Category Archives: Differences between women and men

[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.

Look Her in the Eyes when Selling to Women

Look Her in the Eyes when Selling to WomenIt’s a simple tip, really. But so important. When you’re selling to women, make eye contact.

When women talk to each other, they stand face-to-face. They spend a lot of time looking at each other’s faces and making eye contact. It’s how they read each other’s body language and understand the nonverbal context of the conversation. It’s also one signal women give that “I’m paying attention to you.”

Look Her in the Eyes when Selling to WomenThis conversational style doesn’t come naturally to men, who prefer to make occasional eye contact while mostly looking at a neutral object. It’s sort of like two guys sitting next to each other at a ballgame. Face-to-face interaction seems aggressive in male gender culture.

But if you’re selling to women, you need to understand and work within female gender culture. She wants you to look at her! And she wants to be able to look at you.

Benefits of Face-to-Face Interaction when Selling to Women

Here’s what happens when you look her in the eyes:

  • She’s confident you’re listening to her
  • She assumes you are interested in the conversation and that it’s important to you
  • She feels like she can listen to you more effectively because she can read your body language
  • She won’t be tempted to think you are daydreaming or distracted

Take a chance, look her in the eyes! She’ll notice. And she’ll appreciate it.

Selling to Women: How NOT to Annoy Your Women Prospects

“Selling to women is all about building relationships!”

selling-to-women-how-not-to-annoy-women-prospectsOh yes, this advice is definitely true. But it is also completely unhelpful to a salesperson who doesn’t understand female gender culture.

As a salesperson, you already build relationships. And you may be thinking, “But I treat my women clients just the same as my best male clients!” And that’s the problem.

Women are different.

As an illustration, take this first meeting between a financial advisor and prospect:

Financial Advisor: I’m so pleased to meet you. Let’s start with a little background for introduction. 

He then proceeds to describe his career and achievements.

Prospect: Let me tell you a little about my situation, family and future.

She then proceeds to tell stories about her life and the people in it.

Advisor: Well, now that we know each other a little, let’s get down to business. What kind of products are you looking to buy?

For a conversation between men, this sales meeting would be fairly successful. But a woman would be highly annoyed. Let’s explore why.

How the Financial Advisor Perceived the Conversation

Selling to Women: How NOT to Annoy Your Women ProspectsThe salesperson thinks he’s making friends and developing mutual respect through his “credentialing” introduction that described his success and acumen. Although the personal small talk went on a little longer than he would have liked, he feels like he helped the prospect narrow her focus and concentrate on what’s important.

How the Female Prospect Perceived the Conversation

Selling to Women: How NOT to Annoy Your Women ProspectsThe prospect thinks the salesperson is a bit arrogant and wonders why the first part of the meeting had to be all about him and his braggingAnd she’s annoyed that he ignored all the important life details that she took the time to share. She’s also off-put that he expected her to know what products she wanted this early in the process. She might think, “You’re the expert. I told you about myself and what I need. Why don’t you suggest what products would be best?”

So, to avoid annoying your women prospects, learn about the differences between men and women’s gender cultures and engage in conversations that respect her mindset.


[VIDEO] Selling to Women: When She Stops Nodding, You Stop Talking

Selling to women requires learning these important non-verbal cues that are incredibly important in women’s gender culture. You may be offending her without even knowing it!

Watch the video: When She Stops Nodding, You Stop Talking

Men Are So Emotional! Why Women Are Better Buyers

Many male financial advisors have a reluctant attitude about selling to women. They think,

“Women are too much trouble! They ask too many questions! They don’t know what they want! They take forever to make up their minds!”

And it’s true– women ask a LOT of questions.

Men Are So Emotional! Why Women Are Better BuyersWomen don’t know what they want until they do their research on the subject. When searching for a financial planner, she’ll keep an open mind, explore all her options and change her decision criteria based on new learning.

But men will impulsively act on a “hot tip” and go for it– men are the true emotional buyers in many categories! Women are the researchers.

And yes, it does take women a long time to make up their minds. They are investing time in finding the right financial advisor. They want the Perfect Answer on the first try and don’t ever want to have to go through this process again. Men’s attitude is something like, “Oh, I’ll buy from anyone. And I’ll buy the next one from anyone else.”

Women will stick with you after buying from you the first time. She’ll be confident that she made the best choice. That sounds pretty loyal, doesn’t it? And that’s why women are better buyers.

[VIDEO] Women Are Really Annoyed by Websites that Do THIS

Here’s one website design style that drives women nuts! Women have a longer decision-making process than men, which includes lots of web-based research. Make her research easier to speed up the sale.

Watch the video: Women Are Really Annoyed by Websites that Do THIS

Marketing to Women with Humor

Hey, Don’t Women Have a Sense of Humor?

Marketing to Women with HumorWith politically correct outlooks, the buzz surrounding micro-aggressions and our generally sensitive culture, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that women have a great sense of humor. It’s just different from men’s.

Men’s humor grows out of men’s culture. Humor is another way to connect through the one-up/put-down mechanism, and the punch line to a joke usually plays on how some poor guy gets his comeuppance. Not surprisingly, women’s humor grows out of female gender culture. It operates on the dynamic of identifying with the person in the funny situation– the delighted recognition of a similarity you didn’t notice before: “OMG, that is exactly the way I am!” or “You’re kidding, your husband does that too?”

Young creative geniuses are always pushing clients to dare to be “edgy.” Forget edgy. Edgy means someone gets cut, and women don’t like to see anyone get hurt, even for a good cause. I’m reminded of a Lipitor commercial from a few years ago that shows a beautiful, Boomer woman walking down the red carpet. She’s glamorous until she trips and falls on her face. The message is, “High cholesterol doesn’t care who you are.”

Women do not find this ad funny. They’re worried about the fallen women and hope she’s OK, and that distracts them from even knowing what this commercial is about.

So, avoid male humor in your advertising, but please do make her laugh! Humorous marketing to women campaigns can have a huge impact for your brand, beyond one commercial spot. Women love to share the laughs, and no marketing effort is more likely to gain word-of-mouth exposure than something women find truly giggle-worthy.

Selling to Women: ‘I’ll Think About It’ Doesn’t Mean NO

No means NO. But when a woman says “I’ll think about it” to a salesperson, financial advisor or service provider, she is not politely dismissing you and your products.

In male gender culture, “I’ll think about it” is usually the polite way of telling a nice or persistent salesperson that the sale is not going to happen and the relationship is not going to move forward. For male salespeople, financial planners and financial advisors, they often take this phrase as a signal to move on to the next prospect.

Selling to Women: 'I'll Think About It' Doesn't Mean NO

But to women– saying “I’ll think about it,” means (surprise!) that she’s going to think about what you’re offering. With her Spiral Path purchasing process, women have to do a lot of thinking before arriving at the Perfect Answer (Especially if she’s considering a complex purchase, like choosing a financial advisor).

How Women Buy: The Spiral Path

So don’t be like the Canadian financial advisor who attended one of my Selling to Women programs who suddenly realized, “Oh no! I can’t believe how much business I’ve left on the table, because I never called back the women who told me they would think about it!”

Call those women back! Ask for their perspectives and prepare to answer the many questions they likely have after “thinking about it.”

Selling to Women: Inspire ‘Me Too!’ Moments to Grab Her Attention

When getting to know each other in conversation, men typically have a very different dynamic than women. Men’s dynamic is a sort of “one-ups-manship.” They establish what each is interested in and who is better or more knowledgeable in each area.

Women find this approach tiresome. If you are a man establishing a professional relationship with a woman, you’re going to have to change your game to keep her interested.

Women don’t care about pecking orders and hierarchies. They want to know what they have in common with other people. When selling to women, keep the mantra, “Me too!” in mind.

Selling to Women: Inspire 'Me Too!' Moments to Grab Her Attention

Here’s one effective way to look for “Me Too!” Moments in your sales conversations with women. You’ve probably noticed that women are always trading compliments. “What a great scarf you’re wearing!” or “I love that book you’re reading! Great taste in literature!” And the woman receiving the compliment usually responds with a story, such as,

“Buying this book was a complete accident. I grabbed the first thing on the newsstand at the airport when I realized I had forgotten my Kindle and was late for my flight. Turns out to be fantastic, though!”

When getting to know a woman in a prospecting situation, try addressing appropriate compliments to the client, listening to her stories, and identifying points of commonality with her. After hearing the woman’s airport book buying story, you could ask, “Oh, so do you fly often? I do, too.” Women are looking for other people who belong to the same “tribes” they do, and now you’ve just joined her jetsetter tribe.

Being part of her tribe and understanding the frequent flyer lifestyle could lead directly to her discussing her tight schedule and why it’s so important for her to find a financial advisor with the acumen to look after her investments while she’s busy with her career and family. And because she feels you understand her, she will view you as a friend and advisor instead of someone just after her business.

P.S. Warning to men, here! When you identify subjects you have in common with women clients, keep in mind that you’re trying to establish what you both share and what makes you the same. You’re not trying to compete for the top spot in who has flown to the most airports or read the most books. Women find it distasteful when a simple getting-to-know-you conversation turns competitive. Remember to think in terms of “Me too!”