Category Archives: Women as customers

Why Do Women Ask SO Many Questions?

When You’re Selling to Women, You’d Better Know Your Stuff

Why Do Women Ask SO Many Questions?Women ask a lot of questions. Women take longer to make a buying decision. It’s not because she’s fickle, and it’s not because she can’t make up her mind. It’s because women have a different decision-making process from men.

This difference between men and women is the key to motivating women to buy from you. And understanding women’s decision-making process will take the hassle out of selling to women.

Men are focused on their top criteria. As soon as they find a product that meets their criteria, they buy it.

Women are more detail-oriented. They identity all the important things– and all the other important things, as well. Women have a longer list of criteria, and they want everything. To show what I mean, let’s consider an example.

How Women and Men Book Hotels Differently

Everyone, women and men alike, have two main criteria for booking a hotel room:

  1. Location
  2. Price

So, let’s say you want a hotel in mid-town Manhattan for about $450/night. There are plenty of options. If you’re a man, you’ll book the first one you find. Mission accomplished. Job well done.

Women will almost never book the first option. She’ll want to assess the four or five best candidates to make the perfect choice. One might have a free cocktail hour, while another includes parking. Or perhaps a third offers a world-class spa. If she looks at the details, she will learn which hotel she prefers.

Why Do Women Ask SO Many Questions?When Westin introduced their “Heavenly Bed,” they found it spiked their sales 21% in the first year. What does a heavenly bed even mean? Do you need one for a good night’s sleep? What makes it so wonderful? Curiosity drove women to give it a try. All other options being equal, you might as well choose the heavenly bed!

Here’s great news about selling to women: they care about the things that differentiate you from your competitors! And that’s why they ask so many questions.

 

[VIDEO] Best Buy’s Switch to a Woman-Focused Store Format

Marti shares a marketing to women case study of Best Buy’s experiment with women-friendly store formats– and how the results were stunning. This video excerpt is from her marketing to women keynote speech to Kodak.

Watch the video: Best Buy’s Switch to a Woman-Focused Store Format

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.

 

Experiential Marketing is for Boomer Women, Too

Experiential Marketing is for Boomer Women, TooExperiential marketing is usually thought of in context with Millennials, and their desire for authentic, interesting experiences. But Boomer women represent an even bigger opportunity for turning experience into business. Since Boomer women have more time and money on their hands than Millennial women, they are seeking more ways to get involved. But Boomers might not want the same sort of experiences that Millennials do.

How to Create Experiences for Boomer Women

Combine an experience with a cause for a really powerful marketing to Boomer women initiative. Partnering with a nonprofit will burnish your “corporate halo” with all women– women have a propensity to be the “guardians of civilization” and therefore are much more active in supporting causes. Companies especially should try to make their corporate halos shine a little brighter with Boomer women, who are actively looking for ways to make the world a better place and leave a legacy.

An example of a good experiential marketing/cause marketing combo might be a tree planting picnic sponsored by a hybrid car brand. Interested Boomer women could bring a friend or two, plant a tree, enjoy some live music over lunch and leave with a seedling memento of the occasion in her goody bag.

Experiential Marketing is for Boomer Women, Too

One of the most emotionally powerful and successful experiences is the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Race for the Cure. It is the kind of program Boomer women are looking for– an event that requires not just money but also their time and energy AND that involves being with and helping other “girlfriends.” I have heard from many participants that this is one of the most grueling yet fulfilling things they have ever done in their lives. One woman in particular summarizes it like so, “I kept waiting for someone to make a difference… then I realized that I am that someone.” She’s talking like a true Boomer woman.

 

[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

Getting Marketing to Women to Work

Bust through the Walls of the Corporate Silo

Getting Marketing to Women to Work

In working with companies that have decided to pursue the women’s market, I often observe that the actual marketing to women is a breeze compared to dealing with the organizational challenges, which is more like leaning into a hurricane. It doesn’t matter whether the company is structured by product (as it is with the Ford Focus or Ford Explorer) or by function (as in advertising, sales, IT, etc.). The problem remains the same: because the company is not organized by the customer, it’s almost impossible to get the whole team pulling in the same direction.

Getting Marketing to Women to WorkEverybody in the organization may agree that marketing to women is a great idea. “Absolutely, marketing to women; let’s get right on it!” Unfortunately, everyone’s budgets are already maxed out on other priorities this year, so it will have to wait until next year. Unless someone at the top builds “Opportunity Number One” (as Tom Peters refers to the women’s market) into the company’s strategic priorities, you don’t have a prayer at putting a concerted effort into the marketplace.

To get the maximum horsepower out of any strategic initiative, every department that touches the customer needs to participate. Moreover, every customer contact needs to be consistent and integrated with all others, so that the company delivers a “one look, one voice” message to the customer. This is particularly true with marketing to women initiatives because of a woman’s greater propensity to respond to context and multiplicity, the sum total of the brand contacts she encounters from day to day.

The Spirit is Willing, but the Budgets Don’t Work

Getting Marketing to Women to WorkWhat this means is that Moses (that would be you, oh Chief Exec!) must come down from the mountain and communicate the company commitment to marketing to women in no uncertain terms. Right after you’ve put down the heavy stone tablets, you need to create a cross-functional team with the same objectives, authority and budget as a new product launch team– and the same accountability for success.

Both men and women should be equally represented on this team. Too many men and you won’t have the female perspective you need to make the right judgment calls. Too many women and– rightly or wrongly– but in any case, realistically, the team will lose credibility and its efforts will be discounted as “the women’s project.”

Let’s get marketing to women efforts to work at your organization! Reach out to me for more personalized advice for your product and brand.

Surprising Personal Touches Bring the WOW when Marketing to Women

Surprising Personal Touches Bring the WOW when Marketing to WomenMarketing to women professionals can sometimes get caught up in the statistics of campaigns– open rates, click rates, conversions, etc. Our data-driven environment does indeed help us be better marketers. But we also need to remember the personal, and the value women find in being surprised and delighted.

Years ago, out of the blue, for absolutely no reason, I got a letter from Jeff Bezos of Amazon (well, he signed it, didn’t he?). The letter included ten one-cent stamps and arrived just after the price of stamps went up a penny. “We can’t replace your refrigerator lightbulb,” the letter read, “and we can’t make your tuna salad just the way you like it– but we can save you time.” It felt as if Jeff himself had taken a peek into my lifestyle and recognized how very busy I am; when am I going to get to the post office for a book of add-on stamps? Jeff did it for me. As a marketing to women campaign, this message was spot-on. Amazon builds its brand on convenience and personal recommendations. For return on investment, you can bet that mailing beat a coupon.

Surprising Personal Touches Bring the WOW when Marketing to WomenOne of the most original “nice surprises” I’ve heard of comes from a financial advisor at Investors Group in Canada. One of their top 5% producers builds most of his business with women, and with his marketing to women approach, I have no doubt why he’s so successful. Whenever he gets a new client or significant new business from an existing client, he sends her a jar of homemade apricot jam. The jar even has a hand-lettered label, personalizing it further. The twist on this that I love is that his clients often call up and thank him for the thank-you! You can be sure they’re telling all of their friends about this– and that’s how he keeps getting more and more referrals!

Finding a balance between crunching the numbers and remembering the emotional and practical motivations of your customers will result in memorable marketing to women campaigns that are wildly successful.

Selling to Women: DON’T ‘Always Be Closing’

Selling to Women: DON'T 'Always Be Closing'We all know the ABC’s of sales: Always Be Closing! However, women find this sales approach tiresome and exhausting. If you’re always trying to close the sale, she will close her mind to your offerings.

To avoid irritating your women customers, reach out to her occasionally for a non-sales reason. Here are two examples of thoughtful, non-sales communications that women appreciate.

Selling to Women: DON'T 'Always Be Closing'

Every so often, I get an email from United Airlines, which I fly frequently, telling me about new developments I might like to know about. And they aren’t trying to get anything from me. For instance, one email told me about an impending strike from mechanics that might affect my flight choices.

Similarly, a friend who bought a Ford Explorer got a follow-up call from the dealership a few weeks after she had purchased it, just letting her know that Ford was there to answer any questions or problems, and asking if she liked the car.

Women are suspicious of salespeople who are always trying to get something from them. And they can spot an ulterior motive or sales agenda from a mile away. So be genuine. Stay in touch with your women customers now and then, even if you aren’t selling anything to her at the time.

[VIDEO] Financial Advisors: Don’t Let the Wealthy Widows Get Away!

OK, financial services providers, here’s a tough fact: 70% of widows walk. That means she doesn’t feel any loyalty for the financial advisor her husband chose. And this is a big problem for you. The average age of widowhood for women is 60 years old– and she’s going to live 20 years beyond that. Keep those wealthy widow clients!

Watch the video: Don’t Let the Wealthy Widows Get Away!

Top Visuals that Appeal to Women (and Some that Women Hate)

Women pay attention to visuals even more than the population at large. As such, your marketing team should pay special attention to the visuals they use for anything targeted towards women, such as advertising, product packaging and web design.

Top 5 Marketing to Women Visuals

Marketing to Women Visuals

Here are my top five recommendations for what to include in visuals that market to women:

  1. People, people, people. Women put people first, and you should too. Visuals should feature expressions and emotions. The “people” in your ads don’t need to be photographs or live action video. Animations and cartoons of both people and animals work well to attract women’s attention.
  2. Make sure people are realistic. Feature people your target audience can identify with and relate to, attractive “normal” women rather than perfect “aspirational” women.
  3. Show some emotion. Use emotional visuals to attract women’s attention. Showing that somebody cares one way or another is always going to be powerful- and memorable- to women.
  4. Immersion. Use your visuals to tell a story that immerses women into your brand or product. It can get messy, and it definitely is the opposite of the “one headline and one visual” school of thought, but when masterfully done, it’s much more effective, too.
  5. Show collaboration, friendships, warmth and working together. Women love collaboration more than competition and friendships more than rivalry.

Bottom 5 Marketing to Women Visuals

Marketing to Women Visuals

When marketing to women, avoid these visuals at all cost!

  1. Product-centric. Your product is not the hero. The best way to lose women is to show your product without a human context.
  2. Dystopian women. Don’t portray women as harried, frenzied and at the end of their rope. Women are proud that they can “handle it all.” Honor that.
  3. Utopian women. Conversely, don’t use visuals of “supermodel women.” In general, women don’t aspire to be perfect archetypes. They want to relate to other women like them.
  4. Isolation. Avoid visuals that could be interpreted as isolating or portraying customers as independent loners.
  5. Simplistic. Women are detail-oriented and are attracted to visuals that have depth and intricacy.

Use these tips in your marketing to women efforts to portray people in ways that are interesting and appealing to women.