Communicating With Women Customers: Five Easy Steps to Increase Your Sales
|Copyright 2014 by Virgo Publishing.|
|By: Rhonda Savage|
|Posted on: 06/06/2010|
From Mel Gibson’s starring role in What Women Want to Dr. John Gray’s book, Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus, the messages have been out there for a long time. Communicating effectively with women is an art, and it will do two things for your business. First, women customers will follow your recommendations and buy from you. More important, they’ll be the best marketing tool you could ever implement. Remember this phrase: “What women buy, they sell!” Treat these customers exceptionally well and you’ll earn their loyalty and referrals.
Connecting with your female customers may be more important now than in the past. Economic hardship has changed the way consumers are spending their dollars. Those businesses that have not had to constantly worry about marketing or sales before are finding themselves in a new world.
Fact: Women control the majority of spending in their households. They purchase the majority of new cars, computers and home electronics. With $2 trillion dollars of earnings and $3 trillion dollars of spending, you need to consider your female client.
How is your female customer different in the decision-making process than a male? Both are looking for a combination of knowledge and trust, yet men and women develop trust in different ways. Men make decisions based on few facts and tend to take action independently. Women need more information up front and tend to be slower to make a decision. They need to process the information and feel like they’ve been listened to. Women will ask friends and family for opinions.
If you want to increase your sales among female buyers, consider the following five aspects.
1. Listening Skills
Women are much more sensitive to your tone of voice than male customers. If you’re stressed and tense, your words can unknowingly become clipped, curt and short. Your female client will tune into your tone and judge your business negatively because of the way you talk to your employees or other customers. This is called “anti-marketing.”
Women are more sensitive to eye contact, body language and gestures. Women need sustained eye contact more than men; usually 20 to 30 seconds at least to feel you’re listening.
Focus on your customer during your presentation. Listen with your eyes, body language and tone of voice. Listen to her story. If you’re busy looking at paperwork, she will feel you’re not listening and will not give you her trust. Direct your conversation toward her, but be sure to ask her spouse or significant other about any other concerns. As she tells her story, she gives you clues to her concerns, wants, goals and desires.
Answer all her questions, no matter how trivial they seem. When she’s done asking questions, she may need to think things over and call you back, or come back in to ask more questions. It’s important she not sense you’re stressed for time.
When you present your information, don’t use a canned presentation. Customize the sale to her needs and communicate with her how she would like to be communicated with. If she needs a lot of information, give it to her. If she wants few facts, deliver your answers to her questions and wait for more.
2. Image Is Everything
Women are detailed-oriented. From the first phone call, the female customer needs to connect and feel special. You cannot ever undo a bad first impression. The front office area needs to be warm, inviting, clean and neat. Your team needs to wear professional clothing. Women notice details! Look at the women’s restroom: The appearance should be not only neat and clean, but up-to-date and decorated with a woman in mind.
3. Don’t Knock the Competition
When communicating with women, it’s important to remain neutral when discussing your competitors. Never speak badly about another business. Instead, talk about the benefits of your products with a positive focus on how they will meet the needs of the customer and her family. How will your product save her family money? Keep them safer? Protect the environment?
4. Emphasize the Benefits
The female customer looks for the perfect answer. It’s in her nature―she wants to be certain she’s making the right decision. Help her make it by discussing why it’s best she move on this decision right now.
Respect her time and don’t keep her waiting. Remember the phrase, “People count up the faults of those who keep them waiting.” This is especially true for women, who are multi-taskers. If you keep a woman waiting, she’ll be thinking of all the other things she needs to do and will be more stressed than the majority of your male clients.
Another phrase to remember, “People shop up.” Most people want the best treatment they can afford. Women especially like to buy the best they can for their family’s needs. Provide the customer with options, but tell her what you feel is the best for her situation. Remember she may be slower to make her decision than your male client, as she wants to gather information and make that right decision. You might facilitate acceptance sooner with a complimentary added-value service.
5. Expect to Follow-Up
Many times, sales are lost with female customers because of a lack of follow-up. When men say, “I’ll think about it,” it usually means they’re not interested. When women say, “I’ll think about it,” it means they really will!
Ask permission to follow up within a week and answer any questions the customer may have. From there, she’ll direct you to what she wants. She’ll either need more time, more information, want to buy from you, or decide on another product. Demanding, insistent salespeople will often lose the sale to the female client. She doesn’t want to “be sold.”
If you focus your business on the needs of the female customer, you will have her loyalty, trust and referrals. If you don’t meet her needs, she’ll leave you. If you just meet her needs, she’ll stay. If you exceed her needs, she will refer her friends, family and colleagues.
Rhonda Savage is an internationally acclaimed speaker and CEO for a well-known practice management and consulting business. As past president of the Washington State Dental Association, she is active in organized dentistry and has been in private practice for more than 16 years. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; visit www.dentalmanagementu.com.