Nine out of 10 women will be entirely responsible for their own financial and housing affairs at some point in their lives. Divorce or the death of a partner will be responsible for those numbers. By age 65, 60% of women live alone, and of those 48% are widowed, 7% separated or divorced and 5% never married.
Selling to women requires a different mindset for those selling retirement housing. Women commonly communicate to share an idea or emotion with others. Women have a much stronger need than men to be understood and "connected" to a salesperson before they make a buying decision. This may explain the overwhelmingly negative response women have to pressure from salespeople.
Studies have shown that once a woman trusts you, she is even more willing to be educated about retirement housing opportunities than men. While a man may try to tell you how much he knows, a woman may explain how much she wants to learn from you before she buys.
Here are a few tips that will help you in your sales efforts:
- Differences in age groups. Mature women in their mid-60s and older want you to understand their needs, hopes and feelings – and tell them how to achieve their goals. Baby Boomer women in their early 50s want choices and they want to work co-operatively with you in making the right decision among the senior living choices.
- Show you care about them as a person. Boomer women want to deal with someone as part of a relationship, not with someone who is interested only in a transaction. Get to know them and their needs. Continue to be in touch with them on a regular basis.
- Understand that older Boomer women contrast with their mothers. Boomer women grew up when authority was under attack. Their mothers will respond, “Just tell me what to do.” But Boomer women will respond, “Let’s work on the retirement living solution together.”
- Ask them for referrals. Women are natural-born networkers. If they feel good about what housing options you present, ask if their friends could use help in finding retirement housing.
- Connect with the right side. Women are more likely to easily comprehend you if your language engages the right side of the brain as well as the left. Use metaphors. Use analogies. Use imagery -- words that convey images or tastes or smells or feelings.
- Explain things by telling stories, relevant ones that touch emotion. Story telling increases the flow of adrenaline in the brain and helps us recall information more easily.
- Treat all questions with respect and answer them respectfully. Avoid jargon – if the answer is going to be meaningful, it has to be understood. As a simple rule, it is a good idea to provide women with more information rather than less.
I hope you’ll find these tips valuable.