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Guys, Be Wary Of Blaming Your Declining Sales Solely On The Recession.

Nearly a year ago, I was chatting with the owner of a retail flooring store. He shared that one of the national flooring industry associations had conducted research which revealed “women were their market.” He went on to say that the findings suggested flooring retailers need to better understand and cater to the female audience.

I thought to myself, “This guy gets it.”

I questioned how he planned to appeal to women. “Simple,” he answered. He would require all of his salesmen (yes, his sales staff is all male) to wear a shirt and tie – preferably a suit.

Why, you ask? So did I. And the answer? “To show who’s in charge.” (His wife feels like a man is in control when he is dressed in a suit.)

Ummmm….. what!?!

Fast forward to now and sales have continued to drop. Probably the economy, right? Possibly. But I am guessing there is an even better chance that the female audience is inadvertently telling him who is in charge.

Guys, be careful not to blame all of your poor sales on the economy. If your competitor is thinking like this store owner, you have an opportunity to steal market share now more than ever. But, if your competitor not only realizes he must target the female, but decides to understand her as well – watch out. You could find yourself all dressed up with no where to go.


Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

7 Responses

  1. You’re kidding, right? this wasn’t a conversation you had in the 1950’s? That is very sad.

  2. This blog is simply AWESOME!!! Do you mind if I quote/backlink your site in an upcoming economy post on my own blog?


  3. […] and current deals – essentially conducting a two-way brand campaign. Her power to promote (or demote) a brand comes from her direct access to the crucial female consumer market, or her peers, that are […]

  4. I often hear that the biggest complaint women have is that “Men do not listen” and “Salesmen are too pushy”. I am trying to define the specific behaviors that make them say that. It seems that a man and a woman can talk to the same salesman and only the women feels that he did not listen and he was too aggressive, But the man feels that there was no problem. How can two people hear the same sales pitch at the same time so differently?

    • Sean – You might enjoy a book titled, “You Just Don’t Understand” by Deborah Tannen PhD ©1990. Old, but still very relevant. A professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, Ms Tannen explains things that take place in men and women’s conversations. Some scientific, some that begins to be revealed as children. Fascinating read!

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