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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Men and women think, speak and process information very differently. 

It would be rather unique to go thru each day and not experience a perplexing interaction with the opposite gender with regards to communicating, especially in the retail business world.   

So I guess it is safe to say that the secret is out in the open. Gender communication differences are very real and yes they do matter a great deal. If one is to succeed in the retail world, everyone needs to understand what those are and also why. 

Tell the Time or Build the Watch 

Women are storytellers and men like to speak in sound bites. Women like and want to build up to the bottom line or to the end with paragraphs of information, with examples, and with stories to build the rapport and to build the picture.

Men like to get to the "bottom line," then provide the details in bullet points to support that end game. The storytelling is frustrating for the male and the bullet-point format is equally frustrating for the female.

So no matter which gender you may be, it will be essential to change your delivery. To effectively communicate with the opposite gender, it will be necessary to change the approach by women in stating the bottom line first and by men to give many more details when communicating with women. 

Look at the Floor or Look Her in the Eye

Women use about 25,500 words in a day and men use about 12,500 in a day. On average, women maintain eye contact while speaking for 12 seconds versus a man maintaining eye contact for three seconds. 

As a male interacting with the female consumer, changing the approach by balancing the needed eye contact and number of words spoken will make the woman feel like they are being taken seriously, that they are important, and that they are respected.  

Trees or the Forest 

Women can perceive "the fine points" better than men. They see and recall more elements and nuances in products, services or communications. They do more research before the decision and the purchase.  

In evaluating elements of a product or service decision, women want the same things as men, they just want more. They want more facts, they want more details, they want more information, they want more feedback from others and they want more time to make their decision.  

And if woman says "I need more time to think about it," she means it and she will get back with you. 

The Bottom Line: ROW (Return on Women)

Women do a lot of research before reaching a decision. Once they make that purchase, women tend to be more loyal to their choice of product and service provider, and generate more referrals through more active word-of-mouth.  

Before you can sell your product or service to a woman, you have to speak her language. Whether you are selling in a professional or a retail environment, gender differences really do matter. Make sure that you and your employees are properly trained so that you too can attract, sell, retain, and increase your loyalty with women consumers and thus your ROW.