[podcast flashvars=”transparentpagebg: ‘yes’, titles: ‘Women Buyers'”]http://dealeradvantage.cars.com/da/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/october_2008_podcast.mp3[/podcast]
A: I’m certain you’ve heard by now about countless studies indicating that women make and/or influence the majority of car-buying decisions. Yet, for many women, this authority still fails to translate into a pleasant shopping experience. Stop me if you’ve heard their concerns before:
- I felt like I did not receive a fair price for the car I purchased.
- I felt like I did not receive a fair price for my trade-in.
- The salesperson made assumptions about or seemed to know the car I really should buy.
- I felt like the salesperson did not listen to me or answer my questions.
Speaking on my own behalf – and most likely a significant number of your customers and prospects – it’s time that women felt as welcome and comfortable in the showroom as do men – this is the 21st century after all. Along those lines, here are a few tips to help you work effectively with female car buyers and hopefully make the process more pleasant for both of you:
1. My eyes are over here. Some women feel they need support while shopping for a car or negotiating a deal, so they bring along a man they trust. Unless this person raises questions or makes comments you need to address directly, resist the temptation to focus your energy, attention – and eye contact – on this person. Beyond providing information about the car, this is the perfect time to establish credibility and rapport with me as a consumer along with building a case for why I should buy from you specifically.
2. Follow my lead. While I may, in fact, be in the market for a minivan, don’t assume you know a) the car I’m considering or b) the car I should consider. Like most car shoppers today, I’ve spent plenty of time online researching cars that I believe fit my needs and budget. If you feel you have a vehicle that may be a better match, I’d love to hear all about it – but only after I’ve had an opportunity tell you about my vehicle criteria and preferences. I’m open to other options, as long as my priorities are taken into account – and not your need to move aged inventory.
3. Show respect. As with most car buyers, this vehicle represents a large investment for me. I want to purchase the vehicle at a fair price and, if I have a trade-in, receive that vehicle’s fair value. I want you to listen to and answer my questions, providing accurate information and clarification when I request it. Please don’t assume I can’t drive a manual transmission, don’t understand towing capacities or know the difference between four-wheel and all-wheel drive.
Ultimately, the process of selling a car shouldn’t vary with gender. Whether the prospect is a man or a woman, your role is to help your customer find the right car in a professional sales environment. By incorporating this advice into your sales practices you stand to win not only the deal at hand but also the loyalty of your customer and the strength of her referrals.