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Males, females, diversity, and marketing your services

By Andrew Neitlich

A coaching client of mine is having some issues managing his staff. Apparently a few of his employees are starting to complain openly at meetings. It turns out that he is having issues with four of his staff members, and that all four are female in an organization that is about 50/50 split between men and women.

So this is an interesting finding. It is easy to jump on this individual as doing something wrong, or on me for highlighting this kind of issue in our politically correct world. But that’s not the point of this blog, so please don’t go there in your posts.

Here is the point:

I find that many of my clients have trouble relating to a variety of types of people different than they are. These include different: sex, age/generation, religion, ethnicity, urban vs. suburban, political views, children vs. childless, married vs. single, different ways of communicating (bottom-line, analytical, political, metaphorical, etc.), different focuses (financial, technological, aesthetic, status, revenues, costs), values, and education.

It is amazing the world is as peaceful a place as it is!

Here is what I think I know:

1. People buy from people they like.

2. The more you can tolerate, respect, and value different types of people, the more broadly successful you will be.

3. The better you can adapt to the styles of different people, the more broadly successful you will be.

4. If you know that you get along particularly well with a specific type of person, take advantage of that fact. Market to that group, assuming you can reach them. Be the go-to expert for that group. In other words, if you can’t be broadly successful, be successful in a niche.

5. So are you a broadly likeable person or someone who needs to focus on marketing to a specific type of person? Which should you be? There is no right or wrong here (although I can imagine some of you feeling guilty if you are in category #4.). Know yourself, and focus on what you do best.

(Tangent: How does this relate to my coaching client and his problems managing his staff? Well, he is an employee with employees, can’t readily fire these individuals, and needs to learn to adapt to the employees assigned to him. Regardless of whether he is “right” or his employees are “right,” he needs to figure out what will motivate and influence his employees. He has to adapt. But again, that’s not the point of this blog.)

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  • Dr Livingston

    > Well, he is an employee with employees, can’t readily fire these
    > individuals,

    why ever not? life is busy and complicated enough as it is without a bunch of wingers… fire them :lol:

  • Pingback: Marketing Plan : Males, females, diversity, and marketing your services SitePoint, Australia -()

  • dev_cw

    Be careful not to loose your own style while adapting to others. It is best to adapt some and have them adapt to you as well or you may not be valued as an individual and be passed up by the ones that you are adapting to and then be left wondering about what your own style is all about.

    People like to buy from people they like, but also they like to buy from people they respect and trust. I work for a wide veriety of types, ranging from the multinational high level exec to the off center home grown artist. They do business with me because they like me, but they like me because they respect and trust me, not because I have adapted to their style. I will present myself in the same fashion to both of them and will treat them in the same manor by being honest and showing them respect and understanding their business while maintaining my own style.

    About the office issue, regardless of the gender if your client is in charge of this group and he can’t fire them then he needs to act like the boss and let them know that there is a proper place to complain, not during meetings. If they can’t controll themselves than they should’nt be at the meeting. Would he be harder on them if they were men? I am not sure where the gender plays a role here.

  • EagleEyesDesign

    I get along with people with musical or artistic talent. That allows for more diversity because often (not always) creative people are a bit more open to people different than themselves.

    I also now recognize talented-people-held-back. People with good jobs – but not using the things they LOVE to do, such as graphic art. When I first began working on a contract basis with a gov. agency, I tried to be very professional. Did ok, but after a few years, I got to know the people in the group and saw how many talents they had that were NOT being used. Allowed myself to get excited about what they could do, and that was all the encouragement they needed. Gives me much energy to see people get passionate about a project. THAT’S when the magic happened and all their sites took off with a constant addition of new ideas and features. I use this relaxed approach with my new clients and have fun right away instead of waiting to break the ice. Won’t work with everyone, but when it does it’s fun to feel excited when a new project request comes in from the Creative People.

    Just gave my husband the same advice to let himself get excited and not damp it down to act ultra professional. He’s off on a consulting gig with a new client. For his business of music recording, people really ARE in it for the excitement. He is still very prepared and did his homework, that is the professional part.- Christina

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