As a speaker on sales and service, I'm learning, and rather quickly, that one of the fastest growing segments to retailers are women. Hello? Are you surprised? I am. I'm surprised it's taken this long to realize that.

Automotive industry. Fastest growing segment? Women!

Gun industry. Fastest growing segment? Women!

Heating and cooling industry. Fastest growing segment? Right. Women!

The list goes on.

What I'm concerned about for these industries is how they're handling the situation. I've experienced how retail handles selling to women, as well as having watched it from the sidelines and it's not that great. I'm sure there are lots of folks talking on the topic. Sadly they're not getting to the right audience.


Can you name me the three TOP needs for a woman while shopping? We're talking first glance; interpersonal skills. Go on. I'll wait.

Don't wanna play the game? Okay, I'll fill in the blanks.

Here are the top 3 skills a woman needs when she walks into your place of business

1. Immediate eye contact.

2. A big smile where she can see your teeth. Not a grin. SHOW YOUR TEETH!

3. A firm handshake coming or going. Not a fish handshake; NOT a herring type limp, drab, slimy handshake. We can take the same kind you give your 'brother.' Please don't go breaking our hands though. Just remember a firm handshake.

I can assure you if you start off with those three you're ahead of the game.

And if it's a phone call, you need number 2 bigger and bigger because, right, no eye contact, no hand shake available.

So replace those two items with the following: strong listening skills and intelligent questions. Based on our surveys, here are a few more things to pay attention to when selling to women.

* Women buy emotionally men buy logically

* Don't talk down to a woman

* Don't assume she isn't aware or familiar with your products. ASK, "how familiar are you with...?

* When a woman comes into the store with a male, don't assume he is the decision maker. Talk with both. Include her.

* If I have kids with me and you don't have a spot for them (play area) whose fault is that?

* Have you ignored your retail setting? Is it clean? How are the bathrooms? Is there anything 'female oriented' or are all the publications "Field & Stream? Huh?

* I have a name and it's not sweetheart, honey or darling. Please use my name.

Naturally there's more to "Selling To Women" Had to jot these top hits to you fast.

Best wishes and good luck!

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Reprinted with permission of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training. Nancy Friedman is a featured speaker at franchise, association & corporate meetings. She has appeared on OPRAH, Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning & many others. For more information, call 314-291-1012 or visit



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