Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Women trust their connections

October 6th, 2009
Women trust a friend of a friend

Women trust a friend of a friend

Where men tend to trust strangers in their club, company or team, women trust strangers who share a personal connection—a friend of a friend, or a friend of a family member. The female OSU students in Professor Brewer’s study predominantly chose to receive the money from a stranger from another university where they had a friend. 

When making your initial prospecting call to a woman, it will mean more if you have a common friend or acquaintance than if you are both members of an organization.  “Our mutual friend, Nancy, said that we must meet,” will go a lot further than, “I understand that we are both members of the local Chamber of Commerce,” in gaining your female prospect’s trust.

Men trust their institutions and teams

September 27th, 2009

OSUOne of the most difficult challenges salespeople face is to engage a prospect’s initial interest—at least enough to obtain an introductory appointment.  In most cases you start as a stranger.  In many instances your customer is completely unfamiliar with your company and product.  So how do you break the ice? How do you gain the trust necessary to have an initial conversation about your offering?

The answer lies in belonging to your customer’s in-group.

According to Marilyn Brewer, a psychology professor at the Ohio State University, most Americans trust strangers if they belong to what they consider their “in-group.”[i] But Professor Brewer’s study found that men and women define their in-groups differently.

Men were much more likely to trust a stranger that was a fellow Ohio State student than a stranger from other schools, even those at which they knew someone. Men tend to trust people that share an objective group membership.  The male participants were quoted as saying things like, “Someone from Ohio State would not let me down.”

Men value their group or team. “You see this in male-dominated groups like the military or football teams—there’s a clear distinction between “us” and “them.” Brewer says.[ii]

Advertisers and salespeople can gain initial credibility with a male prospect by belonging to his group. If you are an alumni of the same college, member of the same church, community group, rotary club or association use this membership to fuel your initial introduction. If you are not a member in his club, find someone in your company that is or consider joining your prospect’s group.


[i] “Whom do you trust?” Ohio State Alumni Magazine. Nov-Dec. 2005, p. 30.

[ii] Idem.

Women hate put downs…instead pull everyone up

September 12th, 2009
The Dove Campaing for Real Beauty

The Dove Campaing for Real Beauty

Men bond by bantering, teasing and using derogatory nicknames. Women don’t and never will.

While a man will joke with his male friend about the tire that has appeared around his friend’s waist, can you imagine a woman greeting a girlfriend with, “Wow, you’ve really been enjoying those cookouts this summer?”

A woman’s life is much easier when there are no scraped elbows orbruised egos. We want everybody to feel good about themselves.  The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty is an excellent example of advertising that works with women.

This seems to be the unwritten rule for Y: Men who know each other well and respect each other immensely, banter in order to bond.

But no matter how well a salesman knows and respects a female client or prospect, calling her a cutesy name (e.g., “Blondie”) will usually backfire. Similarly, this is part of the guy’s club that the gals should not try to join. A woman that attempts to bond by one-upping a man or giving him an endearing-derogatory name will break unspoken rules and lose his respect instead of gaining trust.

Manter v. 1. men bantering

September 7th, 2009
Beer ads feature male bantering

Beer ads feature male bantering

Men  bond by bantering, teasing and using derogatory nicknames. Last year my husband ,Phil and I invited a few friends over to watch the Fiesta Bowl.  As Claude came in the door, he gave a friendly punch to Phil’s gut and said, “Hey, looks like you have been enjoying those Heinekens over the holidays.”

“Yea, old man, let’s go out and shoot some hoops,” Phil replied. “I still can outplay you.”

Men love a good fast game.  While basketball, racquetball and soccer can provide an intense physical workout, bantering provides great mind exercise.

Ads that show men one-upping each other sell beer, deodorant and shaving cream.  This seems to be the unwritten rule for Y: Men who know each other well and respect each other immensely, banter in order to bond. I know two very successful CEOs who refer to each other as Lugnut and Chiselchest.

Sales opportunity #1: Make women’s lives easier

August 13th, 2009
Does this look like fun?
Does this look like fun?

Women spend over 70 percent of consumer dollars worldwide but only 5% of women actually like to shop, according to the largest global survey of women released today in Harvard Business Review.

The survey clearly shows women are the chief buying officers for their homes and businesses. In a rebounding economy it’s a huge opportunity for your business to increase market share by making shopping and purchasing a better experience for women.  Clearly you need to better understand how 70% of your buyers think. Women across the world overwhelmingly described themselves as over-extended, over-worked and overstressed. How can your product or service make her life just a little bit easier? That is your value proposition. Remember:

 Maximize her time – Never make a women wait with nothing to do. A woman feels efficient if she is multitasking and can simultaneously cross off many things on her “to do” list in one stop. Install Wifi, provide other products or services that she already needs, or provide compelling information that she needs to take care of her business, family or home while she waits.

Minimize her hassles-  Women are less interested in the details of how your electronic gadget works–she wants assurance that it will work when she needs it.  Provide easy installation… she doesn’t have a whole afternoon to set up the TV, DVD, home stereo system. Then guarantee that you’ll fix it when it breaks.

Women:Stop interrupting, start selling

August 11th, 2009

Workgroup meeting Men view communication as a way to solve a problem and interrupt only to introduce new information, change topics or disagree—all forms of aggression.  Women talk to form bonds and gain consensus; they interrupt to support, agree or even clarify—all ways to show empathy.  

Women can increase sales results by resisting the urge to show support by interrupting when listening to a man.  It will only backfire, as he will interpret your interruption as rude, at best, and aggressive at worst.

Women warm to words, men to pictures

August 9th, 2009
She warms to words

She warms to words

He prefers pictures

He prefers pictures

The $1.2 billion romance fiction industry accounts for 55% of all popular mass market fiction sold each year.  And who’s reading romance novels? Women.

These stories of love are filled with lust, danger, mystery and violence.  Paranormal erotica that feature brooding vampires who impale the heroine and suck her blood are the fastest growing romance genre. 

Surprised? Society is quick to judge the $1 billion dollar men’s magazines as immoral if not downright perverted. Maxim and Playboy are to men what romance novels are to women.  Men and women have deep primitive brain desires for sexual stimulation. Women with their innate preferences for words and emotions turn to stimulating words to rouse desire. Men, who are hard-wired to be visually stimulated, prefer pictures. 

I am not advocating using vampires or romantic stories in your advertising to stir female consumers, or pictures of scantily clad women to make men buy your product, although sometimes this will work!  You see it all the time in beer advertising.

The point is that women write and read most romance fiction, romantica and erotica. But a magazine featuring nude men has never been a hit with women.   If you want to capture women’s attention and stir their emotions use their preferred emotional stimulus—words and stories. With men, paint a vivid picture.

He says, she says – it’s a whole different language

August 5th, 2009
He speaks, she speaks and speaks and speaks

He speaks, she speaks and speaks and speaks

On average a woman will speak 20,000 words per day, while a man delivers 7,000.

Why are women born communicators? While men have more than one specific brain area for spatial activities, women have at least two specific areas for speech and language on each side of their brains.  This explains why eight women can have simultaneous discussions on four entirely different subjects with each woman involved in two or more of these conversations.  Men, who do not have multiple areas for speech and language, interpret simultaneous conversations as senseless chatter.

Tip #1: With her, let the conversation wonder; With him keep on point

Your female client will consider the business dinner conversation stimulating if it moves from her vacation at the beach last week to her daughter’s choice of college to her department’s monthly financials to her son’s upcoming wedding which brings the conversation back to her beach vacation. Your male client most likely finds this conversation confusing, as these topics are not related in his mind and certainly have nothing to do with the business at hand.

All salespeople must build relationships and trust with their prospects to become a trusted advisor not merely a vendor.  The first step in becoming a trusted advisor is your client’s comfort in communicating with you.  Your job is to create that security by adapting to their style of communication. With her move easily through various topics noting how they relate to her. For him, stay on task and on course, finishing one topic before transitioning to the next issue.

Brain Sex: Online test to discover if you have a male or female differentiated brain

May 19th, 2009

By Elizabeth Pace, author of  The X and Y of Buy

Here is a quick way for you to gauge your brain sex. Set aside 30 minutes and answer these questions on the BBC science website and you will receive your personal score versus the average for all men and the average for all women that have taken the survey.

The science behind the test: Scientists frequently refer to the male or female differentiated brain. The hypothesis is that your brain develops male or female characteristics depending on how much testosterone that you are exposed to while in the womb.

Before you get started you’ll need a metric ruler–here’s a link to download one and use it to measure your fingers.  Yes, comparing the length of your ring finger to your index finger is one clue to guaging how much testosterone you were exposed to in the womb!

Here’s the survey link    Let me know what you think.