Archive for the ‘Messages that reach X & Y’ Category

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.

Do you understand the opposite sex?

May 31st, 2009

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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.