How do women do network marketing differently than men?”

My first impulse is to answer, “Not nearly as differently as many seem to think.” One of the fundamental values, benefits and joys of this jewel of free enterprise is that by its intrinsic nature, it is not a genderly partisan beast. Getting results from a product you love, sharing the story with your sphere of influence, enrolling others and coaching people to grow big dreams and follow them with big actions…it’s an X-and-Y-chromosome-friendly way of working and living.

I’ve noticed virtually identical tendencies among both male and female networkers. Just as many men are timid about declaring their own goals as women; just as many women are as sky’s-the-limitish about theirs. I suspect the hard numbers are suspect (who really knows?), but I’d certainly guess that there are more women doing the business than men. But as far as how they’re doing it, I don’t really see many glaring distinctions between the genders in their attitudes, strategies or results.

Hence the title. Did I misspell “Women,” or misspace “We men”? (I know, it’s a little too cute.)

But, I do see one major difference. To generalize (and it’s generally true, so I will): the women networkers I know are better listeners. And while the men are not necessarily better talkers, they do seem to want to talk more, to place a greater value on talking about what they’re doing.

Theoretically: better listeners means a better ability to grow deeper roots, i.e., a group with staying power and greater genealogical depth. If you listen to people well, they’ll feel it, get more emotionally invested in your group and, in the long run, drive that leg deeper.

If men are more committed to talking, then they will be—again, as a broad generality—stronger at growing wide. More talking, more comfort with being “out in front of people” especially strangers, means more personal recruiting. And you know what? I find that to be exactly so. I’ve known more men than women who grow huge first levels with lots of breadth but less depth.

Question: If women accomplish as much as men, and most likely more (since there seem to be more of them here in network marketing, and I’ll bet they create longer-lasting network relationships overall), why don’t we see more woman-authored books on networking? Why aren’t there more female “generic” trainers and consultants? Is it that men are more inclined to spread the word, telling everyone what they’ve done and giving how-to advice on a public scale, while women tend more to keep out of the public forum and focus on helping individual people, up close and
personal? I think so.

Men and women both make great networkers. Men like to talk about it more. Women listen better.

Time for me to shut up.

JOHN DAVID MANN is Editor of Networking Times.