Archive for the ‘Communication tips to reach Y’ Category

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.

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.

Getting Beyond the Maybes

August 30th, 2009
Maybe...What's it mean to X & Y?

Maybe...What's it mean to X & Y?

The way a woman communicates can confuse a man. She nods even when she might not agree; she asks a question when she knows the answer; and she interrupts to tell you her own confirming story. But when she says, “I’ll think about it,” guess what? She is really going to think about it. Contrast this to your male prospect who is more likely to offer “maybe” as his version of a polite no.

In a selling scenario with a woman who has said she’ll think about it, ask if there is any other information you can provide, and when you can follow up with her.  Then, provide information that will help her decision-making process and, while she is taking the time to decide, send her a nice note or a reference of someone that reminded you of her.  Use the “maybe” season to strengthen your relationship with her.

When a male customer says he wants to think about your service, you need to qualify his statement as an objection.  Your job then is to find the true objection and overcome it to keep the prospect engaged. You may even want to simply tell him it’s okay to be forthright with you (remember, a comfortable level of communication is foundational to your success). Clearing the air of diplomacy will not only allow him to relax, it will allow you to get straight to the bottom of his hang up where you can accurately address it.

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.

Do you understand the opposite sex?

May 31st, 2009


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

When it comes to understanding the opposite sex, men are puzzled while women are overconfident.

In a recent national survey of 1000 men and 1000 women, only 9% of men responded that they understood women, while 62% of women replied that they understood men.  I give men a high score for knowing what they don’t know and I believe womens’ overconfidence in understanding what makes men tick will back fire on them.

It’s no wonder why women have always been acknowledged as the complex and often mysterious sex: a nod does not necessarily mean agreement, women talk through decisions and women interrupt to bond! Men don’t understand because they don’t act that way. But women don’t understand that these three (and many other female behaviors) can exasperate men. 

Science has also proven that women have more verbal brain power and are better at reading emotions than men. But the point of any communication is to be understood. If fewer than 10% of men understand women, maybe we women need to be better communicators. To build better romantic, social or business relationships with men, women must understand that the female communication style is often confusing to men and modify accordingly.