My God I'm annoying. I really am. Sometimes I just want to ask what is the matter with me? Until I really grasp something, until I know and fully understand everything, until every last one of my questions is answered, I won't let it go. I won't move forward. I won't agree with you. I won't buy from you.
What's up with that? I checked my lineage and while there is some arrogant French and some stubborn Cherokee - at last search there is no Pitt Bull in my blood.
My only comfort is - I am not alone in this behavior. As a matter of fact, I am finding that women everywhere share this same trait. We ask a ton of questions. And we won't move forward until we get every last one of them answered.
Women often have different buying processes than men. In case you missed this great post by Michele Miller - here's an explanation of how men and women have different buying processes.
I recently found an article that further added fuel to my theory that women have more questions or ask different questions than men do. Oddly enough, it wasn't about marketing, it was about increasing shareholder value.
The article talks about 10 reasons why having women in senior management makes you a more successful company. Here are some of the stats they quote.
In this landmark study, "The Bottom Line: Connecting Corporate Performance to Gender Equity," Catalyst examined the financial performance of 353 companies between 1996-2000. It found that the companies with the highest representation of women in their senior management teams had a 35 percent higher Return on Equity -- a key measure of profitability -- and a 34 percent higher Total Return to Shareholders
It's a really interesting read - but what I found really interesting to my research was this little tidbit.
Women [board members] ask questions that men don't think to ask, because women come from a completely different environment and vantage point.
very interesting. so what does this have to do with marketing to women online? Everything.
I've found from my own experience and the experience of many, many other women - that websites do a terrible job of answering all our questions.
Until you answer all her questions - she's not buying from you. so how do you answer all her questions? One area most etailers fall down in is product descriptions.
- Rugs - don't just give a few features and specs. What questions does she have about your products? Yes - that rug color looks nice and she knows a natural weave is what she's looking for - but is it soft to bare feet of toddlers? does it stain when Aunt Jan spills her red wine? is it durable when lots of traffic pounds the rug fibers?
- DVD Players - does it record or just play back? what media does it use? what's the difference between DVD +R and DVD -R? What's this dual layer technology they're talking about? Can I copy a DVD to a DVD? How does it hook up to my TV? and do the cables I need come with it?
- Towels - sure, they're made of soft cotton - but will they stay soft through hundreds of launderings? Will they maintain their color or fade? Will they unravel or will they remain intact even though they're used almost every day.
- Shoes - you say your color is "midnight" but is that blue or black? and is your shoe soft leather or that really stiff leather? and what size is your heel? I"m on my feet all the time, but I want enough of a heel to look stylish? so is your shoe comfortable?
- Climbing ropes - I am an indoor climber but now I'm going to try outdoor climbing. What ropes do I need? are indoor ropes different from outdoor ropes? Do I need different shoes? If I'm just starting out, exactly what do I need? Can you tell me which products are best for novice climbers? and can you instruct me on how to use them?
And what about About Us sections?
- Who are you? What are your values (and don't give me some canned mission statement that's nothing but corporate speak) Can I speak to a live person? really? or will I go through telephone hell if I want to get to someone who actually speaks English I can understand? What does it feel like to work with you? I want more than just testimonials and client studies - what does it really feel like to work with you? will your support people treat me like I"m an idiot because I'm a woman? Do you have any women in management positions? Do you care about the environment, worker benefits, and how do you treat moms with kids on your staff?
Think I'm crazy? Think women really aren't asking this many questions? Think again.
Does your website answer all her questions? Do you even know what her questions are?