Archive for the ‘Communications Tips to Reach X’ Category

Turn female customers into your sales force

January 1st, 2010


Women love to introduce their friends to new products and services they love.

When Erin Nichols wanted to get back in shape after having baby she worked with Garret Garrels, a personal trainer in Montana. She had so much fun learning boxing from Garrels, she asked a friend to join her. And that friend asked a friend and so a business was launched…Pink Gloves Boxing . Garrels and his partner, Nick Milodragovich, are now franchising the Pink Gloves concept to personal trainers around the world.

Read or listen to more on this NPR link.

Now what do women love about your brand and how can you engage them to introduce their friends?

Photo Courtesy of Jacquie Peterson

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.

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.

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.

So you think she agrees with you? Think again!

August 26th, 2009
Nodding does not mean she agrees

Nodding does not mean she agrees

Observe a group of women talking. They look like the most agreeable group of humans ever. Each nodding her head in agreement as the others expound. Oh, so you think. When a woman nods it does not mean that she agrees.  It means that she acknowledges your point and that you should continue expressing your thoughts. She is giving you the permission to keep talking.

What happens when the nodding stops? You have gone thirty seconds over your allotted time and you are now rude.  Here’s the way you can recover. For men this may be the most important advice in my entire book—making you more successful in sales and marketing … and relationships.  As soon as you realize the nodding has stopped in your female prospect, say, “Enough about my thoughts, I want to hear how you feel about this.” Then hush up and listen to what she reveals.

Incessant nodding is not a female conspiracy to give men mixed messages.  Complex communication is what sets humans apart from all other species. And it has always been a woman’s job to teach children to speak.  But listen to a child learning to express herself.  One thought can take minutes to complete. A mother constantly encourages her child to talk—patiently nodding whether or not the child makes any sense at all. Women are hardwired to encourage others to continue to communicate by nodding.

To my female readers, take note.  If you are a nodder, and most women are, don’t nod with your male prospects and clients unless you are agreeing. You do not want to be misconstrued as supportive and then verbally disagree. This is the essence of a mixed message. A woman nonverbally nods and then verbally disapproves, and the man either thinks she has trouble making decisions or worse that she is setting him up and cannot be trusted.

And men, you must remember that just because a women is nodding doesn’t mean that she is ready to ink the deal. Old school sales training has taught us to move in fast when customers indicate they are ready to close the deal. Men, instead of moving in for the kill when you get the nod, ask, “Can you see how implementing our solution will provide your department with the efficiencies that you need to meet your strategic objectives?” The question (or another one like it) requires verbal clarification of her thoughts. Half the time, what she tells you won’t line up with the equation: nod=yes.

A Simple Question Can Kill the Sale

August 22nd, 2009

Women ask questions to bond

Women ask questions to bond

A woman will ask questions for advice, to make a connection and to strengthen another person’s commitment to an idea.  Many times she already has a firm opinion but is gaining input to build consensus. Contrast that with a man who asks questions for one primary reason—to get an answer. Expect more questions from a woman in the sales and marketing process. She likes to seek out the help of trusted experts. Men, understand that just because she wants your opinion, it’s not an indication she is without one of her own.

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 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.