We all know that sex sells. Whether you’re a man selling to a woman or a woman selling to a man, there is almost always an awareness of sexual attitudes. As a matter of interest, a study in the early 1960’s said, a man and a woman put together in a room typically cannot go five minutes without one or both thinking about sex. Advertisers have used provocative poses for close to 100 years. Radio ads will often take advantage of smooth sultry female voices when doing direct advertising towards men. So, how does that affect you? Some would say, it’s the way it is, so find a way to use it. Remember “If you’ve got it flaunt it.” Right? Not necessarily.
Could we use this research in another way? Yes, we can. What if you do not want to be seen or looked upon as a sexual object? Especially, in the professional world. Should you downplay your sexuality? Many women dress down to prevent distraction, or try other tactics to minimize their femininity. There are thousands of women out in the marketplace selling to men who want to be taken seriously. To those women I say this – men have other interests besides sex, so there’s lots of opportunity to be appreciated for your professional skill set. One example, sports. Many women will tell you that their “man” will hardly look at them when his team is on tv . Some will even say that any team is a distraction. That may be a problem in their personal lives, but it is a super opportunity in business.
I am of course directing this at women for obvious reasons, but in this day and age, this can actually go both ways. But, let’s continue using the woman’s perspective. Let’s start from the beginning of your sales appointment. Number one, you set an appointment with a man to present your companies services for his company. Number 2, upon the initial meet and greet, the relationship is casual and friendly. He can hardly not notice that you are dressed nice and that you present yourself in a pleasant and sensible manner. Number 3, here is where you step up the game. Because truthfully, you only have about the first 60 seconds to be taken seriously…that’s with any gender.
However, before you even set the appointment you must do some homework to find out what he gets excited about. Is it business motivation or football, horsepower or hunting, this isn’t the easy part by the way. But it will pay off, and once you have that information the rest is a cake walk. Don’t confuse this with conversational style selling or any other gimmick you have read about. This is deep brain science. Follow this with me all the way.
Is that stereotyping? No. It’s a fact that most men are wired a certain way…not all, but most. Back in 1997 our Carrier distributor hired a new female sales rep that did this the first time she called on me for my business. She was very pretty and as my daughters always say, “That’s not a bad problem to have.”. I have to tell you, the very first time she stopped by to introduce herself she led a very interesting conversation about a range of subjects. I, being a typical guy, simply thought she was making conversation. But she was really hard at work finding out what winds my clock. The next week when she stopped in she handed me a business magazine article about 3 key steps to making money in the service business. I loved it! From then on, every week she brought me key business, success, motivation, and industry trend articles, books, magazines, and printouts. I began to fill a file with strategic information that she provided over her time as our rep. She realized that I was a business success content junkie and really used that to her advantage. For some strange reason I can look back on that year and see that almost 100% of our equipment was bought from her. She stepped outside of her stereotypical role and became a competent motivator and saleswoman…all with just a few magazine clippings. It is not impossible to venture past our differences and the overwhelming power of attraction…it just takes a little bit of strategy to level the playing field when you’re dealing with a man’s brain. It’s not that sophisticated after all.
About the time he is expecting you to launch into your sales pitch, try saying something like, “By the way, I almost forgot, I heard that you liked the Arizona Cardinals! I saw this yesterday and wanted to bring it in for you.” Then, you hand him a magazine or copy of an article while giving a well thought out comment such as; “Coach Arians has had such good success in the few short years he’s overseen the team. I’m not that big into football but, I thought this was impressive.” Chances are, if football is his life he knows more than you will ever bring him. But, every tidbit of data on his favorite team will be inhaled like pure gold. If your prospect is a high value target, then you want to capitalize on his interests. This actually doesn’t take a lot of extra time either during your visit. Especially, if you’re on a time crunch.
Now stop right there and take a breath. I’m sure you are thinking, “That is what I do.” I make conversation about what interests them. Yes, I’m sure you do, but I’m going to show you how to use it to push the sexual attraction aside. How? By turning on another deep interest that is probably a bigger deal in his life. Trust me. You’ll get to sit back and watch him start feeding on the Cardinals information. Listen carefully as he tells you in detail about their running, passing, and the latest interception by Rashad Johnson. Watch his eyes dilate to near black hole status. Watch him enjoy and feel the warmth of the memories as long as he wants to. Then when he pauses, give a sincere compliment on his exceptional knowledge of football. Use comments like, “Wow, I can see why you are really into the game. It is really intense isn’t it?” When the conversation is ready for business, drop your powerful first line to take the atmosphere directly into a straight approach: “By the way, I thought you should be the first to know that sales of XYZ’s have doubled in the metro area. I have to thank you for making it happen! What is the secret of how your team moves so many of those?” Then, let him tell you how they are functioning. Now you are learning his management style and business motivations. When your business is finished, thank him and quickly be on your way.
Never walk into his office or shop again without an article, magazine, book, DVD, coffee cup, or something to put him into that state of appreciation. And now that you also know more about how he manages his company and what some of his goals are, begin to feed that need as well. It doesn’t just have to be about football. Over time you will become an important source of motivation in his life. That is exactly how women successfully sell to men. It’s not about any gender being the lesser…it’s about pure strategy in communication and relation. It’s powerful if you can get that skill under your belt…or in your purse.
Rodney Koop/ CEO / The New Flat Rate