From the September 2006 issue of Entrepreneur

Woman's Work Forget the outdated Old Boys' Network. Leslie Grossman, author of SELLsation! How Companies Can Capture Today's Hottest Market: Women Business Owners and Executives, says the real power today lies in the New Women's Network. The rising tide of female entrepreneurs and executives represents what Grossman calls a "double whammy"--women who make purchasing decisions for their companies as well as their households.

Selling to this audience of high-powered women requires more than just a slick pitch, says Grossman, who is also co-founder of Women's Leadership Exchange, a New York City organization that helps foster women leaders. "These women buy because of relationships. They need to feel as though they can trust the company or person with whom they are doing business," she explains.

In her book, Grossman outlines other "hot buttons" for female executives. Among them:

  • Educate them. These women want information. They want to know specifically why your product or service is the best option.
  • Offer choices. Grossman says that if executive women feel as though they're only being given one choice, they will be compelled to seek out other providers.

The good news is that, because they've done their homework, executive women customers often become great sources of referrals to other customers--especially other women executives.