How Do You Earn a Woman’s Trust?

by Holly Buchanan

How do you earn a woman’s trust?  Wouldn’t we all like to know the answer to that one.

But before we delve into How, let’s take a quick look at Why you want to earn a woman’s trust.

Female consumers are loyal, often more loyal than men.   Women have a more deliberate decision making process.  They often have a longer checklist of requirements before buying.   They research on the Internet, shop around, ask their family and friends for their opinions.   Here’s why this is good news for companies and advertisers – once she’s made a decision, she tends to be more confident in that decision and tends to stick with a company or brand she feels good about and has built a relationship with.

So that’s the why.  Here’s the how.

Four Steps to Winning a Woman Consumer’s Trust

  1. Don’t just tell her what you do/what you sell, tell her who you are
  2. Build a community or world she wants to be a part of
  3. Admit your faults and address her concerns
  4. Be loyal in return

Let’s break this down….

Don’t just tell her what you do/what you sell, tell her who you are

While action-focused men concentrate on what you do and the products you sell, relationship-focused women want to know who you are as a company and brand.  They want to know what your values are.  They want to know your passions.  In  Brands for Women Run By Men,  I cited an example of a marketing campaign by Kashi.  Kashi does a terrific job of sharing their values and passions, and even featuring real employees in commercials.  (a very effective technique – just ask Best Buy.)

Build a community or world she wants to be a part of

In  By building a world you build a brand Tony Fannin has a great quote:   “Create a world that your customers want to be a part of. Some say build a community, but to me, that’s a bit limiting and not as exciting.”     The brands that can build a world people want to be a part of are the most successful brands on the planet.  Think Jimmy Buffet’s Parrotheads, or Harley Davidson, or Oprah.  Provide a place where she can make connections with other like-minded people.

The key here is to have a two-way communication stream.  Give your customers lots of ways to interact with you and share their stories.

Admit your faults and address her concerns

One of the most important things that defines your brand in the eyes of women is how you handle mistakes and address concerns/objections.

If she feels at any time you are trying to bait-and-switch her, you are dead.

If you make a mistake, own up to it and make it right – best of all, at a cost to you.    I talked with a business owner who sent out an email about a sale on clearance items.  His email guy put the wrong link on the items featured in the email – linking to the full priced regular item rather than the clearance item.   Customers were furious.   How did the business owner handle it?  He admitted what happened, and gave every customer who clicked through the regular full price item for the clearance item price.   Did it cost him some money?  You better believe it.

But here was the interesting thing.  Many people called in to order other items.  One even wanted to switch over all her business, because this company demonstrated that they were trustworthy.

How else do you demonstrate you’re trustworthy?  Address concerns and objections up front.  Acknowledge that many people worry about X,Y or Z.   THEN go on to address how you can overcome those worries.   Being upfront about perceived negatives sends a feel of transparency and validation (that her concerns are real and shared by others.)

Be loyal in return

Loyalty is a two-way street for women.    The best way for you to show your loyalty to her is in your behavior AFTER the sale.

I love my dentist for many reasons, but one of the main ones is that he genuinely cares.   I had some oral surgery – and that night he called me at 9 pm to see how I was doing.  Not an assistant -him – the owner of  the practice.   He was clearly at home, but wanted to check in on me.  We will be together until I”m in dentures.

My cleaning service calls once a month to ask specific questions about the performance of their employees and my satisfaction with the service.

My favorite clothing store regularly invites me to special nights open to loyal customers only where I get to enjoy a special reception, see the brand new styles and get a valued customer discount not available to the regular public.  Once, when I was in there, the clerk told me to hold off buying the blouse I wanted until the next day because it was going to go on sale for half-price.  How cool was that!

These are some tips to get you started.  For more on winning a customer’s trust, check out Sell more by saying “I trust you” to your customers.

Holly Buchanan is the co-author of The Soccer Mom Myth – Today’s Female Consumer: Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys. You can read more at her blog Marketing to Women Online.


About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

12 Responses to “How Do You Earn a Woman’s Trust?”

  1. OH, great question. Women are co-creators. They co-create brands…just like they co-create in life. I love this topic and am really focused on language around marketing because I think that marketers “become” the language they speak.

    • Kelly– you’re term “co-creators” is nice. I really like it. That relates to one of the differences I believe between men and women in the brand arena: Men buy brands while women join brands. This is in alignment with co-creation. Language is very important and I agree that the words you use frame what you think as an individual and as a company (brand). As a brand, if women are to be co-creators, what should a brand deliver that women can use to “co-create” with? I appreciate your insights and would love more of your comments on our blog when you find the opportunity. Thank you very much. Tony

  2. Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?

    • Thank you for taking time to read our blog. Please feel free to copy the content that is relevant to your blog. All I ask is you reference our site. Thank you. –Tony

  3. Great points and I whole-heartedly agree. I recently had an experience with a male doctor who voluntarily came in and took full responsibility for an error and sincerely apologized. He stood there for over an hour while the nurses treated my grandmother saying ” I just can’t bring myself to leave until I am sure that she will be ok”. I was blown away, as was my husband. I only met him that one time, but I LOVE him! I will never forget him, and if he was in private practice, I’d be signing up to be his patient in a NY minute!

    • Thank you for your comments and for taking time to read my blog. Great example of how to win women (and men) over by being sincere in your actions. Thank you very much for sharing. –Tony

  4. Kelly– Thank you for taking time to read our blog. You point out an interesting semantic here. Though “target” is a common marketing term, should marketers use a different word to describe our desired customer in relation to building trust? That wouldn’t be a bad idea. What would you suggest?


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