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Connecting With the Women’s Professional Market

This seven-step strategy will help you capture the business of women entrepreneurs and executives.

By Leslie Grossman

You might assume your marketing messages aimed at women will bring in high-powered executives and entrepreneurs, but generic, pink-background-soothing-music efforts just don’t pass muster with these high achievers. They think differently, make purchasing decisions differently, and buy differently from the average working or nonworking woman. And, these businesswomen are not swayed by traditional advertising and marketing that might work with the mass market of women.

In other words, if you’re opting for a one-size-fits-all ad campaign, you’re missing out on a skyrocketing and largely untapped market that’s worth billions. How can you connect with this burgeoning and very lucrative market segment? Here’s the secret쳌\the seven-step C.R.E.A.T.E.S. strategies쳌\to help you break in. And here’s the really good news: Men also react positively to these strategies. So by marketing to women business owners, you may well be attracting two birds with one feeder. Failing to do so may be hazardous, if not suicidal, for your brand.

C is for Community: Engage women in communities they trust and in your own “club.”
Women hunger for real-world, in-person communities. Why? Because the lives of women professionals are so incredibly full that, paradoxically, they feel isolated. Women must keep up with work demands, meet family needs, take care of homes and pets, and find the time to eat right, exercise, and stay healthy. Ask yourself: How can my company help this frantically busy businesswoman? Answer that question and you’ll have that woman appreciatively on your side.

R is for Relationships: Form a unique bond with your prospective customers.
Women who own their own businesses are far more likely than men to buy from companies and people with whom they have relationships. Nonetheless, most salespeople are taught to sell in a “typical male model.” Look at the person, rather than the numbers or statistics. Women do not like to feel as if they have been sold or they are a predictable commodity.

E is for Education: Help your customers succeed by expanding their knowledge.
Going above and beyond the call of duty and investing the extra time and effort to educate your female client shows her that you really care about her and her business. Companies that help women learn without “hardselling” will score points and build credibility. This is true even if the information you provide does not always directly relate to your services. How-to seminars, conferences, webinars, newsletters and after-hours parties are just a few of the methods you can use to educate them.

A is for Anticipate: Know what your customers will need before they ask for it.
Think about what businesswomen’s lives are like, what their mindset is, and what they need to make their lives easier and less complicated. Can you help compulsive multitasking women handle all their projects more easily?

T is for Trust: Prove your integrity and commitment to your customers’ success.
Women’s trust is not freely given; it definitely needs to be earned. To build trust, your company needs to show integrity on every level—with products and services women can count on. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.

E is for Entertainment: Make working with you fun as well as productive.
“Work hard, play hard” is the mantra most men live by, and doing so makes sense. However, most women in business work hard, but instead of relaxing, they work even harder. We all need to recharge and renew our tired bodies and spirits from time to time. That’s why businesswomen are eternally grateful to any company that pays attention to their needs or indulges any or all of their senses—smell, touch, taste, sight or sound.

S is for Service and Support: Back up your promises with a smile and immediate assistance.
Businesswomen notice the details. Great service and support lead directly to customer loyalty because it lets people know that you care about them. For women, more so than for men, service makes or breaks the relationship. If they are treated poorly, they won’t ever forget it, and your relationship will go down the tube. On the other hand, making businesswomen feel special by providing first-class service will result in your earning their business and long-term brand loyalty.

All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

Leslie Grossman, cofounder of Women’s Leadership Exchange and president of B2Women, has been creating marketing and public relations programs focused on women for more than 20 years. Her latest book is Sellsation! How Companies Can Capture Today’s Hottest Market: Women Business Owners and Executives. For more information, please visit womensleadershipexchange.com.

 

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