Tag Archives: Misconceptions about Women

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.

 

Selling to Women? Small Courtesies Make Big Points

Selling to Women? Small Courtesies Make Big Points

Women are more sensitive to nuance and underlying meanings, and they respond emphatically and negatively to what men might categorize as minor oversights. This tendency makes selling to women a more detail-oriented endeavor. The flip side is that positive actions and small courtesies go a long way towards earning her trust and business.

A couple small examples– that aren’t small to women– include offering to get her a chair if it seems she’s had a long day, or getting her kids a couple sodas from the vending machine if it’s hot out.

Not Every Salesman Can Sell to Women This Way

Selling to Women? Small Courtesies Make Big PointsAt a recent sales training seminar I was conducting, I realized I have to be a little more specific on this point. A very experienced and successful salesman came up to me after the seminar and told me how pleased he was with the seminar and all the new stuff he’d learned. He said it had never really occurred to him to do the small courtesies before, but if “sucking up to the client is what it takes to make the sale, I guess I can do that.” I thought he was joking at first, but he wasn’t!

It reminds me of a scenario in Dr. Deborah Tannen’s book You Just Don’t Understand! in which she recounts a psychologist asking a husband-wife pair of respondents what they thought “politeness” meant. They answered at the same time: the woman said “consideration for others,” while the man said “subservience.” Asking around among my male acquaintances reveals that quite a few men share this attitude.

Since, to many men, my recommendation to offer small courtesies when selling to women seems antithetical to their culture, I now hasten to add: If you can’t do it with genuine sincerity, don’t do it at all. Women will see through fakery, and instead of having gained her appreciation, you’ll have lost her trust.

Marketing to Boomer Women: Are These Consumers Smarter than Millennials?

Marketing to Boomer Women: Are These Consumers Smarter than Millennials?Sigmund Freud once claimed that “about the age of 50, the elasticity of the mental processes on which treatment depends is, as a rule, lacking. Old people are no longer educable.” Ironically, Freud was 51 when he wrote those words, and he went on to produce some of his best work after 65.

The idea that younger people are smarter and savvier than their older counterparts is inaccurate. When marketing to Boomer women, realize they are often just reaching the peak of their cognitive powers.

Boomers Enjoy the Combination of Wisdom and Brain Power

Scientists have discovered that despite a few short-term memory glitches and a slower processing speed, our mental capacity doesn’t even reach its full potential until midlife. They are learning that, contrary to Freud’s assumption, the brain continues to change and grow throughout life. One key area of growth is the accumulation of white matter in the sophisticated thinking centers of the brain (which peaks around 50). Because of these two factors, Boomer women and men can manage information better, analyze facts better and generate meanings that were entirely beyond them when they were younger.

Of course, the most important difference between older and younger brains is also the easiest to overlook: older brains have learned more than young ones. They’ve been around the block a lot more times, seen the world, made mistakes, made discoveries, managed recoveries and made amends. Says George Bartzokis, UCLA neurologist:

“In midlife, you’re beginning to maximize the ability to use the entirety of information in your brain on an everyday, ongoing, second-to-second basis. Biologically, that’s what wisdom is.”

Marketing to Boomer Women: Are These Consumers Smarter than Millennials?Studies have shown that years of experience and practice enable older adults to build up a rich library of alternative ways to solve problems or make decisions that allows them o bypass steps needed by younger adults. We get better at sizing up a situation and problem-solving. We have more confidence in our opinions, feelings and decisions and don’t need validation from others. We are more pragmatic. We develop a richer vocabulary and a better understanding of how to use these words effectively. The abilities we learned earlier in life and gained proficiency with over the years are now smoothly polished and almost second nature.

Does all this make Boomers smarter than Millennials? At this stage of life, it just might! Sales and marketing to Boomer women efforts would be wise to assume these women are smart, sophisticated and discerning.

Experience the JOY of Marketing to Boomer Women

Experience the JOY of Marketing to Boomer WomenWhat is particularly striking about the Boomer woman is the contentment, joy and enthusiasm with which she lives her life.

Although she describes herself as serious, being serious does not equate to being negative. You could even say that she lives by that old Johnny Mercer classic, “Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative.”

She’s happier and more content and possesses a brighter, more optimistic disposition than Generation X and Millennial women who are many years her junior.

Experience the JOY of Marketing to Boomer WomenShe’s come to accept her age (and some of the physical and emotional challenges that come with it) with a dignity, grace and enthusiasm that belies that Rolling Stones refrain, “What a drag it is getting old.” (Perhaps it’s still true for the bandmembers. Just look at that picture.)

As DDB Chicago and I heard in our Girlfriend Groups market research, Boomer women have learned to find happiness wherever and whenever they can, whether that’s helping a daughter by taking in her children, buying a new pair of shoes, or, yes, starting to date online!

Sure, some Boomer women still struggle accepting their crow’s feet, wrinkles and sagging muscles. Yet, most have gotten past the point of needing to look young. In fact, Boomer women are just as likely as their younger counterparts to boast, “When I look in the mirror, I like what I see.” – 58% vs. 57%, respectively.

Lynn, from our Girlfriends Group told researchers,

“I love being 50; I love this time in my life. I feel stronger. I do more than I used to. I am more active, mentally stronger. I don’t think, oh God, I’m getting old. I look in the mirror and see wrinkles, and I’m okay with it.”

Just about every woman we spoke to said that she gets aches and pain and that getting up in the morning takes more time than it used to. But they adjust by getting up a little earlier or planning their days to start a little later. They get up, get dressed, and put on their makeup, a routine that makes them feel better and more alive than does sitting around in a house dress of muumuu!

Rachel, 60, remarked,

“I can feel arthritis and the aches and pains, but I still don’t think of the age.”

Even if they don’t look it on the outside, most Boomer women feel like 30 on the inside. Their psychological age is much younger than their chronological age, and in many respects, their psychological age is more youthful and vibrant than that of women 20 and 30 years their junior.

Experience the JOY of Marketing to Boomer WomenExperiencing the joy of being means that each day is special:

“I really didn’t give it a thought [what being 64 would be like]. I love it. I mean, it’s a blessing to live to 64. Age is just a number.” – Ruby, 64

“The first thing I do in the morning is say, ‘Thank you, God’ for another day.” – Rachel, 60

For marketing departments, understanding the personalities behind the numbers will help when marketing to Boomer women. Experiencing the joy of being rarely comes across in marketing efforts aimed at Boomers, but if it did, it would be incredibly effective.

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.

Marketing to Women with Humor

Hey, Don’t Women Have a Sense of Humor?

Marketing to Women with HumorWith politically correct outlooks, the buzz surrounding micro-aggressions and our generally sensitive culture, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that women have a great sense of humor. It’s just different from men’s.

Men’s humor grows out of men’s culture. Humor is another way to connect through the one-up/put-down mechanism, and the punch line to a joke usually plays on how some poor guy gets his comeuppance. Not surprisingly, women’s humor grows out of female gender culture. It operates on the dynamic of identifying with the person in the funny situation– the delighted recognition of a similarity you didn’t notice before: “OMG, that is exactly the way I am!” or “You’re kidding, your husband does that too?”

Young creative geniuses are always pushing clients to dare to be “edgy.” Forget edgy. Edgy means someone gets cut, and women don’t like to see anyone get hurt, even for a good cause. I’m reminded of a Lipitor commercial from a few years ago that shows a beautiful, Boomer woman walking down the red carpet. She’s glamorous until she trips and falls on her face. The message is, “High cholesterol doesn’t care who you are.”

Women do not find this ad funny. They’re worried about the fallen women and hope she’s OK, and that distracts them from even knowing what this commercial is about.

So, avoid male humor in your advertising, but please do make her laugh! Humorous marketing to women campaigns can have a huge impact for your brand, beyond one commercial spot. Women love to share the laughs, and no marketing effort is more likely to gain word-of-mouth exposure than something women find truly giggle-worthy.

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.”

[VIDEO] Who’s More Honest – Women or Men?

Defining “honesty” is another key area of interest in women’s gender culture. Men’s hierarchies vs. women’s peer groups affect how each gender views honesty. Women are “compulsive confessors” while men “put the best foot forward.” Just because women disclose their flaws, don’t underestimate them!

Here’s an example of how Deloitte’s partners grew in understanding about the difference in men and women’s perception of honesty in senior managers’ self-evaluations.

Watch the video: Who’s More Honest – Women or Men?

 

[VIDEO] Why I Don’t Think We’ll Ever See Women as 50% of CEOs

Women and men choose to do different things. And that’s okay! In this marketing to women video, see why the majority of women choose different occupations than men– even in the gender-equality wonderland of Sweden. And see why these choices don’t make them women any less powerful.

Watch the video: Why I Don’t Think We’ll Ever See Women as 50% of CEOs

[VIDEO] I’m Talking Trillions! Marketing to Women is Not a Niche

Millennials, Hispanics, Single Men– these are all niche markets that account for billions of consumer spending. But marketing to women? That’s not a niche! Women spend way more than any other market– trillions of dollars!

Watch the video: I’m Talking Trillions! Marketing to Women is Not a Niche