The fastest-growing sector of small business owners in America is women, according to the 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express.
Whether you are a man selling to women, a woman selling to women or a woman being sold to, we are all working with a market that influences over 80% of all consumer purchasing decisions—women, according to the 2019 Women in Healthcare Leadership report.
So, let’s zero in on women and their skills in the business world.
Women are opportunity experts and see opportunity in everything and everyone and inspire others to do the same. Women are networking professionals and are specialists at cultivating relationships that are purposeful, genuine and meaningful. After all, no one can copy a relationship with a customer or colleague. Rivals can have all the available competitive intelligence, but no one can copy that.
Women are natural givers, not only to people, but to their communities. Many nonprofits are run by women because they want to promote a cause and bring attention to those who need help. Essentially, women are great at lifting and inspiring others and believe that collaboration is key.
Women are socially conscious leaders who serve to cultivate innovation and initiative for both themselves and others. Additionally, when women are excited and passionate about a product, a service, a company or a project, they become extremely driven from that emotion and they tend to refer that to others.
So, if you are in business and planning on working with women or selling to women, then you need to know how to communicate with women. Even though we know that men and women are different in almost everything they do, the core difference is that men are more transactional, while women are more relational.
Men want to get straight to the facts and close the deal quickly and may look to develop a relationship later. Women, on the other hand, want to develop a relationship first and then look to close the deal. Women understand that making business personal builds long-term customer relationships and loyalty.
Men tend to lecture more and listen less than women, yet they make decisions quicker. It’s no surprise that people want to do business with men because the process is shorter, but, while the activity of building relationships may take more time, it is definitely worth the investment.
Women and business is a topic that is important to both men and women. With millions of women-owned businesses, it is important to understand the differences that men and women bring to the table.
However, these differences are just that—differences. They aren’t right or wrong, better or worse, they are different. Once we understand and embrace those differences, we will be able to communicate, hire, work with, sell to, buy from and enjoy each other.
No matter what side of that table you are sitting at, ask questions, listen and build relationships because women mean business. The more women you sell to, the more business there is. And the more women on the team, the stronger it is.
Judy Hoberman is president of Selling In A Skirt and is an international speaker, trainer, coach, author and mentor.