How to Sell to Women: 7 Steps to Success from Restonic and WomenCertified’s Black Friday Webinar

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Did you know financial services company Bankrate has predicted women will own 75% of discretionary spending by 2028? If you aren’t tailoring your retail sales approach to women, you’re likely missing out on sales. Not sure where to start? Keep reading.

Ahead of Black Friday — one of the biggest shopping days of the year — Oak Lawn, Illinois-based bedding producer Restonic Mattress Corp. and marketing research firm WomenCertified held a 45-minute webinar about selling mattresses and sleep accessories to women. The session was co-hosted by Julia Rosien, vice president of digital and brand marketing for Restonic, and Delia Passi, founder and CEO of WomenCertified.

What are some of the top tips for selling to women? We share their seven steps to success.

Buy-in Begins Before “Hello”

“What impacts her to buy with one person over another? Women will size you up in seconds, including whether they trust you in some way or feel comfortable with you,” Passi said. It may seem like common sense, but make sure that your clothes are neat and wrinkle-free, as first impressions begin before conversation. Also, manners matter. According to Passi, women gauge eye contact as an indicator of respect and require more than men to feel included. During studies, Passi learned that when women receive 60% to 70% of overall eye contact when shopping with a partner, they feel they’re being treated equally. Another easy way to engage with her is a big smile. “Smiling is a universal language,” Passi added.

Respect Her Buying Process

“People do not like the unknown, especially in a sales experience,” Passi said. Anything you can do to help potential customers feel comfortable in your store is a plus. Consider adding a children’s play area so mothers can focus on shopping. Other special touches are high-end toiletries in the restroom or customer service that goes above and beyond. For example, if it’s raining, consider escorting the customer to her car with an umbrella. Also, be mindful that women sometimes feel uncomfortable testing out mattresses, so provide adequate space for them and step away if needed.

Gather Information

“There are life events that lead to purchasing a mattress,” Passi said. Whether it’s an injury, insomnia or something else, the RSA needs to learn what matters to the customer. Even if you’ve pinpointed what she needs early in the conversation, continue to listen intently and do not interrupt. Women often pause for a few moments between thoughts, so wait a few seconds before speaking to confirm she is done. Active listening will go a long way in building trust and comfort.

Share Your Knowledge

Yes, you are the expert, but communicating your expertise in the right way is key. Strike a tone that is confident and informative, rather than condescending or superior. Avoid jargon whenever possible. For example, “You’re not the only one who has these concerns. This product is designed to help with those problems.” Also, be sure to highlight your wins. For example, if you have received a Women’s Choice Award (a recognition of the best brands, products and services for women), communicate that.

Connect the Dots

Determine the most important aspects to her (safety, reliability, features or costs) and draw links between what she needs and what you can offer. “When you connect the product to her, the value becomes clear, and cost becomes more secondary,” she said. Do this, and you’re one step closer to making the sale.

Eliminate Risk

When it comes time to close the deal, “This is where people, women in particular, need to feel good about a decision,” Passi said. Women are more risk-averse than men, and if they feel uncomfortable, they might hesitate. According to Passi, when women are wavering, “there’s an unmet need, or you haven’t connected the dots. The value does not yet exceed the cost.” Help take away the feeling of risk by homing in on the issue. If it’s timing, reassure her about your efficient and prompt delivery service. If it’s unease, highlight any warranties or money-back guarantees you can offer. Be direct and consider asking, “What would make you comfortable moving forward today?”

Build Loyalty to Generate Referrals

The saying goes, “The best compliment is a referral.” Even after a sale, the story doesn’t have to end there; women can be a tremendous asset in generating referrals. Passi cited research that women are 24 times more likely to refer someone they trust to their friends. So, what’s the best way to get a referral? Be friendly, helpful and engaged throughout the process. Stay in touch and consider sending a personalized thank you card to show how much you appreciate her business. Just one strong connection has the power to bring in additional customers.