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Selling to Women

Review of "Marketing to Women"

January 17, 2006


photo of Paula Parisot
Paula Parisot
review or buy Marketing to Women

Women can be deeply loyal customers but respond differently than men to various sales and marketing techniques. One book on the subject identifies these differences and discusses how to address them.

Marketing to women today takes a bit of finesse, a dependable post-sale process and a lot of integrity, according to Marketing To Women: How to Understand, Reach, and Increase Your Share of the World's Largest Market Segment.

Research reportedly showed that women put "more weight on warranties, guarantees, and customer support hot lines." The book also revealed that if a customer has a post-purchase complaint readily resolved, that customer would likely become a more loyal and satisfied customer than one who never had a complaint.

Personal interaction, the book's author Martha Barletta says, is an important component of a woman's sales experience on both the backend of the purchase and the initial contact with the salesperson. "Because of her predisposition toward people and relationships, she will find herself inclined to buy from the salesperson who is most successful at creating a rapport."

On that note, the book emphasizes that women don't like to be "sold" but they like to be told; women like to feel as if they are working with a partner not "resisting an adversary."

Barletta says to watch for signs such as "head nods and little 'um-hum' sounds of acknowledgment" which can be confused with signs of agreement. These signs are different for men and women. This type of body language from a woman is more of a "go on" or "I'm listening," not necessarily that she agrees. And when the head nods stop, it's usually her time to speak.

If the company marketing plan includes promotional incentives and giveaways, it would be best to offer services instead of money, the book explains, and "sharable" or "chick" prizes.

Those incentives and giveaways could include free pickup or drop-off services, a company car, a family vacation, a "girls' getaway" or as the book suggests, a floral bouquet each month or spa treatments.

These types of promotional efforts -- being unique -- are apt to get the word-of-mouth marketing ball rolling. "They'll respond to your promotion and tell their friends to enter, too, and if they win," Barletta says, "they'll never stop talking about your company."

Also, time-sensitive offers can shorten decision time for a faster sale, the book adds, turning the female prospect into a loyal customer.

"Given women's greater loyalty after the initial purchase, they're basically yours to lose from thereon out," Barletta concludes. "As long as you don't do anything too egregious, --she's forgiving, but only up to a point-- she'll keep coming back."

Don't forget about her loyalty because when women customers are ignored, the book says, it can cost the company money. For example, the book states that over the lifetime of a life insurance customer, a woman will give almost double the amount of referrals than a man would; an average of 28 while men provide only 15 referrals.


A Woman's Prerogative
Marketing to women today is altogether different than yesterday. It's time to adjust the promotional efforts and the mind set of salespeople to fit the psychological schematic of today's contemporary woman, according to one marketing book that says women are responsible for 85 percent of all consumer-buying decisions.

Paula Parisot is a MortgageDaily.com feature reporter and a blogger at CloserBlog.com who has also worked in the mortgage industry.

e-mail Paula at: [email protected]

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