Today I went to a terrific networking event hosted by EWF, the Executive Women’s Forum. Darcie Harris, the founder and President of EWF, shared some terrific insights on the ways that women makes purchases, so differently from men. Darcie reminded us that women want assurance – they want difficult problems taken off their plates, and they need their product and service providers to go the extra mile to make sure they are well served. Women consumers want to be treated as valued customers, even before they’ve reached that stage – that’s the very way that they’ll become valued clients, in fact.
And here’s what else Darcie said, that really made an impact on me. Women don’t give second chances.
We all know this is true, from personal experience. Darcie talked about walking into a beauty salon near her home, hearing the bell on the door jingle as she entered the salon, and waiting for the receptionist sitting at the front desk to lift her head from her crossword puzzle. Darcie waited; the young woman filled in clues. Darcie was practically breathing on the receptionist, inches away from her, but got no recognition of her existence at all. Finally, she had to speak:
“I have a few questions, when you have a minute.”
Harrumph! The young woman indignantly, reluctantly lifted her head from her puzzle. She listened to Darcie’s question and said, “The person who could answer that isn’t here.”
Would you ever go back to a salon like that again? I sure wouldn’t. You would tell everyone you know about that story. You’d be insulted, and you’d be justified in that.
Marketing to women means paying attention to each customer’s specific needs and providing respect to everyone who enters your establishment or interacts with your business. Women are very flexible, but we’re not flexible enough to suffer insults or indignities without complaint. And, come to that, why should we be?
We don’t give marketers a second chance, if they tick us off once. That’s important for all of us to remember. In your business, are you confident that everyone who interacts with real and potential customers is sensitive to their needs, concerns, and stress level? As we head into a new year, that would be a good thing to check into. Think about how you like to be treated in your dealings with businesses, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
Can you think of a time when you were treated badly by a business? Of course you can – I’ll bet you can think of three examples right now. You’ll never patronize those businesses again, and they’ll most likely never know why. Don’t let that happen to your business! Women are great, loyal customers – if you show them you’ve got their best interests in mind, from the start.