All Women Aren’t Created Equal… Or the Same
by Gerry Myers

When marketing to women, recognize their diversity. Just as all women aren't alike in their fashion tastes or their size, they vary in the way they make automotive purchases and in what they look for in a vehicle.

A woman purchasing a sports car is more interested in performance than one buying a minivan. A woman buying a luxury car is interested in comfort, style and dependability, not necessarily the storage capacity. Find out what your customer wants and then match the vehicle to her needs, budget and lifestyle.

To win the game, you must understand the rules

Rule Number One — Make sure the product matches her demographics, requirements and lifestyle. This can be determined by asking open-ended questions and listening to her answers. However, demographics alone aren’t the answer. A woman in her mid-forties can have a toddler, or teenagers, or be an empty nester. Life-stages have as much to do with purchasing decisions as lifestyles. Don’t make assumptions that because she is a certain age, marital status or occupation that you know what she should purchase.

Rule Number Two — Women are loyal customers. When female customers come into the showroom, make sure they are treated with respect. Women are no longer willing to be second-class citizens in automotive dealerships. If they don't get the treatment they want and deserve, they will go elsewhere.

Rule Number Three — The Internet and buying services are appealing to more women. More than half online purchases are made by women today. Women are shopping, doing research and gathering facts and figures from the web in much greater numbers than ever before, and that trend continues to grow. Be prepared for a different negotiation process than in the past because you will be dealing with a more educated consumer.

Rule Number Four — The sale is not the end, it's the beginning. How your customers are treated in service will determine how long they will be your customers. Are you paying attention to what's your customers are experiencing in the service department?

Rule Number Five — Automotive salespeople need to be more professional. You must think of selling cars and trucks as a career, not just a job. Professionalism, follow-up and hard work create top salespeople.

Rule Number Six — Be proactive, not reactive. Instead of waiting for the next up, are you following up on referrals and prospects that didn't buy? Are you calling lease customers six-months before the lease ends? Are you sending out postcards with new makes and models of interest to specific customers? Is there a system in place to distribute the orphans when salespeople leave? Are you getting them? Are you building a base of repeat customers or do you see each sale in isolation? Are you doing anything other than waiting for business to walk in the door?

Rule Number Seven — Ignoring the problem won't make it go away. Would you buy from you? If you aren't sure, maybe you need to rethink your approach, sales techniques and selling style.

Good luck!


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