You have heard me say, there are differences in the brains, and in the buying styles, of men and women, whether gay, straight, transgender or asexual. Knowing what they are, gives you an advantage, yes, but the common denominator is always respect. We all want it. We all deserve it. And all sales people should use it.
Tip #1 – There is nothing to sell! Be their expert, answer their questions, and let your clients sell themselves. They know what they want. Ask them to tell you. If your product has what they need, they will tell you that, too. If it doesn’t, move on. Or, better yet, refer them to someone who can provide the product or service they need. I have received countless referrals from prospects I never closed, just because I referred them properly.
Tip #2 – Have your qualifying questions ready in advance. I bring them written down on a sheet of paper. I put the paper in front of me so they know I’m asking prepared questions. Don’t skip any, especially not the budget questions. Many sales people may ask if a prospect has a budget but they stop there. Don’t. Prepare the extra questions in advance. Questions like: if this were a successful meeting for you, what would be the outcome? Yes, I ask that question in the beginning. Do you have a budget? If they do or don’t, be prepared to share a range of three price points you offer: the basics, middle of the road, and high end. Then be quiet. Let them put themselves in a category before you speak further. This respects their budget and gives you so much more power.
Tip #3 – Remember, men want concise factual answers to their questions. Women want to build trust and establish a relationship first. Male/female tendencies live on a spectrum. Since we don’t know where someone falls on that spectrum, respect is the solution. Respect what they want, how they want to be sold, and when they want to be sold. If they aren’t ready, ask them when they’d like you to follow up with them. If they are ready, ask them what else you can do to ensure they are happy with the product or service they are buying. This added step is the ultimate way to respect that they are the decision maker. Want to know more about the male/female continuum, check out renowned Mars Venus author, John Gray, he outlines the sales differences between men and women beautifully, in Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice.
Respect is the foundation of all successful communication, so there is no surprise it’s the key in sales, too. Using respect in a sale means, taking no for an answer. It means, being prepared in advance. It means listening to their needs and matching them appropriately with your products and solutions. Or, not.
And it also means: you are in it with them. Gender may be the new bender but creating the best possible outcome is the only objective. Respect the buyer, respect yourself, and everything else falls into place effortlessly.