I love this quote from George Carlin: Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it. Unfortunately, the way many men "deal with" selling to women is not very effective.
It will come as no surprise that there are hormonal differences between the sexes. Both men and women have similar levels of a hormone called oxytocin, which has the effect of reducing stress and promoting social bonding. However, women have higher levels of estrogen. The relationship between estrogen and oxytocin is thought to explain why women are less aggressive than men and have what is termed a "tend-and -befriend" response to social situations. Of course, I am engaging in generalities. We have all met men and women whose behavior falls outside these norms.
It gets worse for men because the male sex hormone, testosterone, can act to reduce the level of oxytocin and increase the level of another hormone, vasopressin. Vasopressin enhances aggressive conduct.
Perhaps because of these hormonal differences, studies have shown that men and women communicate differently. The conversation of women tends to be more personal. They interrupt far less frequently. They encourage participation by everyone. Men tend to discuss more subjects, avoid personal feelings and dominate the conversation.
Using this information to your advantage
Unless you understand these differences, whether you are a man or a woman, you will have difficulty selling to women. Here are some sales tips:
Men selling to women
1. Resist the temptation to "educate" her. You are wired to do so. She is wired to use conversation as a way to establish a relationship.
2. Resist the temptation to talk louder, interrupt, lecture and generally dominate the conversation. This conduct will establish your "alpha male" standing but will likely cost you the sale.
3. Ask questions. Elicit her views. Determine her needs and goals. Establish a relationship of trust and confidence.
Women selling to women should follow the same guidelines. Your goal is not to demonstrate your expertise. It's to show that you care and seek to understand how to best serve her interests.
I will deal with selling to men in a future post.