A man is walking down Comm. Ave. in the dead of winter, snow falling, wind and snow blowing in his face when God speaks to him from the heavens. God says, “You’ve been a good hardworking man all your life, so I’m going to grant you one wish.” The man quickly replies, “I have always dreamed of traveling to Bermuda, of reaching a paradise like that – so filled with lush rewards. “But,” adds the man, “there’s one problem. I don’t like to fly . I would like to drive from here to Bermuda. Would you build me a bridge from Boston to Bermuda?” To that, the Almighty responds, “Even for God that’s a monumental task. All the architecture, design, and building of a thing like that… The concrete and structure that must extend for miles and miles across the Atlantic… Isn’t there anything else I can grant you?” The man considers for a minute. “Well, I’ve always wanted to have better relationships with women. Can you please help me better understand woman?” “OK”, God quickly replies, “so how many lanes do you want that bridge?” If you feel this way in terms of selling to women, you are in good company. Studies and experience show the way women buy is very different than men!
Whereas men realize a need and have a step process to reach a buying decision, women consider many different things. Here’s a list of some of the things that women consider when buying: appearance, environment, reputation, respect, “do I like him or her”, “can I trust him or her”, input from others, articulation, eye contact and how much you listen. Generally speaking, women require more listening and more eye contact than men in their buying process. Not only do many women perceive that these things aren’t done in many cases, they have different negative perceptions of men selling to them and women selling to them.
Here are some of the things that women generally perceive when men sell to them: aggressive, pushy, high pressure, overbearing, condescending, devious, lack manners, lack listening skills and more. Here are some perceptions of women who sell to them: lack product knowledge, lack technical knowledge, unsure of specifics, too emotional, too tentative, too uncertain, too vague, unable to make a sound recommendation and unable to get to bottom line.
Yet, women have become less tolerant to inconsiderate or condescending treatment. And you might want to know that eighty-six percent of the time women buy the same products for their office as they do for their home. Women are starting businesses at twice the rate as men! Women make up 46.5 percent of the U.S. labor force and hold 50.5 percent of management and professional jobs. Women are more likely than men to actually start a business with revenues of one million dollars or more. One a couple decides to have work done on the home, women are the ones that actually make the phone calls to invite three or four or contractors to come to their home. Have you ever tracked your closing ratio from the first incoming prospect call through to closure by gender of the prospect who called? What would your guesses be as far as what it would be with women who called versus men who called in?
As you consider developing your skills selling to women consider this, women make 80 percent of health care purchases, 55 percent of banking choices, 50 percent of business travel choices, 65 percent of vitamins and minerals choices, 66 percent of auto choices and 50 percent of computer choices!
Women are a major demographic in business to business as well as business to consumer sales. Studies show that seven to one, women will go out of their way to do business with companies that make a good effort to market to them. In other words, seven out of eight women will go out of their way to do business with companies that market to women. So it follows, that having good skills in selling to women isn’t a “nice to know” it’s a “need to know”!