What do Women Want?

Martha Barletta’s interview with Tom Peters, discussing What do Women Want?:

Key insight: women want what men want, just more of it. Martha makes the point that research has shown that women are more detail-oriented than men. Details bother us or delight us. To give a concrete example lots of folks can identify with, who’s bothered first by the dirty dishes in the sink at your house, or the layer of dust on the shelves? Women make the details work, and that benefits everyone (men like houses that aren’t dusty too, right?)

So, women want the details right. That’s true for the products marketed to us, the services given us (I won’t work with a company that does a horrible job at service, no matter how good the product is), and our work environments. OK, but so what? The ‘so what’ is that we, directly or indirectly, control the vast majority of the money in our economy. We either directly make the decision, or offer the input to the decision, for most purchasing decisions. We make more than our husbands 30% of the time, and as much as our husbands 20-30% of the time. We control the checkbook 83% of the time. [Think of your own finances – most of the money goes out the door for the basic category items that never hit the big decision making processes that the guys have been typically attributed with.] We talk (you knew that, right?) and give references lots more than guys do. If you’re looking to sell to us or to someone we know, that reference can make or break you. If you’re looking to hire us, or someone we know, similarly, that reference can be the difference between an enthusiastic hire of a super-qualified person, or the continuation of a long and expensive hiring process.

So, listen to us when we offer opinions about the details. Actively solicit our advice, encourage us to offer it, rather than burying us in low-level areas. Seek to find and develop women into positions of influence – who better to lead your business than someone who’s wired to make the details better for both your women customers (note that whether or not you see them, their influence is mighty!) AND for your male customers.

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