By Matt Plughoff
When it comes to sales, it's imperative to know how to address each and every customer in any situation that may be on the other side of the door. For example, selling to a 30-something bachelor is very different than selling to a stay-at-home mom.
As an instructor of HVAC sales courses, I often get asked for tips on selling to women, since they are the primary decision-makers of the household. So I've outlined a few basic sales etiquette techniques that can be used in many field situations, from sales to service.
1. Assume nothing. Always avoid gender stereotypes. You'll never go wrong treating people with sincerity, gratitude, and respect.
2. Communicate clearly. Communicate in a clear, direct manner with context for understanding in order to build a case for your sale. Trying to skew a message to "fit" an audience is more likely to backfire and potentially offend the customer.
3. Treat every customer as a potential buyer. The U.S. workforce has shifted in recent years. Forty percent of U.S. homes have a female breadwinner. Certain cultural stereotypes regarding women and "the head of the household" may no longer apply.
4. Listen to what is important to the customer. Did the customer mention the kids are asthmatic? What about their passion for energy efficiency? Really listen and engage with your customer and your attention to detail will pay off ten fold.
Remember that respect, sincerity, and gratitude are universal. With my four tips, plus a little extra attention to social cues and a sincere helpful attitude, you can ensure a pleasant experience for both you and the customer each and every time.