Brain scans don’t lie. When women make decisions, they usually access both rational and emotional parts of their brain. Most men make faster, less-emotional decisions, as detailed in this article, "Female Brain Versus Male Brain." Here are three ways to sell to her emotional side using memories and future aspirations, which can be applied in-store during the sales process and online via website, email and social media marketing.
Bring up the past
Many women get are introduced to powersports via close friends and family members in their lives — fathers, brothers, sisters, boyfriends, etc. My dad gave me my first ride when I was 8, and sadly passed away a few months afterward of a sudden heart attack. Mom sold the bike, but that seed was planted and has directed my life in ways I never imagined.
When she comes in your store, ask her to talk about her favorite experiences in the past, and who has inspired her. Listen as she tells you why she wants to get into the sport, or upgrade to a new model. Post motivating stories on your website, social and email avenues about local women and their journeys. Include quotes of who encouraged them and the incredible benefits they’ve realized from the sport.
See yourself now
Live life today. It’s a theme amplified after 9/11, and has spurred thousands of women — and men — to stop putting off their dreams and embrace the now. Ask her how long she’s wanted to buy a new model, or upgrade, and what’s kept her from it. Knock down the barriers by highlighting the emotional benefits she’ll realize from the purchase.
Family is important. Help her envision herself enjoying your product or service with family members, whether it’s a husband, kids, grandkids, sister or even nieces and nephews. In your marketing efforts, highlight photos of family members enjoying quality time on the road, water or trail. Include stories of how their time together has strengthened their relationships and created memories emblazoned upon their hearts.
Inspire future generations
Everyone wants to leave this world a better place. One of my favorite books is “Man’s Search for Meaning” by concentration camp survivor and psychotherapist Viktor Frankl. The main premise is that we’re on this earth for each other, not ourselves. By taking up the sport, let her know she will inspire future generations to try it and become stronger, more confident women.
In my recent article about a less-than-optimum sales process, "What she really hears," I mentioned how a salesperson told me he wanted me to buy a bike so HE could sell more to women inspired by me riding. Reversing the angle, he could have said, “So many women, young and old, come in tell me they saw a woman on a bike and it inspired them to ride. You could be one of those women encouraging others to change their lives, maybe your niece, daughter or neighbor?”
If you’re a woman (or man) who thinks these ideas “manipulate” women in a sales process, take a breath. As a female motorcyclist for 24 years, I’ve seen the sport change the lives of thousands of female riders. My meaning in life is to encourage more women to be adventurous and healthier, emotionally and physically. I hope retailers and companies take this advice to help make woman feel more comfortable in a store and inspired to try a new sport.
A rider for 24 years, Leslie spent 15 years with Harley-Davidson (3 retail, 12 corporate) and created their marketing to women role in 2007. She spearheaded Women Riders Month and a Garage Party Campaign which drove 25,000 women to dealers. After 2 years at Trek Bicycles, Leslie now helps companies sell more to women.