You may find, when calling on a married couple, that it’s the wife pushing for the project. Surprised? Don’t be. Women make 89% of major purchasing decisions. And not only does she want it done, she has ideas about design, finishes, products, and timeline. Her husband may be interested, even involved, but is not quite as concerned with details.

Biology is the reason. Harvard University research has shown that the portion of the brain responsible for problem-solving and decision-making is larger in women. So, in women, is the limbic cortex, responsible for regulating emotions. Some theorize that this is why women take more time and put more energy and effort into the decision process. All I know is that when I connect with men and women, most women just care a lot more than men do about the details of how something looks. Their opinions are more informed, their passions more aroused.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Not long ago I was speaking to a group of women who work as in-house legal counsel to corporations. One participant shared that she was so busy with a new position that she told her husband: “Just go buy a house.” Most of the other women gasped. They couldn’t imagine letting someone else make that choice for them.

Women tend to perfectionism when it comes to the way things look. That’s why we need to involve ourselves in all the specifics that go into getting our remodeling project exactly right.

Keep in mind that women graduate from reading fashion magazines to home design magazines. Every month they’re seeing colors, furniture, products for the home. They are more aware of the options and trends. So when it comes to interviewing that married couple for a remodeling job, you’re going to find that the wife has the strongest opinions, even if they’re not forcefully expressed right away. When you sit down with those clients, although she may not be saying much — right now — the wife has probably already put a lot of thought and passion into the project she wants. —Colette Carlson is an expert on gender and selling.

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Don’t Make a Gender Blunder: Tips for selling to women

With Women in Mind: Tailoring the customer experience for female clients

I Can(’t) Relate: You won’t get far trying to sell to women and men the same way. Here’s why