“Selling to women is all about building relationships!”
Oh 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
The 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
The 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 bragging. And 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.