The Eye of the Female Consumer

une 16, 2008

The Eye of the Female Consumer

into the open refrigerator, your mother senses you reaching for crumbs
of the chocolate chip cookies that are cooling on the kitchen counter
and reminds you not to spoil your dinner.  Reading a magazine in the
family room, she homes in on the moment you are about to deliver a
super-sized nuggie attack on your whiny little brother and without
turning around, issues the

tell-your-father-all-about-it-when-he-gets-home command.

Wow.  What is this amazing power that gives a mommy eyes in the back of her head?

Is it estrogen?

Was she struck by lightning?

Has she fallen victim to an alien invasion of talking walnuts?


No.  It’s simply that vision is in the eye of the beholder.  Not only
are women’s brains wired in a unique and wonderful way, so are their

Inside your eye, the retina is the component that allows you to
gauge focus, light, and movement.  Two important parts of the retina
are cones and rods, which are connected.

The main job of the cones is to allow for focus (especially intense
focus on one thing at a time), meaning greater depth perception.

The rods of the retina, being extremely sensitive to light, can detect the slightest movement in the visual field, meaning greater peripheral vision.

Guess which women have more of – cones or rods?

That’s right – rods. As
a general rule, the female retina has more rods than that of the male,
resulting in greater peripheral vision and the ability to see the
“whole picture” all at once.

The way she sees has a big impact on the marketing and sales of your business:

1.  She sees more than what’s in front of her.
With a brain that’s structured on massive signal input and a pair of
eyes that possess the peripheral vision of a superhero, she can’t help
but absorb visual cues (often unconsciously) that affect how she feels
about your business.  Paint color, carpet stains, dusty furniture,
cluttered back office (why did you leave that door open?) – these signals are registered in her brain, directly into the file drawer marked “Business X” (x = your name here).

2.  Lighting can make or break you.
Her heightened sensitivity to light means it is strongly connected with
the emotional component of the right brain.  The mood that lighting
evokes can be one of her first evaluation points when trying to decide
whether to do business with you.  One of the best marketing investments
you can make is to hire a lighting design expert to project the
“personality” of your business through the right kind of illumination,
thus increasing customer confidence.

3.  She sees it written all over your face. 
 As a salesperson, whatever you tell her better be honest and authentic
because she doesn’t just depend on your words; to her, your facial
expression is an open book.  The rods in her retina not only detect
subtle changes in light, but also in movement.   The slightest hint of
manipulation sends her BS meter into the red zone, an emotional
reaction you don’t want placed in the file her brain is keeping on you.

4.  You can help her focus. 
Just being aware of a woman’s big-picture perspective can make you a
better salesperson.  Once you have her attention and understand her
specific needs, you then have an opportunity to provide momentary
relief from the barrage of external noise she carries around by helping
her focus on the task at hand. 

The magical question for nearly every woman is, “May I
explain a couple of details about this camera/automobile/garden
hose/financial planning service and why I think it might be right for

Show her that you understand her specific needs, offer her your
undivided attention, and give her permission to shut out the rest of
the world for a few seconds.  She’ll be your customer forever.

Remember:  The eyes play a critical role in the consumer decisions a
woman makes.  It’s up to you to persuade her to see you not only in the
right light, but the spotlight.