Category Archives: Things women care about

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.

[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.

[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

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.

Organic Balance Keeps it Real in Fabulous New Marketing to Women Campaign

Most marketing to women execution makes me yawn– it’s predictable and not particularly appealing to women. But protein shake brand Organic Balance woke me up with this perfectly planned video:

This spot reminded me of the original U by Kotex campaign from a number of years ago, created by Ogilvy & MatherThat ​gracefully ironic self-awareness of the young women in the set-up scene – adorable! The real women segments had me nodding in self-recognition – funny!

​Organic Balance’s fabulous new marketing to women campaign really embodies my “Real, Not Ideal.” GenderTrends principle. While watching the video, it is such a relief to transition to the “real women’s mornings” part of the video! I felt so able to relate that I do believe I was having an oxytocin episode. (Oxytocin is the hormone that promotes bonding in everybody, but especially in women. It is released both when women feel, as well as when they want, more closeness.) When those real women segments were showing, I was thinking, “Yup – That would be me!”

The brand doesn’t stop with one video– the campaign directs viewers to a Real Morning Report mini-site that uniquely appeals to women. You’re invited to take a survey (fun!) that reveals what mornings are like for other women (interesting!). And invites you to share cute, pre-made “Morning Facts” with your networks  (easy! friendly!). Also, enjoy coupons  to try out the product.

Organic Balance Keeps it Real in Fabulous New Marketing to Women Campaign Organic Balance Keeps it Real in Fabulous New Marketing to Women Campaign Organic Balance Keeps it Real in Fabulous New Marketing to Women Campaign

Every element of this creative campaign shows the brand really understands women and how to relate to them. What can your brand learn from Organic Balance?

Get More Insight on Marketing to Women with “Real, Not Ideal” Positioning

Authenticity is meaningful and motivating to women. Here are a few of my other posts that will help you keep it real when marketing to women:

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.

Marketing to Women: Enable Boomer Women to Pursue Passions and Explore Possibilities

Boomer women live life in drive. Their outlook on life and the future is optimistic, eager and very engaged. When marketing to these women, brands should emphasize the pursuit of passion and exploration of possibilities. Here’s a little context to start your thinking.

Boomer Women Pursue Forgotten Passions

Marketing to Women: Enable Boomer Women to Pursue Passions and Explore PossibilitiesOne of the first thing Boomer women do as they grow older and have more “me time” is to return to some of the activities and passions they set aside when they got overcommitted with work and family responsibilities.

They remember how much they used to like to write or sing of teach or belly dance or climb mountains. Among participants in my 50/50/50 panel, one woman told us she was starting piano lessons over again and made a point of practicing an hour every day. Another decided she wanted to prepare for retirement by taking business seminars. Others took classes in computers, photography, handicapping (when a new horse track opened in her area) and adventure (parachuting, rock climbing, rappelling. Wow. And our Girlfriend Group participants were returning to passions like art, glass beads and history.

… And They Seek Our New Possibilities

Marketing to Women: Enable Boomer Women to Pursue Passions and Explore PossibilitiesMany Boomer women are seeking out new directions. They recognize the world of possibilities before them and are unconcerned about starting fresh, being novices at something they’ve never tried before. They feel open to any opportunity and are willing to take risks the way they did when they were younger.

The irony is that when they were younger, they were unafraid because they thought they were immortal and couldn’t conceive of failure. Now they are unafraid to take risks because they know they won’t live forever, and they know failure is OK.

How These Outlooks Affect Marketing to Boomer Women Strategies

In 1970, the enormously popular book What Color is Your Parachute? was published. It offered thought-provoking new perspectives and, most interestingly, tons of exercises designed to get you to think creatively and without constraints about what workplace occupation could fire up your sense of passion and enable you to live the life you wanted.

So where is Part 2? What Color is Your Clock or something like that– terrible title, I know. Just work with me on the concept here. The idea would be to apply the same or similar exercises to help Boomers visualize the second half of their lives, and it would be tailored to their different priorities and attitudes.

I suggest to craft marketing to women campaigns based on stories of people who are exploring new possibilities and achieving their dreams. Help Boomer women understand how your brand will help them fulfill their visions and aspirations by showing them how you have helped others.

[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

Marketing to Boomer Women: Recognize the Joy of Being Grandma

There are more than 70 million grandparents in the United States, and 1.7 million new grandparents are “born” each year. With the growth of inter-generational households, grandparents lead 37% of all US households. And, with the average age of a first-time grandparent at 48, more than half of these grandparents are Boomers.

Beyond the demographics of grandparents is the joy of being Grandma and Grandpa (or Abuela and Abuelo)! Of all grandparents, 72% think being a grandparent is the single most important and satisfying thing in their lives. And that’s where the real marketing to Boomer women opportunity presents itself.

Marketing to Boomer Grandparents

These Boomer women who love life as a grandma are active, lively and astute. They may knit, but it’s not because they are stuck at home. Here’s how some brands are marketing to Boomer women grandmas.

Marketing to Boomer Women: Recognize the Joy of Being GrandmaMormor is an online Norwegian store that sells baby and children’s wear from the time when Grandma herself was a wee lass (Mormor is Danish for Grandma). Even the employees stem from an era when everything was made by hand. All products are handmade, from pure wool, alpaca wool or cotton. Old knitting and crocheting techniques and patterns have been revived, and colors and materials updated. The products meet modern demands for fashionable children’s clothing as well as for old-fashioned quality and honest materials. Cool little touch: clothes come with a small nametag signed by the Mormor that made the item.

One charming product I came across is My Granny’s Purse by P.H. Hanson, a cross between a pop-up book and a grab-bag, with lots of compartments, each with an intriguing item inside. Filled with colors, textures, shiny objects and sounds, My Granny’s Purse helps the grandmother share times of discovery and delight with her infant or toddler grandchild.

AIG SunAmerica Mutual Funds offers grandparents a program to help educate their grandchildren about such critical matters as saving, planning, and investing for their financial future. The company developed the much-acclaimed K.I.D.S. program (Kids Investing for Dollars and Sense) to help educators, parents and grandparents teach young children the fundamentals of saving and investing.

Do grandmas buy your brand? If you don’t know, find out! This worthwhile market segment is full of joy– and full of desire to spend money as part of their role as grandparent.