Tag Archives: Competition

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.

 

Why Bother Marketing to Women?

Women already buy the majority of products in almost every category. They are responsible for 80% of consumer spending.

So what’s the point of marketing to women? It may seem redundant. Surely marketers couldn’t be doing such a terrible job, or women wouldn’t be buying anything at all.

2 Reasons Marketing to Women Will Boost Your Brand

Why Bother Marketing to Women?Marketing to women is about two main factors:

  1. To gain share with women. Motivate women to choose your brand instead of your competitors’ brand. Marketing to women will help you build share.
  2. To enhance your profits. Women are more loyal customers, which means they make repeat purchases and actively spread word of mouth. Because women have a long decision-making process, once she makes a decision, she wants to stick with it and build a relationship with your brand.  Also, because she believes so strongly in her decisions, women’s word of mouth is phenomenal. In fact, I say that Women are Referral Megaphones!

Currently, women purchase many brands through necessity or chance, because these brands don’t support her decision-making process or appeal to what she cares about during the sales cycle. Even if you have a high market share among women now, marketing to women is important for your brand. You never know when a clever competitor could come along and offer your women customers the Perfect Answer they’ve been seeking.

3 Marketing to Women NEWS FLASHES

Attention, CEOs, CMOs, COOs and everyone in the C-suite!

3 Marketing to Women NEWS FLASHES

BREAKING: Here are three executive summary news flashes you need to know before developing your next strategic initiative. 

Women Are Not a Niche

Women are not a “niche,” so get your marketing to women initiatives out of the specialty markets group.

Sometimes, ya gotta laugh. Time and time again, I’m invited to speak at a major corporation by the executive heading up a business group called something like Specialty Markets, Minority Markets or Emerging Markets. This group has responsibility for marketing to various niches– and women. All I can say is, “Wait a minute! You’re supposed to motivate 51% of the population and you have, what, 4% of the corporate marketing budget?”

First In, First Win

The competition is catching on to marketing to women.

I can’t explain why it has taken so long for American business to recognize and act on the tidal wave that is the women’s market. But it’s a secret no longer. Companies from Nike to Nabisco and from Wachovia to Wyndham, companies like General Motors, Volvo, Harley Davidson and Jiffy Lube as well as Charles Schwab, Citigroup, Kimpton Hotels, MinuteClinic, Lowe’s and The Home Depot are all seeking their industry’s lead in the women’s market.

Paradoxically, there’s still room to leap ahead. That’s because many pioneers entered this new territory cautiously and tentatively. For whatever reason, their hearts aren’t truly in the marketing to women game, and that means good news for you. Their reticence means that you can benefit from what they’ve learned– and leapfrog to the front.

Get Serious about Marketing to Women

If you dip your toe in the water, what makes you think you’ll get splashy results?

Unlocking a gigantic new consumer segment warrants at least– at least!– as much commitment as launching a new product line. There are companies that spend millions to market a line extension without blinking an eye; others invest billions to open undeveloped global markets without a backward glance. Why? Because it’s an “obvious” opportunity. How is it that the same companies can decide that the women’s market warrants merely a test launch in a single market to “see how it does?”

 

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.

Find Yourself a Wealthy Widow

It’s time to break through a few myths about affluent, widowed women. With 50% of U.S. millionaires being women, marketing to affluent women needs to become a high priority for financial planners and insurance companies. And a large portion of these affluent women are widowed or divorced. Here are the tropes I am likely to hear from industry ‘experts:’

“There’s no point in targeting widows.”

“Widows are neither involved nor interested in financial management.”

And here I thought it was 2015, not 1915 (or even 1815!). Many women must sense this attitude and look for greener pastures, because…

70% of Widows Walk

Find Yourself a Wealthy Widow

According to Allianz research, 70% of widows and divorced women leave the financial advisors their spouses used. That seems pretty involved and interested to me.

The sales and marketing opportunity for the widowed market is huge. The average age of widowhood is 60, and a 60-year-old woman today can expect to live another 23.4 years. These women will control the combined assets of both sides of their family for over two decades.

Wealthy Women Will Get Wealthier

Here’s a market that will keep growing. Over the next 40 years, women will inherit 70% of the $41 trillion in inter-generational wealth transfer, according to Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy.

Marketing to Women Only Makes Sense

Considering their lifespan and wealth accumulation, marketing to women who are widowed and divorced will hold a significant early-mover advantage for financial and insurance firms that act quickly. Because, hey, I hear that 70% of widows are looking for a new financial advisor.

Tailoring Your Marketing to Boomer Women

Tailoring Your Marketing to Boomer Women

How to Win the Hearts, Minds and Business of Boomer Big Spenders

How can an understanding of marketing to Boomer women give you a competitive advantage and increase your sales and market share?

1. Improve the relevance and appeal of your products, services and store offerings

  • Current products: Be the first to recognize the opportunity and market to Boomer women. With your competitors distracted by their irrational obsession with young consumers, you can be the first to go after the consumers with the most money and the greatest growth opportunity. It’s just that simple.
  • New products: Be the first to research, understand and serve Boomer women’s emerging needs as they move into midlife, change physically and develop new lifestyles. Boomers are the largest generation in history, and Boomer women are radically different from all the women who came before them. Consider: you have a large segment of prosperous consumers who have needs that have never been explored before. Smells like opportunity to me, and it should to you, too.

2. Boost the effectiveness of your marketing programs and communications.

  • Greater ROI: Get more bang out of every buck in your sales and marketing budgets by developing and tailoring your marketing programs to better align with Boomer women’s gender culture.
  • Communications impact: Boost the breakthrough, relevance and appeal of all your marketing communications by both reflecting and speaking to Boomer women’s real priorities and interests.

 

Women are Competitive

A common misconception amongst those marketing to women is that women are non-competitive. This conjures up images of polite tea parties, constant compromising and demure conversations.

Women are competitive. They just aren’t competitive with each other.

Psychologist Jim Sindanius of the University of California-Los Angeles distinguishes between two types of competitive behavior – internal and external. Internal competitiveness is a drive for personal excellence, whereas Sindanius describes external competitiveness as “the desire to beat somebody into the ground.”

As I wrote in my book, Marketing to Women, Sindanius found that compared to men, women test equally high on internal competitiveness (or the drive to achieve her personal best), but the drive to conquer someone else is not nearly as strong.

This distinction changes everything we thought about women and competition. Marketers must realize that women compete with themselves to achieve their very best. How will this change your marketing perception of women?