There is often failure and setbacks as we grow and change. All successful ventures which involve other people rely on the strength of our communication skills to hear and understand the needs of others. Being able to put this into practice day in and day out in both our personal and professional lives is what determines our lifelong success rates. Being able to communicate assertively (not passively, aggressively, or passive-aggressively) is critical, but so is saying the right things when you are buying or selling based on gender preferences.
Using gender preferences when selling shows your capability: to tune into your client’s preferences, to be a reflective listener, and see their point of view. An assertive communicator is a good listener. Rephrasing what someone has said before you give your own input ensures (especially if you’re talking to the opposite sex) you hear them, and in return will be able to meet their needs. It gives the other person a chance to say, “yup, that’s what I said,” or “um, no, what I was saying was…”
Below are some gender-based preferences for buying and selling that serve as a guide to being a more effective sales person. Remember these are not absolutes, but guidelines, as there are also: (1) personality, (1) cultural, (3) generational, and (4) religious cues you need to be aware of when making a sale to the client sitting directly in front of you.
- Female prospects after an initial proposal may place an order and be more talkative after they’ve had a few days to think about it.
- During the early stages of a relationship with a new client, a female client is more likely to hold your feet to the fire on your statement that you have made a “casual commitment” to them.
- Female clients prefer that you listen with 100% attention when selling to them.
- Pausing before presenting your solution (even if you already have a solution) is more socially acceptable to female clients, because they want to be a part of coming up with the solution and do not want the solution rushed.
- Female clients prefer to know how the product will meet their needs when buying.
- When a female client or coworker is stressed about a problem she is more likely to walk around talking to coworkers rather than shutting the door and working out the problem.
- Boasting or self-promoting to female clients can turn them off to a sale.
- Female clients may not like it if you have all the answers to their objectives at the tip of your tongue. Female clients may be more inclined to do business with you if you hold back on giving all the answers, and offering to do research and get back to them for some of their questions.
- Female clients would most appreciate it if you showed them how to be happier at their job.
- Taking time to bond well the first time you meet a female client prior to starting the sales “pitch” is suggested as it shows you are taking time to get to know her as a person, before offering her a product or service.
- Female clients may need the most time to think an offer through so they do not feel rushed to make a decision.
- Female clients prefer being shown respect rather than appreciation when you are dealing with them.
- Male prospects make quicker decisions after receiving a sales proposal.
- Male clients prefer to know your credentials and dwell on them before making a sale.
- After the sales proposal has been made, if the offer is higher than what he expected to pay for your goods or services, male prospects are more likely to be quieter during this meeting.
- Male prospects tend to favor being shown appreciation rather than respect when selling a service or product.
- When making your point make sure you are clear in your message to male clients.
- Male clients prefer quick solutions to a problem.
- Male clients prefer people to be brief and come to the point quickly when making a sale.
- Male clients need the most space to think alone after a proposal submission has been made.
- You may bond better with male clients if you show how your product will meet a specific need.
- It tends to matter much more to a male client that you demonstrate extensive product knowledge than it does to female clients.
- Male clients prefer to have all the answers ready.
- Male clients appreciate and are more inclined to deal with you when you focus on showing them how to be successful at their job.
Did these preferences make you smile about your own buying habits too?
Whether it’s growing a business, achieving your dreams, pursuing professional objectives, or having quality relationships—it takes sweat, effort, and work. I apply these principles of assertive communication and gender-based sales with friends and clients whether they are growing their small businesses or working on finessing themselves and finding compatible life partners. Why? If we are not staying true to our client’s values and character as they attempt to grow professionally, then we’re offering temporary fixes that are shallow and short-lived. Whenever we make a commitment to growth, before we achieve our desired end state we have to invest in ourselves to bring about the change we desire. Are you ready to invest in your people skills?