Selling and Marketing to Women


Studies and experience show the way women buy is very different than men. Whereas, men traditionally realize a need and may have a step-by-step process to reach a buying decision, women often consider many different things. Here’s a list of some of the things that women consider when buying: appearance, environment, reputation, respect, “do I like him or her”, “can I trust him or her”, input from others, articulation, eye contact and how much you listen. Generally speaking, women require more listening and more eye contact than men in their buying process. Not only do many women perceive that these things aren’t done in many cases, they have different negative perceptions of men selling to them and women selling to them.


Here are some of the mistakes that men can make when selling to women: Being perceived as aggressive, pushy, high pressure, overbearing, condescending, lacking manners and listening skills. 


Here are some mistakes women can make when selling to other women. Being perceived as lacking product and technical knowledge, unsure of specifics, too emotional, too tentative, too uncertain, too vague, unable to make a sound recommendation and unable to get to bottom line.


Women buyers are less tolerant to inconsiderate or condescending treatment.  Over eighty percent of the time, women buy the same products for their office or business as they do for their home.  Women are starting businesses at twice the rate as men. Women make up 46.5 percent of the U.S. labor force and hold 50.5 percent of management and professional jobs. Women are more likely than men to actually start a business with revenues of one million dollars or more. 


Once a couple decides to have work done on the home, women are the ones that reach out to make the initial screening contacts to invite three or four or contractors to come to their home. Have you ever tracked your closing ratio from the first incoming prospect call through to closure by gender of the prospect who called? What would your guess be with women who reached out to your business for a bid or quote versus men who reached out? 


Many leading businesses spend a great deal of time researching the women who buy from them to identify their buying motivations, likes and dislikes and opportunities to improve. The best businesses take it one step further and gather information from their women prospect who decided NOT to buy from them in an effort to take this information back to the marketing, sales and service team to make adjustments in their messaging and truly target skills for improvement training that will make the biggest difference in raising their conversion percentages with women prospects.


Small businesses may not have the money or resources to hire a marketing agency or research firm to conduct this research for them. However, in this digital age, you have many options at your disposal like social media tools and polls as well as free tools like Survey Monkey. Some organizations who sell business to business will even set up a customer advisory board, inviting a spectrum of their women buyers to breakfast or lunch a few times a year to ask for feedback on how they can serve them better and what products and services they can improve upon, or begin offering that are not currently being offered.


As you consider developing your skills selling to women consider this, women make 80 percent of health care purchases, 55 percent of banking choices, 50 percent of business travel choices, 65 percent of vitamins and minerals choices, 66 percent of auto choices and 50 percent of computer choices!


Women buyers are not only a major demographic in business-to-business sales, but in business-to-consumer sales as well. Studies show that seven in ten women will go out of their way to do business with companies that make a good effort to market and connect with them. So it follows, that having good skills in selling to women isn’t a “nice to know” it’s a “need to know”!


For the free whitepaper ebook, Key Factors That Will Guide You to Success, contact Bob Bolak at,

Bob Bolak is President/CEO of Sandler Training in the Greater Denver Area. As an accomplished leadership, management, customer service and sales consultant and trainer, he brings two and half decades of leadership, management and sales experience to the table, with a consistent track record of double and triple digit revenue and profit increases. Sandler Training has authored over two-dozen books on effective leadership, management, customer service and sales.
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