By being a salesperson

Judy Hoberman has been excelling as a salesperson since she was a Girl Scout peddling cookies door-to-door. "People always told me I was a real people person, so I naturally assumed that if you're a people person, you need to be around people," she says. "What better way than by being a salesperson?"

"Hoberman urges women in sales to be deserving of that trust, in part by selling what they believe in."

Distinguishing herself with a different approach to sales, Hoberman made a distinctive niche for herself in the business world. "I wanted to have conversations with people, and no matter where I went, I formed these tremendous relationships," she explains. "I never really had to 'sell' people,” Her no-pressure approach began when she tried to make her mother her first customer as a Fuller Brush salesperson... and was shot down. "She taught me that just because someone loves you doesn't mean they're going to buy something if they don't need it. But if they like you, they're going to share you with their friends."

The benefit of her experience

Hoberman urges women in sales to be deserving of that trust, in part by selling what they believe in. "I never offered something I wasn't passionate about," she says. "Even with insurance, I was passionate about what I sold. I would treat every person as if they were a customer, even if they weren't. Treat people the way you want to be treated."

And to women who steer clear of sales as a career path, Hoberman says they may want to rethink that idea. "There's a stigma about sales, but it's one of the most amazing careers," she says. "Old, young, male, female  — it doesn't matter. It's a level playing field, because you get to be part of an environment you're creating. Of course, if you're desperate and go in with 'commission breath,' the customer won't hear you. But if they can trust you, they'll do business with you or give you to someone else. Go in there and have a conversation, and they're going to listen."