Selling to Women? Small Courtesies Make Big Points

Selling to Women? Small Courtesies Make Big Points

Women are more sensitive to nuance and underlying meanings, and they respond emphatically and negatively to what men might categorize as minor oversights. This tendency makes selling to women a more detail-oriented endeavor. The flip side is that positive actions and small courtesies go a long way towards earning her trust and business.

A couple small examples– that aren’t small to women– include offering to get her a chair if it seems she’s had a long day, or getting her kids a couple sodas from the vending machine if it’s hot out.

Not Every Salesman Can Sell to Women This Way

Selling to Women? Small Courtesies Make Big PointsAt a recent sales training seminar I was conducting, I realized I have to be a little more specific on this point. A very experienced and successful salesman came up to me after the seminar and told me how pleased he was with the seminar and all the new stuff he’d learned. He said it had never really occurred to him to do the small courtesies before, but if “sucking up to the client is what it takes to make the sale, I guess I can do that.” I thought he was joking at first, but he wasn’t!

It reminds me of a scenario in Dr. Deborah Tannen’s book You Just Don’t Understand! in which she recounts a psychologist asking a husband-wife pair of respondents what they thought “politeness” meant. They answered at the same time: the woman said “consideration for others,” while the man said “subservience.” Asking around among my male acquaintances reveals that quite a few men share this attitude.

Since, to many men, my recommendation to offer small courtesies when selling to women seems antithetical to their culture, I now hasten to add: If you can’t do it with genuine sincerity, don’t do it at all. Women will see through fakery, and instead of having gained her appreciation, you’ll have lost her trust.

[VIDEO] Women are Referral Megaphones!

Have you ever wondered why word of mouth spreads faster with women? Marketing to women expert Marti Barletta explains how women’s emphasis on the personal make them the perfect referral source. Once financial planner says his women clients send him, on average, 26 referrals. His male clients only send him 2! What a difference!

Watch the video: Women are Referral Megaphones! 

Marketing to Boomer Women: Are These Consumers Smarter than Millennials?

Marketing to Boomer Women: Are These Consumers Smarter than Millennials?Sigmund Freud once claimed that “about the age of 50, the elasticity of the mental processes on which treatment depends is, as a rule, lacking. Old people are no longer educable.” Ironically, Freud was 51 when he wrote those words, and he went on to produce some of his best work after 65.

The idea that younger people are smarter and savvier than their older counterparts is inaccurate. When marketing to Boomer women, realize they are often just reaching the peak of their cognitive powers.

Boomers Enjoy the Combination of Wisdom and Brain Power

Scientists have discovered that despite a few short-term memory glitches and a slower processing speed, our mental capacity doesn’t even reach its full potential until midlife. They are learning that, contrary to Freud’s assumption, the brain continues to change and grow throughout life. One key area of growth is the accumulation of white matter in the sophisticated thinking centers of the brain (which peaks around 50). Because of these two factors, Boomer women and men can manage information better, analyze facts better and generate meanings that were entirely beyond them when they were younger.

Of course, the most important difference between older and younger brains is also the easiest to overlook: older brains have learned more than young ones. They’ve been around the block a lot more times, seen the world, made mistakes, made discoveries, managed recoveries and made amends. Says George Bartzokis, UCLA neurologist:

“In midlife, you’re beginning to maximize the ability to use the entirety of information in your brain on an everyday, ongoing, second-to-second basis. Biologically, that’s what wisdom is.”

Marketing to Boomer Women: Are These Consumers Smarter than Millennials?Studies have shown that years of experience and practice enable older adults to build up a rich library of alternative ways to solve problems or make decisions that allows them o bypass steps needed by younger adults. We get better at sizing up a situation and problem-solving. We have more confidence in our opinions, feelings and decisions and don’t need validation from others. We are more pragmatic. We develop a richer vocabulary and a better understanding of how to use these words effectively. The abilities we learned earlier in life and gained proficiency with over the years are now smoothly polished and almost second nature.

Does all this make Boomers smarter than Millennials? At this stage of life, it just might! Sales and marketing to Boomer women efforts would be wise to assume these women are smart, sophisticated and discerning.

3 Tips for Starting a Conversation with a Woman Prospect

It can be difficult getting to know a new prospect. Salespeople walk a fine line between learning about prospects and communicating about their offerings. Starting a conversation with a woman prospect is different than with men.

Selling to Women Tip #1: Ask about Her First

3 Tips for Starting a Conversation with a Woman ProspectStart the conversation by asking your woman prospect about herself. Don’t introduce yourself first. Women often become very interested in learning about others. If you start the conversation about yourself, she may spend the entire conversation asking questions about you. Then you’d never learn anything about her– and how can you sell to a stranger?

And don’t worry, you’ll have an opportunity to talk about yourself soon enough! Reciprocity is built into women’s natures. She will certainly ask about you and what you do.

Selling to Women Tip #2: Your First Question Sets the Tone

Asking a woman about herself can be tricky. Avoid making assumptions about your prospect’s life situation. Don’t assume she is a career women or a stay-at-home mom. You set the stage for a friendly conversation when your first question to her is neutral.

To avoid awkward situations, try these opening questions:

  1. What keeps you busy these days?
  2. What gets you up in the morning?

Selling to Women Tip #3: Listen for These 3 Key Things

3 Tips for Starting a Conversation with a Woman ProspectIt may be true that women have a lot to say, but if you listen for these three topics, you’ll be well on your way to a successful sales conversation:

  1. Information about her family and lifestyle that help you understand how your offerings could help her.
  2. Interests you share in common that can start to build a friendly acquaintanceship.
  3. Something you can follow-up on later to show her you were listening and care about the conversation you shared.

3 Marketing to Women NEWS FLASHES

Attention, CEOs, CMOs, COOs and everyone in the C-suite!

3 Marketing to Women NEWS FLASHES

BREAKING: Here are three executive summary news flashes you need to know before developing your next strategic initiative. 

Women Are Not a Niche

Women are not a “niche,” so get your marketing to women initiatives out of the specialty markets group.

Sometimes, ya gotta laugh. Time and time again, I’m invited to speak at a major corporation by the executive heading up a business group called something like Specialty Markets, Minority Markets or Emerging Markets. This group has responsibility for marketing to various niches– and women. All I can say is, “Wait a minute! You’re supposed to motivate 51% of the population and you have, what, 4% of the corporate marketing budget?”

First In, First Win

The competition is catching on to marketing to women.

I can’t explain why it has taken so long for American business to recognize and act on the tidal wave that is the women’s market. But it’s a secret no longer. Companies from Nike to Nabisco and from Wachovia to Wyndham, companies like General Motors, Volvo, Harley Davidson and Jiffy Lube as well as Charles Schwab, Citigroup, Kimpton Hotels, MinuteClinic, Lowe’s and The Home Depot are all seeking their industry’s lead in the women’s market.

Paradoxically, there’s still room to leap ahead. That’s because many pioneers entered this new territory cautiously and tentatively. For whatever reason, their hearts aren’t truly in the marketing to women game, and that means good news for you. Their reticence means that you can benefit from what they’ve learned– and leapfrog to the front.

Get Serious about Marketing to Women

If you dip your toe in the water, what makes you think you’ll get splashy results?

Unlocking a gigantic new consumer segment warrants at least– at least!– as much commitment as launching a new product line. There are companies that spend millions to market a line extension without blinking an eye; others invest billions to open undeveloped global markets without a backward glance. Why? Because it’s an “obvious” opportunity. How is it that the same companies can decide that the women’s market warrants merely a test launch in a single market to “see how it does?”

 

[VIDEO] How to Connect With Women in Conversation

Selling to women is different from selling to men, and it all starts with the sales conversation. Learn 3 keys to connecting with women in a sales conversation.

Watch the video: How to Connect With Women in Conversation 

Why Women Make the Best Financial Services Clients

It’s time you start selling to women.

Why Women Make the Best Financial Services ClientsAffluent women are everywhere– 50% of millionaires are women, and they are poised to inherit 70% of the $41 trillion in inter-generational wealth transfer expected over the next 40 years. Women have the money, and they will only get more of it.

But that’s only one (really big!) reason to sell financial services to women. Here are four more:

  • Women are easier to reach. Hardly anyone prospects wealthy women! Who wouldn’t love a target market that faces almost zero competition?
  • She’s very motivated to purchase financial services, both for herself and her family.
  • Women are very loyal clients. Once she selects you, she’ll stick with you. Financial advisors of my experience report that women are much less likely to defect during downturns. Because she was thorough in her financial advisor selection process, she knows her decision has yielded the “Perfect Answer” for her needs.
  • Make her happy, and she will send you way more referrals than her male counterparts. One financial advisor tallied up his referrals and found that, on average, men referred two clients, while women sent him 26 referrals. Wouldn’t you like to multiply your referrals by 13???

To learn more about selling to women, watch some of my Selling Financial Services to Women videos. I’ve put together this super-helpful playlist, sure to provide useful to-dos and to-DON’Ts that help you up your sales game.

Experience the JOY of Marketing to Boomer Women

Experience the JOY of Marketing to Boomer WomenWhat is particularly striking about the Boomer woman is the contentment, joy and enthusiasm with which she lives her life.

Although she describes herself as serious, being serious does not equate to being negative. You could even say that she lives by that old Johnny Mercer classic, “Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative.”

She’s happier and more content and possesses a brighter, more optimistic disposition than Generation X and Millennial women who are many years her junior.

Experience the JOY of Marketing to Boomer WomenShe’s come to accept her age (and some of the physical and emotional challenges that come with it) with a dignity, grace and enthusiasm that belies that Rolling Stones refrain, “What a drag it is getting old.” (Perhaps it’s still true for the bandmembers. Just look at that picture.)

As DDB Chicago and I heard in our Girlfriend Groups market research, Boomer women have learned to find happiness wherever and whenever they can, whether that’s helping a daughter by taking in her children, buying a new pair of shoes, or, yes, starting to date online!

Sure, some Boomer women still struggle accepting their crow’s feet, wrinkles and sagging muscles. Yet, most have gotten past the point of needing to look young. In fact, Boomer women are just as likely as their younger counterparts to boast, “When I look in the mirror, I like what I see.” – 58% vs. 57%, respectively.

Lynn, from our Girlfriends Group told researchers,

“I love being 50; I love this time in my life. I feel stronger. I do more than I used to. I am more active, mentally stronger. I don’t think, oh God, I’m getting old. I look in the mirror and see wrinkles, and I’m okay with it.”

Just about every woman we spoke to said that she gets aches and pain and that getting up in the morning takes more time than it used to. But they adjust by getting up a little earlier or planning their days to start a little later. They get up, get dressed, and put on their makeup, a routine that makes them feel better and more alive than does sitting around in a house dress of muumuu!

Rachel, 60, remarked,

“I can feel arthritis and the aches and pains, but I still don’t think of the age.”

Even if they don’t look it on the outside, most Boomer women feel like 30 on the inside. Their psychological age is much younger than their chronological age, and in many respects, their psychological age is more youthful and vibrant than that of women 20 and 30 years their junior.

Experience the JOY of Marketing to Boomer WomenExperiencing the joy of being means that each day is special:

“I really didn’t give it a thought [what being 64 would be like]. I love it. I mean, it’s a blessing to live to 64. Age is just a number.” – Ruby, 64

“The first thing I do in the morning is say, ‘Thank you, God’ for another day.” – Rachel, 60

For marketing departments, understanding the personalities behind the numbers will help when marketing to Boomer women. Experiencing the joy of being rarely comes across in marketing efforts aimed at Boomers, but if it did, it would be incredibly effective.

Selling to Women: Answer Every Question Thoroughly

Selling to Women: Answer Every Question ThoroughlyDuring the sales process, women have a longer list of wants and are voracious information seekers. So no matter how trivial or irrelevant her question may seem to you, answer it.

Some salespeople think they are helping women customers by keeping conversations focused on what matters– trying to be efficient and maybe even considerate of her time. But if your response to her question is, “Well, that’s really not what’s important here,” you’ve lost the sale and offended the customer.

If she says it’s important– and if she’s talking about it, that’s what she’s saying– it’s important.

Selling to Women Requires You to Understand Your Competition

Selling to Women: Answer Every Question ThoroughlyOne area I’ve heard several women comment on it salesmen’s unwillingness or inability to answer questions on how the product compares to the competition.

When my friend Pam was shopping, she asked one salesman, “Why should I buy this car instead of that competitive make and model?” She took it as a given that anyone doing due diligence on such an expensive purchase would compare several options. In her mind, she was giving the salesperson an opportunity to showcase his product’s advantages. His answer?

“You just can’t compare the two.”
“Why not?” she pressed.
Again, he said, “You just can’t.”

This salesperson lost the sale because he didn’t know his competition as well as she did– and he tried to make her feel dumb for asking a perfectly reasonable question. Interesting sales strategy.

Contrast that experience with the next dealership where they were prepared to answer the same question with details on their product’s advantages compared to the competition– newer engine design, more headroom, slightly better gas mileage, and so on.

To women, research and data are key elements to finding the Perfect Answer. So, please, make sure to answer her questions thoroughly.

[VIDEO] What Women Think about Most Sales Meetings

Women rate the investment industry last in a list of 58 categories. Whoah! There’s a problem here. And it starts with what women think about most sales meetings they have with financial planners. Watch my video to improve your selling to women skills!

Watch the video: What Women Think about Most Sales Meetings