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.