Canadian Contractor

What women want, and why you should care


November 14, 2013
By Brynna Leslie
Brynna Leslie

You may be negotiating with the man of the house, but here’s something to keep in mind: According to Nielsen marketing, women influence 80 per cent of consumer purchasing decisions – everything from groceries to tires to, you guessed it, renovations.

This may be a difficult one to stomach, but when you’re out there negotiating your next contract, you had better take a line from Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s seemingly flighty stance, and figure out “what do the ladies value?”

But you’d better not call them “ladies” – that was Trudeau’s downfall – and you’d better take them seriously, as the voice — and the treasury board — of the majority of your customers.

Women want things the way they want them and they want them with respect. Here’s a few tips to reaching out to your client base, which, like it or not, is primarily female:

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1) Women want honesty. Are you going to do the job in a week or six? Women would prefer the overestimate. If they’re going to be without a kitchen for a month, you’d better be clear about that up front.

2) Women want value for their money. Women shop around and they look at alternatives. They purchase their make-up at the semi-annual Clinique sales at the Bay so they can get the free-gift-with-purchase. What are you offering that’s over and above the rest?

3) Women want the value add. Are you just a guy banging a hammer? Or can you offer some insight into design, some insight into how a renovation will fit with the woman’s lifestyle?

4) Women want relationships. Okay, so it sounds cliché. But you’d better remember how many kids she has and what she does for a living and why she’s renovating that guest room or you won’t get that referral at the end of the day.

5) Women want attention to detail. In a kitchen, lighting is important so don’t overlook it. In a bedroom, women want you to think about where the furniture will be placed. They want to know that your contract is solid so they’re not on the hook if you fall off a roof. So get those details in place.

More on this later. But just remember what women want is what the majority want. Four of every five decisions are influenced by women. Women are the majority of your customers. Your company must care about what women want or you’re destined to fail.


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