CEPro has a new mini-article by Molly Gibson with four tips for selling custom installed home theater products to women, and Julie Jacobson links to an article of hers on the same subject.
Here's the summary:
Molly thinks that women need a soft sell based on listening to her needs and discovering how she thinks that the system will be used. She also rails against pushing features and future-proofing that goes beyond the buyer's needs, and pushes style as a critical part of the woman's buying criteria.
Julie thinks that this has nothing to do with selling to women and everything with not being a bad salesperson. Every man would like a system tailored to his actual needs, would prefer not being condescended to, and cares about style. Do this, and both men and women will be happier.
That is certainly true, but... a hard tech sell does seem to work on many men. Also - speaking from personal experience here - some men easily succumb to featuritis. (Not all. Some. And I agree with both writers that focusing on what the product needs - and just what the product needs - generally creates a better long term relationship with the product/vendor/service provider.) The emphasis on creating your sales pitch around design is also much stronger in Molly's pitch. In Molly's view, it isn't about whether the color matches or it's a nice minimalist design, but she suggests you start showing TVs by asking which bezel style they like and in-wall speakers by focusing on the type of grill weave. That's really quite different.
To borrow marketing from a (slightly) different industry, that's the difference between touting the BlackBerry Playbook for its dual-core processor and micro kernel architecture - while ensuring it ships in a beautifully understated thin case - and Apple touting the iPad 2 as "magical" and incredibly thin while also adding a dual core processor. One reason Apple has sold 25 million iPads and RIM has sold 500,000 PlayBooks is because Apple's marketing is aimed at women and men, and RIM's marketing uses the male-centric tech approach. Style-conscious men, to be sure, but manly men, who must have a micro kernel architecture in their tablet... whatever that is.