The Invisible Close Sales Nugget – Three Secrets to Success When Presenting to Women

As I said in my greeting, I’ve been thinking about the experience of presenting to women. Although the techniques I teach do apply across the board, I’ve noticed some intriguing differences in how men and women respond during presentations.

Sometimes it’s a difference of degree. For example, you want to use stories in every presentation, regardless of the gender make-up of your audience. But if you’re talking to women, stories will get you an even greater result.

Here are three principles to put into practice when presenting to women that will make you (and your offer!) irresistible!

1. Show Your Panties (Okay…not literally!)
The first thing you do in your presentation is introduce yourself. Your behind-the-scenes intention is to quickly build credibility with your audience and create vulnerability, so that they know you have been where they are. I call that showing them your panties.

When you’re on stage, your audience sees you as an authority. You’re a role model. You inspire them. If you build on that, your credibility goes way up. Then you bring in vulnerability. You don’t diminish yourself in any way, but you humble yourself. You say, “Yes, I have accomplished all of that. But here I am. I’m just like you.”

Show how you’ve struggled and what you’ve overcome. You don’t need dramatic food stamps or homelessness stories. I haven’t experienced any of that, but I have plenty of stories of where I’ve tried, failed, and gotten up to try again. What you want is to show your underbelly, show that you are real and that you can relate to the women in your audience.

Vulnerability is a powerful tool that women, especially, respond to. Perhaps because it connects us heart-to-heart. And whether it’s inherent in our gender or created by the culture, women love to connect. So trust the women in your audience with your vulnerability and they will trust you.

2. A Story for Every Point
The story that reveals your vulnerability is only the first one that you tell. People perk up when someone starts to share a story. And later, when they think about the presentation, it’s the stories they remember.

Stories provide emotional impact; they connect us. And remember what I said about women, we love to connect. Stories are also great because they take you, the presenter, out of teaching mode and bring you into intimate contact with every woman who’s listening. Just think about how powerful that is!

3. The Magic of Ending Early
When you’re passionate about your subject and on a roll, it is so hard to stop talking. But when you’re presenting to women, stopping even two minutes early can pay off in a big way.

I’ve noticed that if an event is supposed to end at 9:00 pm, and you end at 9:02 pm, the women in your audience will be perched in their chairs with their purses collected, ready to dash out the door. But if you end at 8:58 pm, they are still relaxed and will stay and shop at your store. And sometimes they hang around up to 20 or 30 minutes, giving you the opportunity to make a sale you would have lost if you’d run late.

And finally, as a bonus, here are a few more tips, which are drawn from my dear friend Linda Hollander’s book, Bags to Riches: 7 Success Secrets for Women in Business. When selling to women, keep these in mind.

* You have to romance the sale. You can’t just go in for the close.
* Of course, treat them with respect. Women have not always been respected in business, so we have our radar out for this.
* Don’t provide information, provide solutions. Be in the solutions business. Most working women with families just don’t have a lot of time. Don’t pepper them with information they have to sort through, offer them something valuable that will empower them now in a practical way in their own working lives.

It sounds simple, doesn’t it? Be vulnerable, tell stories, end early, provide solutions. It is, really, once you commit to it. And if you do, you’ll watch your sales conversion rate with women rise sky high.