Selling Challenges and the Opposite Sex

Through the ages, there have been many mysteries that have baffled the brightest scientific minds on our planet, none of which more elusive, defying deep rational explanation and causing more confrontation than the emotional differences between men and women. While this topic certainly invites much further in-depth discussion, this text is not intended to document or explain these various points. Like most men, I am certainly not qualified for anything more than a general observation, some admitted frustration and conservative commentary from my obviously male perspective. Yes ladies, I am playing it safe!

When you have the opportunity, type “” into your browser and view an extraordinary image. I present this intriguing mind-map, this comical approach to the complexity of the female mind, to make a valid point. This image comically portrays a female brain in thinking mode. Complex? You bet! By comparison, a man’s brain might mimic a shovel. Yes, I honestly believe there is that much difference. For those of you who have may not have noticed, women process emotions, information and think quite differently than men.

Their brain chemistry and nervous system wiring is distinctly different than that of males. It also might be fair to say that women are generally far more complex in their thinking than men. Women tend to take in the larger perspective and develop pictures, numerous iterations of influences and results that their actions and relationships may create. Women, with all of their complexities, are divinely designed and created to complement men. While we males remain clueless, we also remain intrigued and smitten. We often just don’t get it. Women are generally more instinctive and smarter than that.

Men, while admittedly more simplistic, possibly more rational, tend to compartmentalize and are prone to quick decisions without the necessary complications of emotional influences. Men, relatively stable and balanced with our regular, relatively consistent brain chemistry and hormonal activity, differ considerably from the cyclical nature of our female counterparts. Making matters even more challenging is the fact that the average male has absolutely no clue as to what makes females tick. Males are driven by such very basic forces as the hunt, competition, conquest, adventure and sex. Women, on the other hand, are exactly the opposite, craving relationships and emotional bonds.

Please forgive any over-simplification and understatement in my synopsis of the differences between the human sexes as I believe that the point is well made. Men and women differ significantly at almost every level. So why talk about this here?

In business, sales and marketing in particular, men and women interact daily in professional relationships. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget about these physiological differences when both sexes are part of a business process. Effective communication is critical to any business relationship, especially those involving a mix of the sexes. Lack of understanding, empathy and judgement concerning perceived differences may lead to frustrations with either sex, thus inhibiting successful relationships and communications. Simply being mindful of the fact that the opposite sex processes information differently may keep you way ahead of the curve and generally more able to build a successful, empathetic relationship. To do or think otherwise does not work very well.

We must learn to see things from the other person’s perspective, especially when the other person is the opposite sex. I truly enjoyed the Mel Gibson film, What Woman Want, featuring a womanizing advertising executive, played by Gibson, suddenly finding himself reporting to a female boss and charged with developing an ad campaign aimed towards female customers. The film provided a comical plot in which a freak accident enabled Gibson’s character to develop the unique psychic ability to hear the thoughts of woman in close proximity to him. At first, this new ability was driving him mad, until he learned to view it as a gift that he could benefit from. He learned to embrace his new ability, and grew as a person from his newfound understanding of what drives women. He discovered, much to his surprise, that women are exceedingly different than men. He discovered that he only thought he understood the fairer sex.

I fully appreciate that men and women look differently and am quite thankful for that! I find those differences quite appealing. Selling to the opposite sex requires far more than mere recognition of physical differences. Gaining a better understanding of each other’s emotional positions, motivations and drives will surely ensure better quality, more successful relationships both at work and at home. All of this is actually great news, whether you hail from Venus or Mars!