Tag Archives: Purchase Process

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.

 

Marketing to Women Requires Focus

There are a million great marketing tactics you could use to target women. But not all of them will work for your brand. And you can’t afford them all, anyway.

To help women identify your brand as The Perfect Answer, your marketing team must identify the one or two stages in the purchasing process that have the most opportunity for increasing your business. I call women’s purchasing process the Spiral Path (Unlike men, women spiral through each phase of the decision-making process, and may revisit previous steps when she learns new information).

Women’s Spiral Buying Path

How Women Buy: The Spiral Path

Concentrate most of your marketing tactics on the most important stage, rather than spreading your marketing budget across the entire decision process. Nobody has enough money to do a good job across the entire process.

There are a million great marketing tactics you could use to target women. But not all of them will work for your brand. And you can’t afford them all, anyway. To help women identify your brand as The Perfect Answer, your marketing team must identify the one or two stages in the purchasing process that have the most opportunity for increasing your business. I call women’s purchasing process the Spiral Path (Unlike men, women spiral through each phase of the decision-making process, and may revisit previous steps when she learns new information): Concentrate most of your marketing tactics on the most important stage, rather than spreading your marketing budget across the entire decision process. Nobody has enough money to do a good job across the entire process. Use your chosen strategy as your screener—unless a tactic has a laser-like focus on the purchase path you decided would do your brand the most good, don’t bother with it. It will only defuse your message and defuse your marketing efforts. And it can be quite freeing to have the power to say “no” to a tactic. For instance, if your brand would benefit most from a focus on Activation, use tactics that will awaken the need for your product in women, such as consumer education workshops, sponsorships or article placement. Tactics such as special offers and loyalty programs probably won’t be effective at this stage of the decision-making process. Or, say your most important marketing goal is Retention and Recommendation—helping the customer stay committed to your brand and improving your customer relationship. You might engage in a referral benefits program or improvements to your customer support call center. In this case, you might ignore mass-market advertisement altogether. The bottom line: do your research; pick your marketing strategy and stick with it. If your brand has a consistently appealing message to women in the most important decision-making stage, women will take notice and reward you with their purchases.Use your chosen strategy as your screener—unless a tactic has a laser-like focus on the purchase path you decided would do your brand the most good, don’t bother with it. It will only defuse your message and defuse your marketing efforts. And it can be quite freeing to have the power to say “no” to a tactic.

For instance, if your brand would benefit most from a focus on Activation, use tactics that will awaken the need for your product in women, such as consumer education workshops, sponsorships or article placement. Tactics such as special offers and loyalty programs probably won’t be effective at this stage of the decision-making process.

Or, say your most important marketing goal is Retention and Recommendation—helping the customer stay committed to your brand and improving your customer relationship. You might engage in a referral program or improvements to your customer support call center. In this case, you might ignore mass-market advertisement altogether.

The bottom line: do your research; pick your marketing strategy and stick with it. If your brand has a consistently appealing message to women in the most important decision-making stage, women will take notice and reward you with their purchases.