I stumbled across a book once that substantially helped me understand the relationships between women and men. Some from our newer generation of sales reps might not have been exposed to it. It’s called Men Are From Mars, Women Are from Venus. The author's name is John Gray, Ph.D.
I went shopping at a mall with Venus. Simply put, Venus took four hours to find what she wanted and Mars (me) spent 20 minutes to find what I needed. How does this translate to selling? If we understand that women and men look for different things in the selling process, our potential to increase the sale will be enormous.
The same communications barriers that appear in relationships between men and women in marriage might also cause barriers in a sales call between two people of the opposite sex.
The same-shoe-fits-all technique can severely hamper us by alienating prospects and customers. Our chances on the sales call can increase dramatically if we understand the characteristics that are typical of each gender. Here are a few tips to remember when selling to Venus and Mars.
Women Selling To Men:
Men want the facts and the information up front. Are they interested in developing a relationship? Absolutely. However that’s secondary in the selling equation when a woman is selling to a man. Know your prospect inside and out. How many commercials will achieve a frequency of three? How many click-throughs are they getting on their ad? This will project confidence and credibility in the sales call.
Little ways to score big points with male prospects:
• Give him the facts and be direct.
• He probably likes to discuss business, sports, and money.
• He wants consistent maintenance.
• He’ll feel insecure if you appear to know more than he does.
• Feed his ego.
Men Selling To Women:
Women are emotional and want relationships developed before they turn over the money. Here the 80-percent rule comes into play, where 80 percent of the buy is based on whether they like you and trust you. Women should be taken seriously. Eye contact is of the essence. Don’t ever make them feel inferior through number-spouting. They want to be educated by you through sincerity and interest in their ideas.
Little ways to score big points with a female prospect:
• Always listen with interest. Don’t look over her shoulder as if you need to speak to someone else.
• Plan ahead with regularly scheduled business meetings.
• Pay attention to details.
• Offer to do helpful things without her having to ask.
• Use handwritten notes occasionally to leave a message.
• Follow-up, follow up, follow up.
It’s not the big things that keep selling relationships from working, it is the little things. Follow these guidelines and you’ll take out some of the mystery and frustration of selling to the other gender.
Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group International and can be reached at Sean@luceperformancegroup.com or www.luceperformancegroup.com. Sean’s new book The Liquid Fire can be found on Amazon.com.
As seen in Radio Ink Headlines September 29, 2014