Selling to men and women
I just made a call to a prospect. I’ve met this woman a few times and have been pitching to her for work for over a year. No luck yet. Prior to calling her I was checking my CRM (you should always try and do this) to see if there was anything particular I could comment on. I noticed she was married this time last year.
As a rapport builder I mentioned that her first wedding anniversary must be coming up soon. I asked her if she had dropped any hints to remind her husband. (eg: tattoo the date on his forehead) We had a good chat and there may be some positive outcomes, we’ll see.
So what’s my point. I wouldn’t have mentioned this to a male, as I don’t think it would have helped strengthen my relationship with him.
The following tips are just that tips. They are not rules. We are all different. Be flexible in how you interpret them.
How women should sell to men
- Constantly flatter us – play to our ego. “Wow, that’s impressive, you must be very proud, wow you’ve been working hard, etc”
- Don’t talk to us when we are handling a product or reading a brochure. We can only do one thing at a time
- Let us do the bulk of the talking – we’re not that great at listening compared to you
- Ask questions related to how this product / service will help us achieve our goals. We are on the whole more goal oriented than women
- Focus on results and actions
- Ask for the business in a confident matter at the right time. We love confidence in a woman
How men should sell to women
- Look great. Clean shirts / pants / shoes (very important) – women notice far more than men. Watch how much women are constantly checking out each other. (mmm nice shoes / bag etc)
- Smell great – women have a more powerful sense of smell than men. If you stink they think your product stinks as well. Simple.
- Ask questions and make comments related to feelings. “How do you feel about this?” “Did that comment upset you?” ” Is that guy still playing silly buggers with you”etc
- Use more facial expressions and head nodding than you would normally do. Just watch women converse with each other and compare this to when men converse with other men. Smile, nod your head and use a range of wow, uh huhs, and really, is that right. Remember don’t fake this or it won’t work. Be genuine.
- Compliment women in a genuine and sincere way by noticing things about them. Definitely don’t get sleazy. Comment on a broach, bracelet, bag or shoes. Ask if it is new. Chances are they just purchased it! Comment on their hair if it has been restyled or recoloured. The key is notice them and the little things they may have changed since you last saw them.
- Listen a lot. You’ll never hear a woman say "he listened too actively to me!”
- Remember the names of their kids and if you can their ages
Be wary of your default style
Every B2B sales professional knows you need to adjust your style depending on your customer. Just be wary of the need to tap into female and male adjustments as well.
Remember this: Last time I checked no man has ever been murdered by his wife whilst he has been doing the dishes or cleaning the bathroom.