Selling to the Opposite Sex

Chances are the people most of us encounter in our work lives are not really from Venus or Mars. The latest evidence, scientific and anecdotal, indicates that virtually all of them are actually from Earth, no matter how other-worldly they may seem.

Being natives of the same planet, however, doesn’t necessarily mean they speak the same language—especially in sales situations.

Before Michael Dalton proceeds down this dangerous road, he will quickly say that all women and all men can’t be neatly lumped into two distinct communication styles. There are exceptions and gray areas.

Generally men are focused on achieving status and avoiding failure. Men are “doers” and want to solve problems and feel competent. Women tend to be focused on achieving involvement and avoiding isolation. Women relate, connect, and want to feel acceptance. Their focus is on intimacy and relationships, whereas men focus on independence and status. In sales, successful communications is a continual balancing act which requires juggling the sexes’ conflicting needs for intimacy and independence.