What My Grandmother Taught Me
I spent an entire day with my grandma today. She’s 82, genteel and with a fading memory. Her recollections of her childhood are amazing, but she has trouble remembering if she’s had her lunch, and sometimes wonder who is this short-haired ((I only recently cut my hair short), frazzled woman alternating between her and the kids.
So, for the twenty-seventh time during lunch, I told her that her son is, in fact, my dad and yes, they do share the same name. And I had to take her on a tour of my house, despite the fact that she’s here at least once a week. Today was probably my fifty-third tour for her.
And it occurred to me that my grandmother, at her ripe old age and with her poor memory, has taught me a few valuable lessons in communication.
1. If she bothers to ask you, she is interested. So don’t brush off her questions as silly. Instead, take the time to explain your brand or your products to her. The more she understands, the higher the chance that she will buy you rather than your competitor.
2. Repeat, repeat and repeat again. Some women are like that; they will nod and hum while you explain, but then ask you the same questions all over again. Do not attempt to roll your eyes or let out an exasperated sigh. Just smile, and go over your explanation again. Hey, practice makes perfect, right. My record is 7 repetitions until a lady finally sat back, smiled and gave me the go-ahead to work on her brand. And guess what? She understood it so well, she ‘sold’ my services to her sister company and introduced me to industry team players.
3. Listen to her questions. Some questions may seem obvious to you, but that’s because you know your brand and your product best. But sometimes it’s the obvious that gets overlooked. If your product or brand isn’t addressing the obvious, maybe that’s what you ought to be doing – back to basics and answering the obvious. And most likely, her questions are the areas where she’s most concerned with. So if you can address her concerns, you’ve got her on your side.
For an inspiring read on how obvious is good, you have to read the book Obvious Adams by Robert Updegraff. Email us if you’d like a copy
How do you communicate with women and is it working?