Seven Secrets of Closing Deals
By Gerry Myers
Just when you
thought you understood…
It’s not news that
women and men are different — physically, emotionally, and mentally. Each
gender communicates, thinks, operates, and manages with a unique style.
Neither is right or wrong. They are just different. As a result, many men
are taking the time to learn some of the secrets, such as the following,
about doing business with women.
The Conference Room
Isn’t a Battlefield. Much of what I have read on closing the sale used
words such as “the game plan,” “pre-game strategy,” and “the attack plan.”
I got the feeling that the initial business handshake was going to be
followed by “go to your corners and come out fighting.” Closing deals with
women is about relationships, not battles.
The 3 Rs You Didn’t
Learn in Graduate School — Relationship, Respect, and Results.
Establishing a relationship will guarantee a long-term, loyal business
association, rather than an isolated sale. Women tend to converse more with
each other — to recommend, refer, and repeat doing business with people
they trust and respect. Relationships take time. Closing a deal with a
woman may take longer, but it is well worth the time and effort.
If You Want My
Money, Don’t Call Me Honey. Valuing women as employees, colleagues,
business associates, clients, and customers is important to doing business
with them. Women notice small things — how you address them versus their
male coworkers, for instance. Savvy businessmen recognize that many women
control the purse strings at work, as well as at home. When doing business,
these financially confident women seek out companies that value them and
accommodate their needs. Anyone who doesn’t aggressively pursue doing
business with women should be financially independent, contemplating
retirement or both.
What Works for the
Gander Doesn’t Always Work for the Goose. When spoken to at length,
women nod to confirm they are listening, not to convey their approval or
acceptance of the deal. A man’s nod more often signifies agreement.
Executives used to spouting orders or salesmen primed to do the majority of
the talking need to readjust their strategies when dealing with women.
Women will listen politely, seeming to indicate they are interested in
doing business with you when actually that is not always the case.
To Be, or Not To Be.
There are many things women are not. They are not too emotional to run
multi-million dollar companies successfully. They are not too illogical and
irrational to make sound business decisions. They are not indecisive or
incapable of making a decision because they consider all the options first.
While they may function differently than men, they are a highly
responsible, dependable, loyal group. To close deals with women, realize
who they are and who they aren’t.
Intelligence. Today, women are more educated than at any other time in
history. More than one third of Ph.D. candidates and medical school
graduates are women, as are 55 percent of university students. Women owned
businesses outpace overall business growth two to one. There are
approximately 8 million women business owners who generate more than $2.3
trillion dollars in revenue annually. They employ 35 percent more people
than all the Fortune 500 companies combined worldwide, employing one out of
every four workers.
Women have invaded golf (yes, that once pristine game for executive white
males), using the game as a business development and relationship building
tool. Unfortunately, many good ol’ boy tournament and corporate outing
planners fail to realize the detrimental message they communicate when they
schedule golf outings excluding key female executives and customers, order
golf shirts only in men’s sizes, or award only prizes designed for men.
They are, in essence, losing valuable resources from women who contribute
companies with which they do business.