Category Archives: Differences between women and men

One Easy Chart to Help You Communicate with Women

Finding the Key to Marketing to Women

One Easy Chart to Help You Communicate with Women

Women and men respond to marketing communication in different ways because they communicate in different ways. They have different patterns and rituals of expression. Successfully marketing to women requires you to understand women’s communication keys. Luckily, I have a chart for that:

Women’s Communication Keys

Men’s Communication Keys

Full Context

“Complete article” – Women stress the importance of context and richness of detail. Her stories start with background and build to the main point.

Key Points

“Headlines” – Men believe in starting with the main point and only supplying detail if asked. They strip away extraneous detail.

Rapport Talk

Build connections – To win over women, you need to have conversations with them that creates a connection with her and her circle.

Report Talk

Establish status – Men, on the other hand, use conversation as a way to establish or defend individual status. They don’t focus on the personal.

Connect Through Affinity 

Women connect through affinity with others and establish links that highlight similarities. They focus on empathy- so your marketing should as well.

Connect Through Competition (Rank)

Men connect through competition- the friendlier the group of men, the more good-natured taunting and challenging you will find.

Stories and Personal Details

Women’s social currency consists of stories and personal details. They trade them, save them and value them. (Surely, this gives you marketers some ideas!)

Facts and Features

Men’s social currency relies on facts and features. I believe this is why sports scores and statistics are so popular with men, eh? They are becoming rich in social currency.

These four communication strategies should give you plenty of ideas for marketing to women. How will you plan to share stories, build rapport and build links with these valuable customers?

Closing the Sale with Women

Women’s “Perfect Answer” Requires a Longer Sales Process

Here’s a critical difference between women and men when it comes to closing a sale: while men seek to make a good decision, women are looking for the Perfect Answer. As a result:

  • Expect a lot more questions from women
  • Expect a longer decision process

Closing the Sale with Women

Cowboys and Sharpshooters

Salespeople are trained to try to close the sale in the initial meeting. That may work with men because they have a faster decision process. Making decisions from the fly and “shooting from the hip” is one way men communicate their autonomy and decisiveness– the “cowboy factor.” But women are marksmen, not cowboys– and if you rush them or push them while they’re trying to zero in on what they want, all you’re going to do it irritate them.

Women want to consider, compare and talk it over with trusted advisors. It’s not enough for the product or service to meet her needs; it must be the best way to meet her needs.

Selling to women can be frustrating in this respect, but I’d advise you to refocus your attention on what you’re going to do to follow up instead of pushing too hard right away. Otherwise, she will start to distrust your motives (you’re supposed to be her agent, not her adversary!) and destroy all that great rapport you’ve been building up during the sales process.

 

[VIDEO] Why You Need to Look Women in the Eyes

Face-to-face sales conversations with women need to happen… facing each other! Women are most comfortable making eye contact and looking at the other person’s face.

Watch the video: Why You Need to Look Women in the Eyes

55 Alive! Marketing to Boomer Women in the Prime of Her Life

55 Alive! Marketing to Boomer Women in the Prime of Her LifeWith healthier diets, different lifestyles and advances in health care, we’re all living longer. At first glance, this would seem to add an extra decade to the end of life, but on the contrary! It’s more like adding an extra decade to the middle, somewhere around age 50. These days, 55 is very alive. The stereotype of ages 50-70 may be “the sunset years,” but the reality is that it’s more like high noon!

Boomer women encounter the added decade of life very differently from the way midlife men do. While both men and women approach their 50th birthdays with a good deal of apprehension, as it turns out, the midlife transition is a good deal easier on women.

Most men reach 50 alarmed about sliding downhill for the rest of their lives. They want to stay where they are, to keep what they’ve got. Some try to recapture the feelings of their youth—they act on their rebellious impulses. Some don’t know what to do with themselves after retirement and no longer have a power role in society. They stay at home and putter around the house, declining to exercise or socialize.

55 Alive! Marketing to Boomer Women in the Prime of Her LifeTo women, 50 comes as a gift. For most, it’s a major life shift, from the “mom” mode to the “me” mode (In case you think I’m overgeneralizing about the mom mode, consider that by the age of 40, 84% of women have had children). At the same time as the kids are leaving home, leaving mothers with more time, those moms get a little extra boost of post-menopausal zest. They use the added decade of life to go back to college or start a new business. It’s finally “my time,” and they make the most of it. They feel lucky to have the luxury of focusing on themselves, finding their inner individuality, and fulfilling long-suppressed dreams.

The potential for marketing to these Boomer women should be quite apparent—but how does one go about developing marketing strategies? The most powerful ways for marketers to create relevance and appeal for women is to elicit “That’s me!” moments—when a woman sees herself in the situation and your product or service as the solution. As women approach their 50s, they are even more in tune with “That’s me!” moments than before. And we already know this is a sizeable marketing target—the National Association of Baby Boomer Women share that there are over 39 million Boomer women in the US.

Selling to Affluent Couples is Tricky Business

Selling to Affluent Couples is Tricky BusinessSelling to women one-on-one is fairly easy to master. If you understand women’s gender culture and respect her decision-making process, you’ll be miles ahead of most other salespeople.

But selling to couples is trickier. The adage “three’s a crowd,” comes into play because you’re managing three personalities and styles– the woman, the man and yourself. And when you’re selling complex, high-investment products or services, like financial planning or home remodeling, it can start to feel like you’re a counselor as much as you’re a salesperson!

Identify the answer to this question to get started:

Who is the Primary Buyer/User?

Selling to Affluent Couples is Tricky Business

When the couple is buying something for her— her car, her computer, her new kitchen, if the salesman talks to the husband, he gets one warning, often from the husband. If the salesman continues, they leave. There is no room for mistakes here.

When the couple is buying for him, you still need to talk to her. Whether it’s a man cave or a yacht, the wife needs to be sold also. There was once a young yacht salesman who figured out how to sell to couples. He said that he doesn’t target the husband; he already wants the boat. He sells to the wife because she’s the one who needs to be convinced. And he became one of the most successful salespeople in his company using this strategy.

Remember, women have enormous influence on the conventionally male big-ticket items, whether she intends to be the primary user or not.

Marketing to Women Beyond the Sale

Marketing to Women Beyond the SaleWomen are more interested in, and place more value on, warranties, guarantees and customer support availability. Women want to be sure that they have help if they encounter problems with your product. And 65% of the time, it’s the woman who takes the car into the repair shop. The numbers are similar for other home-related maintenance. Offering back-end or post-purchase features are an important part of marketing to women, especially if you’re selling complex or high-end products.

The fact is, there aren’t that many companies that truly satisfy customer concerns, questions or complaints. Instead, you get stuck in an endless phone menus or directed to “knowledgebase articles.” When you do reach a voice from the Land of the Living, the answer is ultimately that nothing can be done about your problem anyway/

Marketing to Women Beyond the SaleFor anyone reading this who says, “That’s not our customer policy,” let me say two things. First, of course it’s not! No one makes a commitment to delivering bad customer service. Second, try using your own customer service system anonymously– not from a company phone or device. I’m afraid that you’re likely to discover what most customers discover: the service is terrible.

That’s right. I said it. And I bet you’ve probably said it, too, about other companies. But most people believe their own marketing about their company.

I heard of one study that included the question, “Would you come back to…?” in reference to the company that sold the product. Of the people who answered no, not one mentioned the product; all of them instead identified a service-related problem.

Make sure to keep marketing to women beyond the sale. She wants to be a loyal customer, but you have to reciprocate that loyalty. When customer service resolves questions and problems and does so via a caring, intelligent person who genuinely wants to help reach a resolution, it’s surprising and delightful.

Some Sensitive Advice on Selling to Women

Some Sensitive Advice on Selling to WomenCompared to men, women have extrasensory sensitivity. They are able to register more subtle levels of sight, sound and touch. Also, they have “emotional X-ray vision:” they can read non-verbal signals more precisely, including tone of voice, facial expressions and body language.

There’s another important attitudinal component that magnifies these sensitivities: women are a “sensitized population.” When selling to women, salespeople must understand this about women.

Most women have had enough experience with being slighted or treated inappropriately in certain sales situations that they’ve come to expect it. Not that they are tolerant of it, but forewarned is forearmed, and they’ve learned to at least be on guard against sexism. So, when women have a negative experience with a person or business, instead of chalking it up to overall lousy service, they often assume it’s because they are female.

Some Sensitive Advice on Selling to Women

For example, car salesmen have a reputation of being condescending when selling to women. I’m sure most of them are not, but almost every woman I’ve met has a story about an unpleasant car sales experience. And the stories get around, so car salesmen’s reputation precedes them. Both male and female car buyers are going to encounter rude treatment or poor service from time to time. But when men are treated rudely, they don’t walk out of the dealership feeling they were treated that way “because they’re men.” Instead they think, “That guy’s a jerk,” But women often attribute bad behavior to disrespect for women. And the really bad part is when they tell their friends, neighbors and coworkers about the dealership.

When you consider the dramatic differences in men’s and women’s gender culture– credibility displays, rapport-building games based on “one-up” instead of “same-same” and exchange of personal details, different listening behaviors and so-on– and combine that with many men’s underlying view that small courtesies are expressions of subservience instead of consideration for others, you can see that the situation is rife with opportunities for misunderstanding. And even innocuous, unintended oversights can easily be perceived by “sensitized populations” to be just one more example of deliberate discourtesy.

I’m not trying to create an atmosphere of walking on eggshells. Rather, I’m attempting to lay out in very concrete terms how and why an extra dose of sincere consideration and thoughtfulness goes such a long way with women. I think many salesmen are genuinely puzzled by women who get upset over a “little” thing like handing the keys for her test drive to her husband. A little extra reading on the topic and a little focused sellig-to-women training for your sales force can go a long way toward making sure you get your share of the women’s market.

 

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! 

Why the World of Industrial Design is Failing in Marketing to Women

Women Buy Everything. So Why Aren’t You Designing for Them?

Why the World of Industrial Design is Failing in Marketing to WomenFirst of all, why should industrial design brands care about women? Women aren’t particularly “industrial” are they? Wrong.

In the US B2C world, women account for 80% of consumer spending. And they buy significantly more industrially-designed products than men. According to Michael Silverstein of the Boston Consulting Group,

“Women make the decision in purchases of 94% of home furnishings… 92% of vacations… 91% of homes… 60% of automobiles… and 51% of consumer electronics.”

Please tell me you aren’t thinking something like, “Well, sure, women buy a lot of consumer goods. Isn’t that sweet?”

Women mean business, too. Women also account for about 55% of business buying decisions (Listen up, B2B!). It’s worth noting that, according to the US Bureau of Labor statistics, women comprise over half of wholesale and retail buyers (think retail inventory), purchasing agents and managers (cost of goods), administrative assistants and managers (business equipment and services), and HR employees and managers (employee benefit plans). In other words, except for real estate and new building construction, women place the purchase order. And even if she’s a recommender rather than the final decision-maker, if you don’t make her short list, you have no shot at the contract.

How to Design Products Women Love

How do we know that the world of industrial design is failing in marketing to women? In many categories, women report a continuing gap between what they want and what they’re offered. By large majorities, they feel manufacturers, marketers and designers aren’t paying attention to what they want.

Why the World of Industrial Design is Failing in Marketing to WomenIn the automotive industry, for example, a 2014 Frost & Sullivan study of car buyers revealed that globally 50% of women are dissatisfied with their vehicles, which probably explains why fully 74% say they feel misunderstood by car manufacturers. I’ve seen similarly shocking numbers from studies in other big-ticket categories, including consumer electronics, financial services and healthcare, so I’d be comfortable guessing that this pattern would hold in just about any of them.

Design firms love to say that their process is customer centric. But the marketplace is telling us that either they’re focusing on the wrong customer—at the very minimum, they’re not including the right customer—or they aren’t doing a great job figuring out what she wants. Women are different. They aren’t built like men. They have different lifestyles and roles than men. They perceive, prioritize and shop differently than men do. And as far as women can tell, designers and marketers don’t care.

Women are far more likely than men to recognize and respond to the second-tier features and improvements that all brands rely on to differentiate themselves from competitors. Women’s perceptual abilities allow them to register and retain details better than men do. Moreover, because women shop differently from men, they pay more attention to features that men—and researchers—tend to classify as unimportant.

Men are more likely to believe that little things make little difference. Women believe that little things make all the difference. In their search for the perfect answer, women seek out more options and compare their trade-offs down to the last detail.

In the world of industrial design, thousands of products are annoying millions of women every day. And for designers, that’s called opportunity. Listening to women—as end users, as buyers and as designers—is a sure and certain path to better innovation, stronger sales and greater career success.