by Tammy Hughes

Whether it’s a product, service, or idea…being savvy at reading your customer and determining where he or she fits on the gender bell curve can be the difference between painful rejection and sweet success.

Let me use just one of the action points from our GenderSpeak workshop to illustrate. In general, men tend to be more goal focused [interested in killing the problem swiftly and getting to the goal] and women tend to be more process focused [concerned with how we get to the goal]. With these skills in mind, I can probe my customer to understand where they are on the bell curve (asking questions, observing behaviors and interactions, etc.). Once I discover their gender style, I can approach the sales process in a manner that would work best for my client and be more comfortable for him or her; in essence I flex my style to speak their language. If my client is more goal focused, I would be sure to get to the bottom line quickly, be cautious that I don’t take too much time [the shorter the better], sift my pitch ahead of time to avoid too much “extraneous” information. If my client is more process focused, I would be sure to allow plenty of time for the call [don’t rush], explain all of the options, solicit conversation, and be prepared to listen very carefully. When we flex our style to match the style of our customer, we can communicate clearly and in a way that works best for him/her. Our chances of closing and landing the sale improve dramatically when we present the pitch in the best way — based on how our client hears.