Face to Face Selling

Women factors

Understanding the difference when closing a sale between a man and a woman can have a major impact on your closing rate. Whenever you’re selling, the sex of the person you’re selling to makes an enormous difference in how your pitch is received.

Women are evaluating the salesperson as much as the product

The first principle to remember is that women will try to determine if a salesperson is a “good person” before doing business with him or her. She wants to buy from someone she feels she can trust. During the consideration process, she’ll fast-forward to a worst-case scenario of something going wrong with the product after the sale, and they’ll try to imagine whether they could count on the salesperson if it does. All things being equal, women will buy from someone who they feel “deserves” their sale. They are often willing to pay more for better service and the peace of mind that comes from it. A bad sales experience can kill a woman’s intention to buy, no matter how much she wants the product. It’s incumbent upon salespeople to learn the cultural for norms of female conversational styles, or risk turning off their customers without even understanding why.

The lack of facial expression is very confusing to a young woman, and she may come to believe, because she can’t get the expected reaction to a plea for attention or a gesture of affection, that you don’t really like her. She will eventually turn her efforts to faces that are more responsive.

Girls’ well-developed brain circuits for gathering meaning from faces and tone of voice also push them to comprehend the social approval of others very early in life.

Women factors

When women shop, they constantly evaluate how their purchase might impact the people they care about most. They automatically factor in the needs and opinions of these friends, family members, colleagues, even if they are the sole decision makers in the transaction. It’s important to address these absent influences during the sales process by asking your prospect if there are other people who will be using their product or involved with it in some way. By doing so, you may be able to surface unspoken barriers to help close the sale. It’s up to you to find out who else is in her play.

Women are more interested in product benefits than specs

As we’ve already learned, women are far more interested in the “what” then in the “why.” It’s more powerful to say, “This side-by-side refrigerator/freezer can hold sixteen frozen pizzas,” then to say, “This side-by-side refrigerator/freezer is thirty cubic feet.” Speak in practical terms and paint pictures with stories. Capturing images for the imagination at the beginning of the sales process is the most important part.

Talk about the money

Whenever you can, be specific about why something is priced the way it is, and demonstrate good, better, and best options to give your prospect the choice. Most important, bring up the price yourself, before she has to ask.

Women appreciate having someone edit their options

In general, editing a customer’s options is better than providing too many. She values her time, and therefore values your ability to save it. Depending on your product category, you can anticipate that a woman will be interested in knowing what options most people buy (its human nature) or what you would buy if you were in her situation, so be sure to have those answers ready. When it comes to selling to women, sometimes less is more.

Understanding the difference when closing a sale between a man and a woman can have a major impact on your closing rate. Whenever you’re selling, the sex of the person you’re selling to makes an enormous difference in how your pitch is received.

When she says “I need to think about it”

It’s shocking how many sales people don’t follow up with a potential female buyer once she has uttered the words “I’ll need to think about it.” Men often believe this comment is code for “I’m not interested.”This is a mistake. Women put a lot of pressure on themselves to get a purchase right. They’ll want to go home and talk about it with the people closest to them. They’ll want to conduct more research on your product or company. They might want more time to consider the purchase away from you, without any pressure. Most likely, they will be impressed if you actually contact them to follow-up. Women want to buy from someone who values their business. Following up after a sale call is one of the best and easiest ways to demonstrate that you do care.

Women want to be appreciated

It’s important to demonstrate appreciation for women’s business, whether it’s through a personal thank you note, or a discount on a future purchase, a free giveaway, or some other thoughtful expression of gratitude. Women expect this kind of treatment when they spend their hard earned money (or their company’s hard earned money) with you. Treat them right and they will spread the good word.

Sell help not a product

Selling a product is one thing; sell yourself is quite another. Selling yourself successfully requires both. The most important thing to remember when selling to women is this: no matter what your product or service, you’re only really selling one thing, and that’s help. If what you’re offering doesn’t enhance her life, her work, or her family life, then you’re wasting her time and probably your own, too. So forget about the specifics of what you’re selling, and re-frame it in your mind as selling help.

The easiest path to “yes” from a female customer is through listening and asking open-ended questions. When given the chance, women are likely to tell you everything you need to know to customize a pitch and make the sale. Suddenly the information that you might find trivial in any other context is liquid gold, as long as you can actually listen.

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