Failure to effectively communicate is often behind many failed business initiatives in both the corporate and entrepreneurial sectors. (Ineffective communication is usually the main reason for failed relationships and marriages as well.) Brain science, professionally referred to as neuroscience, now helps us understand why and how men and women communicate differently. Businesses which know and understand these basic differences can operationalize them to increase sales and their bottom lines. Gone are the days when women need to “act like men” to succeed in business.
During a sales presentation male communication is often driven by data and tends to be product-directed; all necessary elements of a solid sales pitch. Men tend to stay laser focused on this data and most, if not all of their communication remains “on topic”, rarely straying away from anything not directly related to the product or sales pitch. Therefore, sentences about the product and data are often closed-ended and stated as fact. True to the stereotype, men tend to be less emotional in general and this is particularly true in professional situations. We now know this is directly related to how the male brain is hard-wired. Therefore, in business as in other areas of life, men focus on numbers and “just the facts”.
Women, conversely, tend to focus on relationship building when they sell. This is directly related to the fact that we are hard-wired, that is genetically coded to cross-connect. This manifests itself during a sales presentation with women using both more words and words that are more inclusive. This puts the focus on building relationships with the client instead of just making the sales pitch driven solely on date. Women tend to ask more questions and try to get to know the person/client on a personal level (this is one of the ways men and women network differently but that is a topic for another day). Women also tend to ask more “open-ended” questions and make use of “tag endings” which require an interaction; for example a woman might say: “what a beautiful day, isn’t it?” etc in a way to encourage interaction.
As you can see, men and women who have the same goal of selling a product or service to a client will approach this goal utilizing different communication skills. The business that accesses the strength of both approaches, i.e., the team that includes both men and women in their presentation, will exponentially increase their chances of landing the client and/or sales, and current research based on brain science bears this out! Yes – men and women communicate differently – and utilizing these differences appropriately in your business will increase your bottom line!
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