Our special guest on this week’s episode of Conversational Selling is Delia Passi, Founder of Women Certified and Women’s Choice Award. She has built the nation’s leading authority on loyalty among women, advocating for consumers by offering reliable fact-based ratings. Delia is a former publisher of Working Women and Working Mother magazine, and the author of Winning the Toughest Customer, the Essential Guide to Selling to Women.

“Women really value the opinion of other women. So that’s why the influencer community today is becoming more powerful than ever before: because we really create loyalty with people that provide us with trusted advice, ideas, and make our life simple,” says Delia.

We chat about targeting marketing for women, as well as:

  • Who are the lead household purchasers
  • Women’s Choice Award research standards
  • Offering an objective, fact-based rating system
  • Locating the highest recommended health care facilities
  • Differentiating how to sell to women vs. men
  • And more

Listen now…

Mentioned in this episode:



Voiceover: You’re listening to the Conversational Selling Podcast with Nancy Calabrese.

Nancy Calabrese: Hi, Nancy Calabrese. And this is Conversational Selling. It’s the podcasts where business experts share what’s going on in sales and marketing today. And as always, it starts with the human conversation. So lucky us today we get to speak with Delia Passi, about her amazing career and passion. Delia is the founder of Women’s Certified, Inc and Women’s Choice Award. Women’s Choice Award is also the nation’s leading authority on building sale and loyalty among women, and is also the nation’s leading female consumer advocate. Delia is the former publisher of Working Women and Working Mother magazine, author of Winning the Toughest Customer and a renowned speaker. And in 2010, the Women’s Choice Award was launched to help women make smart choices. So Delia, I am all about smart choices. Your story is so worth sharing, and I can’t wait for the audience to hear it. Welcome to the show.

Delia Passi: Thank you, Nancy, I appreciate being here.

Nancy: I have been looking forward to this conversation. You know, when you and I were first introduced, you mentioned something about buying power. And it really raised my attention to the influence that women have in, you know, buying and selling. So could you share that with the audience.

Delia: Women are the chief purchasing officer here in the country. I mean, when you think even globally, women are responsible for the majority of the day to day purchases, she’s responsible for healthcare decisions for the household, she’s responsible for the decisions we make when it comes to back to school shopping for holidays. She is responsible for the sandwich generation, you know, person meaning that she’s responsible for her children herself, her husband or her significant other, and her parents. So women really are the most important our VIPs out there.

Nancy: Okay, and you know, I read somewhere and you quoted Tom Peters, who’s the author of the best seller, In Search of Excellence, he cites women in America as the largest single spending block on the planet, as he sees it, quote, it’s just plain stupid not to cater to them. So how do you go about catering to them? And why is it important to market to them in a way that the day are most receptive?

Delia: Well, it’s a, we call it the next new customer now. So where you’re talking to me in the middle of COVID, when everything that we knew a year ago on marketing, when it came to how purchasing behavior is out the window, so the consumer today, you have to be really astute, and you have to be a constant student on how women are buying now versus where, what they were doing a year ago, what’s influencing them now. So women in general, are tend to be more risk averse than men.

Men will shoot from the hip and then worry about it later, women are a lot more conservative in their purchasing behavior. They tend to think through decisions a lot more actually, in a survey we did with men across the country, we asked them what’s their one biggest pet peeve when it comes to shopping with women? And, you know, basically, they said, you know, she just takes so damn long to shop. It’s not about where we go to the supermarket. It’s not that guess what’s on the list. But you know, we’re making pitstops here and there along the way to read labels to check this out to sample things. And, you know, for men, it’s like, why can’t we just go to the store, get what’s on the list get out as quickly as possible. It’s the same situation at the mall, right? So for the men who are on the phone, they get it women ask them, you know, intuitively understand that that’s just the way we shop. So we are more gatherers than hunters.

And understanding that premise, first of all, is very important. The other piece of it is that women really value the opinion of other women. So that’s why the influencer community today is becoming more powerful than ever before. Because we really create loyalty with people that provide us with trusted advice, ideas, and make our life simple. So we tend to follow them. And those people that we follow and we trust, we tend to adhere to their recommendation.

So that’s endorsement marketing, and endorsement marketing today is the way to stand out because you could spend a fortune for those marketers and sales people out there, you could spend a fortune telling somebody how great you are. But it means nothing until somebody who has had experience with the brand says, Oh, yeah, no, excellent, I would definitely buy it. So today, it’s not what you say about your brand. It’s what others are saying about your brand that matters.

Nancy: Sure. So tell the audience a little bit more about Women’s Choice Award and why it’s so important to achieve that in promoting your business.

Delia: Well take a look at Amazon, and thank you, yeah, and permanently. So the Women’s Choice Award is is a symbol a beacon of empowerment, for women and for men to win looking for products based on the experience that other women have had with that product. So in order for a brand to earn the women’s Choice Award in any brand could try to qualify for it. We’re always open to seeing which brands are highly recommended by women. But the women’s Choice Award is a research based company and we do the research with women across America.

Every single week, we’re doing another national survey, asking women about the brands that they most recommend when we get a statistical sample. And when women weight that brand, nine out of 10, meaning over an 85% recommendation rating. That brand automatically qualifies their brand paid to earn the award. That brand qualifies and gets listed on the Women’s Choice Award. So it’s a way for us to help women identify the best, whether in retail or online.

Now, the Women’s Choice Award was created to empower the consumer. So if it really is a mission driven organization, our profits go to causes at the end of the year, I and we have over 700 brands now that have licensed the Women’s Choice Award to drive home that competitive advantage. Why is it important today? So when you go, let’s say Amazon, which is hard to find somebody who’s not loyal to Amazon these days, but right when when you go to Amazon, my husband laughs and teases me that I have a callus on my finger from swiping all day long. Okay. He says that if I don’t get a box delivered every day, I’ll probably have withdrawl…partially correct. So he’s not far from the truth. So when when you look at Amazon, I’ll give you an example.

I went to buy a diaper bag for a for a baby registry. Get for a baby gift, I wanted to buy a diaper bag. And I went on Amazon and put baby diaper bag. And every bag that I saw I had had over a four star rating. So what does that mean? Here I am a consumer trying to identify which is the best one I have 50 choices, and all of them are over four stars. So now I have now really stuck because now it’s leveled the playing field is useless, the stars become useless. Now one of them. I noticed zvera Wang had the women’s choice award. So I went to her product, I saw the image in her carousel of images. And of course, I chose the one that moms recommended most over all other bags. That became the easy choice. And it also made it easy for me to buy knowing that that new mom will love that product. So the Women’s Choice Award to come to differentiator out there in what I call the sea of sameness.

Nancy: You also talk I know that one of your concentrations is in health care. How are you helping when women find it because it’s always a difficult decision. I recently moved to Florida and I know in speaking with you, you gave me some guidance as to where to go to find the best medical care where I am locally.

Delia: The woman’s towards where thank you because this is my passion. The women’s choice awards was created after I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I made the horrific mistake of going to an imaging center instead of an accredited Breast Center over 10 years ago, for my for my diagnostics and what happened as a result was three additional surgeries that I did not need. If I had only gone to an accredited breast center with a high IQ with the highest level of diagnostic imagery that is available, there was a problem back then there was no way to find who they were, there was nothing zero zilch on the internet, to identify who those were those breast amateurs who they were.

So I needed a patch, and I left publishing and I started this company so that no woman would ever go through what I went through. So it comes from a place of passion. But it’s really because there was nothing out there. So now before you choose the hospital, you should go always to the Women’s Choice Award, our rating system is par nine, there is nothing not even US News can compare to was the integrity of our award is far beyond anything that’s out there, we do a deep dive on the hospitals, you can go in and read about those hospitals See for yourself. They’re reporting, we create transparency and health care. And breast centers, imaging centers were to have a baby were to have orthopedic surgery, you name it, we’re out there, we have a team of the most talented people doing research day and night on your behalf, so that you won’t make a poor healthcare choice.

Nancy: Wow. And how does that compare to other rating systems that awards use? Do you have any knowledge of that?

Delia: Yes, yes, we’re the we are fact based uniform and objective. We’re the only one who can say that. Everybody else, if you read our methodology, you could read our methodology for each one of the service lines in approximately a paragraph, you go to the healthgrades and UFC, you have to have a PhD to read through their methodology, because it’s so convoluted that it allows them a lot of wiggle room. And you know, who are clients of theirs? Who’s paying them?

All I’m saying is there is no one that’s my opinion. But But if you look and you and you look at our rating system versus others, you’ll see that we are 100% objective, in fact that we don’t take doctor, we don’t like you know, US News and others, for example, they take doctor recommendations into account. That’s subobjective, that’s not objective. That’s subjective. So we are, you know, doctors affiliated hospitals, of course, they’re going to choose their own people they want to, that’s why we came along, because we felt that there wasn’t anything out there. That was back base. And guess what, we all deserve the facts.

Nancy: Oh, absolutely believe in it. And, again, this was very eye opening to me when you and I were first introduced. Now one of the other projects or partners you have is with Walmart. And like Amazon, probably everybody has put a foot in the Walmart world in your shopping experience. So what are you doing with them now?

Delia: Yeah, so the one who starts where we do retail events at Walmart, of course, at some pause right now, but hopefully hoping to start up. So you go into Walmart, you’ll see women’s choice of what ambassadors in the store. We have Walmart mom hacks. on radio, you’ll hear my voice several times a day, in about 80% of the stores.

You’ll hear me throughout the day, delivering consumer tips. We also have a dedicated page on Walmart. So on walmart.com, there’s a dedicated women’s Choice Award page. And, and if you’re interested in learning more about any of those Walmart programs, please You know, contact me and I’ll you know give you my email now but you could always do info@womenschoiceaward or info@womencertified.com, women certified as a parent company. Women’s Choice Award is the brand. And my personal email is dpassi DPASSI@womenschoiceaward.com. So you could always do that. And I’ll also give you my phone number which is 954-922-0846. Extension two with my assistant, she’ll finally track me down and transfer you. But again, it’s 954-922-0846.

Nancy: And one thing about Delia, everyone that you call she gets back to you pretty rapidly, which is always refreshing.

Delia: Thank you. well, you know, it’s like to treat others like you’d like to be treated. And that’s the simple philosophy. I was raised with I learned in my church, you know, if we only do it to others as we’d like others to do unto us, we’d live in a much better world.

Nancy: Uh, well, I think that says a lot, especially in today’s climate. So, you know, I’m always interested asking people, something they believe that’s true that almost nobody would agree with them on. How about you? What, what do you think that’s true, that you you are challenged on.

Delia: So I wrote a book called Winning the Toughest Customer, the Essential Guide to Selling to Women. And I remember when it was published that, you know, I had to convince people, that selling to women or marketing to women differently was critical. You can, you know, not speaking and speaking in a unisex version doesn’t work. If I’m speaking to a man, I’m going to use a different communication pattern or skill set versus speaking to a woman, women, men tend to be more direct women tend to be more collaborative. Women definitely value more emotion words in the conversation.

Women are more indirect than men are men tend tend to tell you the way it is. It’s like, Hey, man, give a perfect example. Just watch the dynamics in your office, a man will go to the executive assistant, say Mary I’ll need this by Thursday morning. And typically, she says, I understand I’ll do my best. But a woman typically does not go to Mary and says the same thing. Or she will in a roundabout way. Say, Hey, Mary, I have a meeting. And I’d like to present this Thursday morning. Do you mind having it all packaged and ready for me by 9am? She gives usually she’s more collaborative in the approach, she tends to add more words, she tends to be a little bit more indirect like a nerd Do you mind? I know it’s going to mean you spending a couple extra hours on Wednesday. But do you mind doing this for me, blah, blah, blah, she tends to be more collaborative.

That is just the way of the world. We accept male talk differently than we accept women talk. So it’s just a, it’s just the way we are, we shouldn’t have to fight it. We should embrace it, learn how to sell it, get her toward it. And with it, instead of challenging that, you know, men and women needs to be treated equally all the time, even when it comes to selling.

Nancy: Yeah, no, I totally agree with you. So you know, in sales, as you know, there are different communication styles. And that also factors into female male ways of communicating. So that that’s really awesome to know. Last question, I mean, what is the one takeaway you want to leave the audience with?

Delia: Well, there’s a big opportunity to stand out today. But it’s not easy, right? So we live in a world where all of a sudden, if you’re in sales, which I think most of your followers are probably in marketing and sales, that they’re challenged right now. Like, you know how to why I have to do everything through phone and video. I have my people are not seeing my products and stores I anymore. I am restricted. So I believe that there’s a big opportunity to stand out and be creative in how you will capture people’s attention, leaving video messages instead of audio messages, using the Women’s Choice Award in your presentations or sending out announcements that our product is is loved by women, and we’re so proud and honored to earn this award. There are ways to stand out today. Again, there’s a sea of sameness out there. And we’re all we’re all swimming in it. So stand out.

Nancy: Yeah. And on that note, I really encourage you all to take advantage of getting in touch with Delia. She’s got such great insight as to how to help your business, your brand, attract more and more of the buying community. And in one word, the buying community is mostly women. So thank you so much, Delia, for joining us today. And just as a repeat, how can they find you? What is your website?

Delia: Yeah, so the website, the corporate side is womencertified.com w o m e n women certified. Through there, you can get to Women’s Choice Award. You can see what we’re doing you could reach out contact us. And my number is 954-922-0846 hit extension two that’ll go to Kathy my assistant and she’ll connect up or you’ll leave a message and I’ll get back to you.

Nancy: You got it. So, for everyone out there, make it a good rest of the day. Happy hunting. Focus on staying positive. Pay attention to these amazing people that I’m bringing on the show. They all have wonderful ideas. Delia, you know, I really just love the work that you and your company is doing for women in general.

Delia: Thank you, Nancy and thank you to the audience for listening today was nice to virtually connect.

Voiceover: The Conversational Selling Podcast is sponsored by One of a Kind Sales. If you’re frustrated that you don’t have enough leads or your sales team complains that they just don’t have enough time to prospect we can help. To work with Nancy and her team one on one to help you manage your sales team, install her proven outbound sales process and create more bottom line results, email her now at Nancy@oneofakindsales.com. To learn more about Nancy and her outbound sales secrets, grab your free copy of her book, the Inside Sales Solution at oneofakindsales.com/book.