Category Archives: How women buy

[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 

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.

Two Secrets that Bring Joy to Your Product Design

Marketing to Women Starts with Great Products

Twentieth Century Fox recently released a movie about one of the most successful designers in history. The role of the designer is played by Jennifer Lawrence, no less, one of today’s hottest stars. Her sidekicks are Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper (of course!) and Isabella Rossellini. And yet I bet you don’t know this designer’s name.

It’s Joy Mangano.

She focuses on the housewares sector and sells all her products via the home shopping channels HSN and QVC. This retail format is one of few that provide consolidated, immediate feedback on customer response and business success. And, OH, what success she’s enjoyed:

  • Her first product sold over 18,000 items in 20 minutes. And to show that’s not a fluke, another of her designs sold 150,000 in six hours.She holds the record for the best-selling product in electronic retailing history—678 million sold, all told.
  • She holds the record for the best-selling product in electronic retailing history—678 million sold, all told.
  • She has been known to generate sales of $10 million in a single day—extraordinary for this format.
  • To date, over the past 23 years her designs have generated revenues of over $3 billion.

Her phenomenal success can point the way to several specific strategies that can and should blow open your design thinking and accelerate your business success.

Two Secrets that Bring Joy to Your Product Design

Joy’s most important insight is that she roots her design thinking in solving end-user problems in day-to- day life, not in seeking innovation for innovation’s sake. She looks for end users who are exasperated or annoyed by some aspect of a product with a gap between what they want and what’s available.

The second insight is that changes that seem small can have very big business impact indeed. Joy’s best-selling design, the Huggable Hanger, may seem mundane. (OK, so naming might not be her forte.) But this blockbuster product was the first to solve three closet-management problems. First, it’s velvet-flocked, so clothes don’t slip off onto the floor. Second, it’s strong but flat, unlike heavy-duty wood or plastic hangers, meaning less crowding on the closet bar. Third, the shoulder edges are rounded, so there are no poky little puckers ruining the lines of a lovely blouse or sweater. The hangers come in 19 colors, including pink. And she’s sold $678 million of them so far.

It just so happens that Joy’s category, housewares, automatically focused her on the consumers who buy most of everything—women. But women as buyers drive the brand choice in almost every category (this means you, too, auto and consumer electronics); women as end users are the research resource who best notice and articulate design problems that need solving; and women as design colleagues contribute even more than their valuable guidance as the voice of the customer.

In a nutshell, centering your research and product development around more input from women will deliver better innovation, stronger sales, greater career success and more customer love in every sector of industrial design. 

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.

[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

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.”

Check Out This Marketing to Women Fail

Amazon Fire TV is a product that connects to your HDTV and streams content networks like Netflix, Hulu and (of course) Amazon Video. It’s a nifty little product that appeals to the growing market of TV viewers unsubscribing from cable and satellite.

But what Amazon Fire TV might have in product features, it lacks in marketing to women appeal. The product’s new #showhole campaign promotes:

“When the final credits roll and you fall into that void. What do you do? Don’t despair, Amazon Fire TV is here to pull you out of your #showhole.”

One marketing execution features a woman in loungewear, pale from lack of sunlight as she feeds her addiction to her favorite TV show. Then, horror of horrors, the last season is over, and she can only be comforted by… finding another show to watch.

Watch the Video: So Long, #Showhole

What’s Wrong with this Marketing to Women Campaign?

Besides being somewhat creepy (Knitting a full-body straight jacket? The vague ickiness of the word showhole?), here are three reasons why this marketing campaign won’t appeal to women:

  • Women are Ensemble Players. A lone woman, eating Chinese take-out isn’t aspirational to women. Women want to hang out with friends and would be more motivated by ‘viewing party’ imagery.
  • Women are Driven by Empathy. Watching this commercial is more likely to make a woman want to befriend the actress and take her out shopping than make her want to buy the product.
  • Women Love to Talk. Sitting silently in front of the TV is not most women’s idea of fun. She’d much rather chat with her girlfriends about the plot than become a recluse.

Women would probably love this product. Its on-demand flexibility fits into her schedule, and browsing thousands of options will help her feel she’s arrived at the Perfect Answer for what to watch during Girls Night In. But if her only exposure to Amazon Fire TV is this ad, she’s likely to think, “How strange. That’s not for me,” and move on.