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Ladies: Take Care of YOU First in Your Business - $$$$

DeniseMMDeniseMM subscriber Posts: 6
edited March 2007 in Thought Leadership
Over the last five years I`ve trained thousands of people in marketing and info-preneuring so it was a pleasant surprise when I got a call last Thursday (one week ago) from one of my "graduates." A terrific guy with an ebullient sense of energy named Gil. He has a really cool product that he`s taken to market and will have on HSN at the end of this month.After we got caught up (I met him a little over a year ago in New York) he told me he was putting on a seminar at the end of this month and needed help organizing and pulling it together. He asked me what I would charge to help him out. I told him that I charge $--- for four, one hour consultats - usually once a week - but his event was coming up so soon we would need to do `em twice a week so he`s got everything done in time. He said, "Okay, let`s get started." We scheduled a phone meeting for this morning. I told him I would PayPal him for the $--- payment and then once that was taken care of I`d look forward to helping him as much as I possibly could to insure that he has a great event. We hung up the phone and I paypal`d him for the funds. Then I sent reminders on Saturday and Monday. This morning he called for our meeting. I told him, "Gil, I really want to help you so you have a great event - but like I said before I need to have you take care of the paypal first and then we can get started and my aim is to give you everything I can so you have a great event."He hemmed and hawed a bit. Did I send it to the right email address? Yes. He said he didn`t see it. Then I told him I sent two reminders. He finally admitted he wasn`t online for the last few days. Okay, whatever. I told him let`s reschedule for this afternoon and take care of the PayPal and then we can dig right in. He was polite but I almost felt like maybe he thought (maybe I`m wrong - who knows) that because I`m a woman that I wouldn`t bring it up. After all I know a lot of women who get squirmy at the thought of sending out an invoice for work they`ve already done - let alone consults I haven`t provided yet. I was polite but firm. There would be no consult without his payment. Sorry - not gonna happen.Ladies, keep in mind people will try to push you. They will sing the blues about their finances and try to get you to dicker down your prices. (My experience is that men try to get you to come down on price - women want it all for free)When men try to dicker you down in price or push you it`s not necessarily because they can`t afford you. It`s just a business thing - pure and simple. They are pushing you because they want to see how "firm" you are on your prices. Don`t get upset about it - don`t get emotional about it. If you`re the right person for them and they "get" that you`re not budging - they`ll pay you your full rate. If you really sense that they can`t afford it and you need to lower their rate - don`t do it for "free." Tell them you`ll lower the rate if they`ll give you "X" number of referrals or something else that will help you. Make sure that you get a fair exchange of value and take care of you first.Btw, Gil paid the PayPal within an hour for the full amount and did an awesome first consult with him yesterday.All the best,Denise Michaels, Author, "Testosterone-Free Marketing"


  • DeniseMMDeniseMM subscriber Posts: 6
    Hmmmmm.... in 3.5 years on ryze I`ve never had a single woman say that I was belittling her.  Not once.  Now that doesn`t mean that every woman is my ideal customer.  But hey - if you`ve got brass cahunas - knock yourself out.  Not many women grow up with a structural engineer for a mom.  So, I wrote the book I needed to read myself.  Now if you`re done belittling me...
    All the best,
    Denise Michaels, Author, "Testosterone-free Marketing"
    PS:  Curious if marketing mentoring will work for you? Check out howmentoring helped one woman increase sales 170% in just three short weeks.Go to 2376 thenconnect with me so you can feel more happy and make more money, too.
  • DeniseMMDeniseMM subscriber Posts: 6
    I have a successful marketing mentoring practise and I`ve mentored over 1,200 people in marketing over the last six years - about 40% men and 60% women.  The differences are astounding - in the approach and attitude towards marketing and selling between the genders. 
    It`s not just that it`s coming from a woman`s point of view - the question is why does a woman`s point of view matter?  It`s not about putting bows and daisies on it.  The reason it matters is because a lot of women really have big challenges with marketing and selling.  Look at the statistics with women`s start ups - the numbers in sales are usually much lower for women.  It`s all there in black and white.  Go to a big network marketing conference.  The room is filled with women but the heavy hitters are always the men.  There might be a couple women who have reached the big leagues - but when of 70-80% of the distributors are women?  There`s a big disconnect and I help a lot of women who have challenges with this and don`t know how to bridge the gap.   I get emails and messages daily from women who say, "Thank goodness I found you because I need help.  I suck at marketing and selling."  
    These are challenges that you apparently don`t suffer from.  Now, if you have perfect confidence and no problems with this - I salute you.  But I have huge evidence based on my experience and tons of research I`ve done that shows that for a large number of women - this is true.  If you`re not my ideal customer - that`s fine by me.  It obviously doesn`t appeal to you.  Fine.  But why are you trying to get me to turn my marketing message around to suit you - when you`re not my customer?   I don`t remember asking for your advice.  
    All the best,
    Denise Michaels, Author, "Testosterone-Free Marketing" 
  • DeniseMMDeniseMM subscriber Posts: 6
    Hi Craig:
    thanks for your thoughtful post.  The truth is there are some men who have similar challenges - but my extensive research shows that:
    a)  when you look at generalities it`s something a lot more women deal with than men
    b) traditionally speaking men are generally less likely to ask for help with something that might make them appear to be weak.
    From my point of view - that doesn`t make for a strong target market - so I target towards women 40+ where I`m likely to have a larger number who resonate with what I have to say and will connect with me.
    I`ve met women who are giving away their services and products in droves because they believe that it will come back to them eventually.  It`s the law of Karma.  And maybe it does - but not always in the form of money.  Why?  There are a whole list of reasons why women do this but it all comes back to the fact that many woman see themselves as being a good woman for giving her time and talents away.  They get that nice, warm, fuzzy feeling - but it doesn`t help `em to pay the bills.  After all go to your local library, hospital, school, place of worship, non-profit agency.  Who are the majority of the adult volunteers?  Women. 
    The women who give things away or seriously undercut their prices tell me, "I just want to be nice."  The problem is that in the business world it`s not perceived that way.  The perception is that if you`re giving something away it means you`re brand new (and not as good) or don`t have a lot of customers (and not as good).  They also believe (and I`ve heard this from hundreds of women - I`m not just dreaming it up) that they think it will be easier to market and sell themselves if they`re less expensive.  And, it doesn`t work out that way.  
    In business people figure you get what you pay for and so they often run from someone who is way below market rates because they figure they won`t be as good, as professional. etc.   Once in awhile you might run into a gem of a person whose really good at what they do and has great accolades but are charging less than they should because they`ve had some challenge or something happen in their life and it`s like yard sale prices for a little while.  But that`s the exception and not the rule.
    Every one of the women I mentor during the time we`re working together ends up increasing her prices.  Sometimes a lot.  And with good marketing strategy she always finds she`s in greater demand not less.  They have more fun, feel more confident and make a lot more money.
    All the best,
    Denise Michaels, Author, "Testosterone-Free Marketing"
  • DeniseMMDeniseMM subscriber Posts: 6
    Here`s an example of the kind of private messages I get.  A lot.  This one just came in this morning.
    My name is ______ ______ and I`m the proud owner of _____ Skincare. We`re still taking our baby steps, but I`m ready to move forward - full speed ahead. I`ve read a few of your posts and to be honest, I feel like you`re talking directly to me. Everything you`ve said seems to ring true to me. I have wonderful products and I`m confident about that, but I`m lacking in self confidence. Honestly, I don`t know exactly what my problem is but I do know that I`m holding myself back.
    My ultimate goal (at this time) is to be able to quit my full time job and be able to work for myself full time. As I`m sure you know, that`s a huge step. Especially since I`m in the middle of building a house, so I can`t exactly take a pay cut. Another large problem for me is that I am clueless about marketing and advertising. I`m afraid of spending loads of money on things that just won`t work for me. I`ve just recently found Ryze, so I`m trying to learn my way around here. I was intrigued by your post, so I thought I should send you a little message.Have a great day.
  • DeniseMMDeniseMM subscriber Posts: 6
    And if you still don`t believe it here are comments from people who have done marketing mentoring with me:
  • DeniseMMDeniseMM subscriber Posts: 6
    And here`s how a couple women responded to that same post in a different forum:
  • DeniseMMDeniseMM subscriber Posts: 6
    I didn`t post this originally to discuss my marketing strategy and copy with you.  First off it`s not ad copy - it`s a post.  I posted it to discuss these issues of people who give their work away or don`t charge enough for what they do.  It`s rampant.  And I post things that the women who are in my ideal customer can relate to.  And they do.  If you don`t - that`s fine with me.  I`m not trying to appeal to the entire planet.  Your opinions are valid in your world experience but not to the women who come to me for help.
    I teach both marketing strategy and copywriting and I have plenty of people who`ve built incredibly successful businesses with what they`ve learned from me.   I`ve discussed the premise for my work with lots of professionals from brand strategists and marketers to marketing pyschologists and the women who buy from me and what I`m saying is sound and valid for a very large group of women.  If it`s not for you - I`m fine with that.
    You`re right I didn`t come on this thread to advertise myself - but if someone slams me - you honestly think I`m not going to stand up for my point of view?
    The best way to prove that there`s validity to what I say its to show you there are people responding positively to the exact same messages that you are having a hard time with.  And the best way to do that is post a couple links so it`s in their words, not just mine. 
    I`ve sold thousands of copies of my book to women in 12 countries and have amazing testimonials, I get rave reviews and standing ovations from groups that I speak to, and I get awesome reviews from the people I work with. 
    You said that you were going to stop reading my posts.  That would be just fine with me.
  • DeniseMMDeniseMM subscriber Posts: 6
    Ladies - I`ve looked at your page and I see both of you are from northern California.  Land of empowerment for women.  That`s great and I`m happy for you.  If you feel my message reinforces an "untrue stereotype" then it means you`re totally unaware of millions of women all over the US and billions around the world for whom those words ring soooooooo true. 
    I have clients in:
    Texas, Florida, Missouri, Ohio, Montana, Washington, Minnesota, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Indiana - oh, and Canada and New Zealand.  That`s just at the moment.  Every one of these women have come to me because they started reading my posts and said, "My gosh, it`s like you`re telling me my life story.  You`ve never met me and you`re reading my mind."
    I lived in San Diego for ten years.  I`m sure you must realize their is a difference in attitudes for and about women in Northern California than pretty much anywhere else on Planet Earth.   It`s very difficult to take a person out of where they were raised and their cultural surroundings and help them see things through a different person`s lenses - that comes from different surroundings and environment.  Despite your initial reaction to what I wrote there`s a huge group of women who read it and say, "Yep.  Busted.  That`s me." 
    Additionally, extensive research into how our male and female brains function differently are at play here as well.  Maybe that information has been squelched in a feminist stronghold like San Francisco and Concord, but read "The Female Brain, by Louann Brizedene, MD (published in 2006).  You think what I write is offensive?  You`ll be REALLY jacked out of shape when you read that book - but it`s all based on very scientific research by a woman MD.  And her book is one of dozens I`ve read on Mars-Venus differences between men and women.  To say there are no differences in how women approach their business, marketing and selling is to ignore reality.  Maybe it`s politically correct for you - but I could care less about political correctness.  I care more about helping the people who need and want my help.
    What I`m offering is one way - that I know gets women the results they want with their businesses.  Amazing transformations take place.  I attract the right people to me.  And what they need might be an attitude that you got growing up and totally take for granted.  That`s great for you.  It could be that StartUpNation is loaded with women from N. California and/or who are all empowered and making all the money they want for now.  I`m still too new around here to tell.  But my message inbox doesn`t show that.   
    All the best,
    Denise Michaels, Author, "Testosterone-Free Marketing" 
  • DeniseMMDeniseMM subscriber Posts: 6
    What is a target market?  It`s a generalization about the type of people that will purchase your product or services - based on experience and based on buying patterns. 
    It can be based on demographics - factors like age, income, gender, marital status, geographic area and sometimes race. 
    And it`s also based on psychographics - which are more like attitudes and belief systems.   For example psychographics as seen in buying behavior (the part that market researchers measure) might be that two people have the same income and live in the same city - but one enjoys spending money on travel to exotic places and being an independent entreprenuer because they value that experience.  The other person is into having "the latest" whether it`s cars, clothes, gadgets, etc. and works 50 hours a week in a corporate environment to afford all those things.  Neither one is right or wrong - just different.  Psychographics can also be one person who sees themselves as spiritual and buys a lot of self improvement books and attends seminars.  Another one really isn`t into that and puts their priority on private schools for their kids.  
    So, the factors that make up a target market are factors that may or may not fit you.  If they do fit someone - they look into it a little bit more.  If they don`t fit a particular person they usually just click somewhere else.   
    But a target market is based on assumptions about a group of people - what`s important to them and how that`s reflected in their buying decisions.  If that assumption is wrong for you - fine.
    Your attitudes and belief systems are that you`re in control, you`re confident and you have no problem with charging what you`re worth.  Great!  But it`s not how all women are.  In fact it`s not how millions of women are.  So, I guess that means if you went to Borders or Barnes & Noble you`d buy different books from someone else because they`re not written with you in mind.  Same thing.  But you probably wouldn`t be "offended" by the fact that those books are on the shelf. 
    Is it even conceivable to you that there are women out there who have started businesses and then realize they need help in these areas in addition to marketing and selling?   
  • DeniseMMDeniseMM subscriber Posts: 6
    In "Why Men Earn More" by Warren Farrell, Ph.D., 2006, (who`s written numerous books on differences between men and women) he says that based on studies 80-90% of women never negotiate starting salaries before they start a new job.  I.e., they don`t ask for what they`re worth in the marketplace.
    The reason most likely given in surveys about why women don`t negotiate, "I don`t want to upset the applecart.  I want to be nice." 
    Right now the salary gap between men and women in the business world is about at 20%. 
    Further studies reveal when a person is a good or even decent negotiator on their own behalf - how much does that improve their starting salary?  By about 20%.  So a great deal of the discrepancy in salaries between men and women at the beginning of a job have to do with whether a person negotiates or not. 
    His advice to women, "If you`re not negotiating - learn how to." 
    Additionally, I don`t remember the numbers but a preponderance of men are willing to go to their boss and ask for more compared to women willing to be that assertive.  This was based on studies with thousands of people.  The primary reason women give - because they believe that if they`re good at their job they will be noticed and that will be rewarded.
    These same behaviors in the corporate world can be found in the entreprenuerial world. 
    Folks, I didn`t make any of this up.
  • DeniseMMDeniseMM subscriber Posts: 6
    mural2jour wrote:
    (snip) "...but as a woman in business I find that you are treated as well as you expect to be treated. I refuse to dwell on the exceptions because that is their problem, not mine." (snip)
    DMM:  You`re exactly right - you ARE treated as well as you expect.  Self confidence and belief in yourself are every bit as important as having a great product or service and knowing what to do to get the word out.  We`re in agreement there - and that`s really the premise of my book - to bring the two together.  Because marketing is all about:
    *  Listening
    *  Building relationships
    *  Solving problems
    and men and women do these three things in very different ways.
    You`re not worried about the "exception to the rule" which is fine for you - but I have found it`s an important target group of women and one that truly wants and needs what I have because no one else is addressing them - and they number in the millions.  They are starting businesses - but in a way - they`re almost like forgotten women.  And even though I generally find women 40+ are my ideal customer I`ve also found a lot of women in their 20s and 30s are holding themselves back from success in their business, shying away from charging what they`re worth and very uncomfortable about getting the word out.
    All the best,
    Denise Michaels, Author, "Testosterone-Free Marketing"
  • stonesledgestonesledge subscriber Posts: 608 Silver Level Member
    Thank you for your post, it "spoke" to me. I also was not offended. I do not consider myself weak, sometimes folks take niceness for either stupidity or that they can walk all over you. I have been learning to create a line between niceness and firmness. I have had situations with men that you mentioned and women. I also have clients that respect that i run a business but when i get the folks that want free, free, free..i have sometimes felt uncomfortable and am learning to be more firm. I have been a success both personally and professionally but have always had issues with asking for payment. Thanks for your post it was appreciated:).
  • rvdebbyrvdebby subscriber Posts: 11
    I am Deb from Washington state. The bulk of my career has been in sales; radio, RV, promotional items, and membership. A good deal of the time I have been the only saleswoman on a sales team. Most of my sales have been to men(car dealers, business owners, husbands of the women selecting the RV`s).
    My observation is that both men and women can haggle, I respect the ones that are looking for a good deal, and handle the ones that attempt to get my products/services for free. Many clients, especially during the radio advertising days would "forget" to pay their account. My job has always included collections, asking for money, getting a good down payment. My experience shows that the consumer that gets everything they can for free is usually the biggest pain, and maybe you really don` t want their business. Just my experience.
    So getting to my real question, if these things-collections, sales, marketing bother someone to a certain degree, why would you put yourself in this position? There are many great jobs / careers / opportunities, for men and women, that pay well and don`t require these skills. I guess that I think a bit differently but then--I am over 50, and a woman.
    Craig, you probably have a point. We are a bit sensitive here, and now I am going to go put on my apron and cook a tasty dinner.rvdebby2007-3-10 1:52:14
  • DeniseMMDeniseMM subscriber Posts: 6
    Hi Craig:
    Because you`re not familiar with Farrell`s book methinks you`re oversimplifying a bit.  Actually "Why Men Earn More" lists about 25 factors that lead to a discrepancy in income.  The negotiating thing is just one of those 25 factors.  And as you say - when things are measured on a par - there are a lot of women who do earn as much if not more.  I only brought out that one particular factoid because it most closely supported my extensive experience of a lot of women who don`t ask for what they`re worth in their business as well.
    From, as you say, taking time off for family needs, to more career changes and picking kinds of work that doesn`t pay as much - careers working with children for example - do what you love and the money will come (um - not all the time) all these factors work together to result in women earning less.  But when compared apples to apples (and when a woman negotiates) there are a lot of instances when women earn as much if not more.  Taken in a larger context - not so much.
    All the best,
    Denise Michaels, Author, "Testosterone-Free Marketing"
  • DeniseMMDeniseMM subscriber Posts: 6
    Hi Deb:
    I would tend to agree with you - the people who want everything free or even want everything for cheap, cheap, cheap - usually are the people who turn out to be a pain in the neck.  My solution:  refer them to the competition. 
    You certainly ask a valid question about why would these women want to start a business when they don`t want to handle things like negotiating, marketing, collections, etc.?  There are an awful lot of people these days who are starting businesses for what I think are all the wrong reasons.  They are not starting a business because they have a passion for creating an enterprise.  They are starting a business because they want to get away from their job to:  stay home with kids, get away from a jerky boss, get away from office politics.  Working from home affords all those things - however it requires a lot more to have a business where customers say "yes."
    Those people who start a business because they want to develop an enterprise have such a passion for their business and what they want to create that they are willing to suck it up and do what it takes to move forward.   
    All the best,
    Denise Michaels, Author, "Testosterone-Free Marketing`  
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