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Never miss a sale

Maureen Jordan
Thursday, July 23, 2009

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I've been doing some research lately into the topic of selling to women. I remember years ago being so annoyed with bank managers, real estate agents, insurance salesmen and car salesmen (and yes, I say men as 99.9 per cent of them were men) to name a few.

In our family, I make 50 per cent of the financial decisions and when my kids were young and I wasn't working full-time, I made even more decisions. Despite this, and despite the fact that Peter would always indicate to the relevant salesperson at the time that I was the key decision maker when they made him the focus of their attention, I'd mostly be ignored. The bank manager would go out of his way to greet Pete, and didn't even know my name, even though I'd sign most of the cheques (yes, we weren't into credit cards and there was no BPay then!) and set up the accounts. When it came to filling in the occupation section of any form, I'd write ‘solicitor’ but would later see the form say ‘home duties’. This was the 1980s, for goodness sake, not the early 1900s so why 'home duties’?

When we set up our business, I'd go to meet the accountants (believe it or not I always liked tax law – boring!), yet at Christmas our accountant would send a card wishing Peter a 'Happy Christmas'! Needless to say, I changed banks, accountants and would walk away from any car sales yard where the dealer would ignore my presence. Even today I hear women complain that they are not recognised in a sales transaction, particularly if they're married or with a 'bloke'. This is such foolishness on the part of the salesperson.

Here are some tips on selling, regardless of gender. Avoid them at your peril.

  • Establish rapport (simple, but often forgotten!)
  • Qualify the buyer by finding the need
  • Build value (this is at the core of a memorable customer relationship)
  • Create desire
  • Overcome objections
  • Understand what customers want, then give it to them
  • Always be on the lookout for information that will help your customers
  • Give and you shall receive
  • Close the sale
  • Follow up.

Published: Thursday, July 23, 2009


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