Although culturally the UK & Australia are similar in many ways, I was both surprised and amused at an experience I had when presenting a new product sales tool/aid to a machinery dealer’s sales team. I had negotiated the opportunity to participate in demonstrating our products onto new machines that they were going to launch to their selected customers through a 3 day open house event at a working quarry in Brisbane.

It was important therefore that the sales team (made up entirely of men) understood the benefits of my products ahead of their customers arriving days 2 and 3. I, along with the help of an experienced machine operator then set about demonstrating and explaining the unique features that the product could offer their customers over and above what was currently available throughout the Australian market.

Always preferring an interactive approach to training across all aspects I then asked the guys if they had any questions. I received many varied questions some technical others price related etc etc .. After answering all of them to their conclusion and as the session drew to a close one of the guys then stepped forward raised his hand clearly upset at the thought of the female form interfering in what he saw as a male industry and enquired ‘so how many women plan to take over our industry?’

Without missing a beat I replied ‘only one’ and with that the remaining guys burst into raucous laughter and a loud applause followed.

The moral of the story...

No one can make you feel intimidated unless you allow them to!

Remember YOU control your thoughts. Go forth confidently, there really is a world of opportunity waiting to be discovered!