Tag Archives: Business networking

Kicking off the Summer Season

For many of us, Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. For a business owner, you should also consider it the start of your warm weather business game plan. In Indianapolis, Carb Day is the perfect time to kick-start your plan. Here’s how..Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

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Filed under BNI, Entrepreneur, networking, referrals

How do I Market to Women?

Online or in person, understand that women want to be engaged and informed.  They like having an opportunity to learn more about your product or services in a non-threatening and comfortable way.

Smart marketers listen when women are talking.

One of the best ways to engage women is to ask them relational questions.  By this I do not mean talking to them about their kids (or yours) or assuming that they are a Soccer Mom or that they even have kids.  Do not ask them when their husband will be joining them or in any way indicate that they are not the primary focus of your conversation.

Do not try to “game” the system and take shortcuts to establishing a relationship with women.  You have to expend the time to build the relationship.  One way to do that is to connect with women by supporting the causes they care about:  education, health care and community.  Above all, be sincere.  Women can see through insincerity quickly and will walk away instead of confronting it.

What’s the payoff?

If you connect with the right women, the rewards are vast.  A woman who loves your product or service will tell her friends.  And because women value relationships so highly, they frequently have a lot of friends.  But you have understand that she puts her personal relationships at risk to do this, so you need to acknowledge and even reward her trust in you and your company.

Learn to market to women today and your business will prosper and thrive over the next few decades as women control more of this country’s wealth and continue to make a disproportionate amount of the purchasing decisions.  Even better, you may find that your products and services  are much improved by establishing these long –term customer relationships with women.  That makes marketing to women a win for everyone.

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Filed under Marketing, Women

Selling to Women Isn’t About Telling Them What They Want

Many marketers think if they put bling on an item or advertise to the “harried soccer Mom” that they will cut a large swath through the female purchasing demographic.  In this day and age, that’s marketing at your own peril.  Women make up the majority of the consumer purchasers and marketers should look for ways to focus on specific segments and their needs instead of lumping all women into the “Mommy-sphere.”  Some of this marketing trend is the result of the influx of influential Mommy Bloggers, but while they are a legitimate and vocal part of the female demographic, they do not represent the majority of all women. Marketers need to remember that.

Women value relationships.

What do women want?

Quite simply, women value relationships.  They want to be treated like adults with brains.  They prefer to engage in a conversation instead of being lectured.  They like to create relationships with people they do business with and they want to feel like they can recommend the businesses they use to their friends and colleagues.

This is a paradigm shift for many men who are typically more transactional.  A good example of this is frequently seen at business networking events.  It is not unusual to be introduced to a businessman and have him hand you his card within the first 15 seconds of meeting you.  From his perspective he is simply being efficient and courteous.  If he happens to hand out his business card to people who have no interest in his goods or services, he thinks, “maybe they’ll hand it someone else.”

Conversely, you may stand and have a conversation with a businesswoman for 15 minutes before she asks if she can give you her card.  From her perspective, she doesn’t want to hand out her card to someone unless she wants to continue to build a relationship.  She’s being efficient and only handing her card to those with whom she wants to consider doing business.

For many salespeople this is an uncomfortable place to be.  They are trained to meet, greet and ask for the sale, all within 5 minutes.   Taking any longer means you might be missing out on the next sale.

A simple example comes from a client I was meeting with one day.  We were discussing the sales process he used when meeting with women and he said, “And then at the end I overcome all their objections.”  If you are a woman reading that, you just took a mental step backwards.  As a man, you may not have even noticed his faux pas.

Most women are looking for someone who will “answer their questions” not “overcome their objections”. They want to be an equal partner in the conversation, not be subjected to a sales pitch.  They also value sincerity and don’t like to be rushed.

The next time you are at a business networking event, take a few minutes to eavesdrop on some of the conversations going on around you. Listen to both same-sex groups and mixed sex groups talking and note how they behave differently.  And if you really want to market to women, spend some time actively listening to what they are saying before you ever open your mouth.

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Filed under Marketing