some circumstances, it was a positive quality, such as when cool heads were needed to diffuse a volatile situation. But more often than not I think it reflected a need in me to be recognized as “nice” so that I would feel safe and accepted.

    As I have gotten older the fact that that approach to life doesn’t necessarily work has become clearer. The acceptance sought is so conditional that I have learned to question its value. I now know that self-acceptance is the key to being able to speak one’s mind, whether it is to “market something about which you have really really strong feelings” as you mention or whether it is to define a boundary that needs to be respected. And I can still do it gently and politely because that is what I prefer but not in order to be liked and accepted.

    Martine Maiorana

  • I do think women are more "polite" and therefore more "timid" in our approach to representing our products & business.

    I think we believe as strongly, we just don't use the same language as our male counterparts.

    I have found that working with men does seem to help change the woman's approach.


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