“Women are three times more likely to share personal stories with a friend than men.”

Jackie Huba presents a good list over at Church of the Customer Blog in an interview with Michele Miller, author of The Soccer Mom Myth. Whether you’re a man or woman, if you’re building your business, you should read it. Unless you’re selling . . . well, never mind–read it. The post is 5 things you need to know about women and word of mouth.

Unfortunately, it’s just not simple, because the “three times more likely” thought doesn’t translate straight to what you’re thinking. Because, Miller says,

[Asking for referrals] is tricky. Because women are such great referrers, it seems logical. If you are doing business with her, and she values your relationship, it may seem perfectly acceptable to ask her for a list of friends who might benefit from your services. But that may not be a good idea, even if she thinks you’re the best thing since Starbucks drive-thru. She is the gatekeeper of her relationships. She’s not being stingy, she’s being protective.

So how to increase word of mouth from women?

Here’s the wrong way to do it: “Sign up three friends and we’ll give you a 15 percent discount.” This feels like you are asking her to sell out her friends. Instead, change the offer to “You and every one of your friends who signs up will get a 15 percent discount.” Now she has special access to a discount that she can pass along to friends.

So that’s three of five tips. For the last two, click the link above; it’s a good read.

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.