According to Autotrader.com 1 in 4 women find buying a new car stressful. When asked why, many women site three main reasons that the car buying experience doesn't appeal to them. Identifying these stressors in your dealership and working to change the environment will help you create a welcoming atmosphere for your female customers.
The following are identified as the main reasons woman find car buying a drag. Many women say:
1. The salesman ignored me and would only talk to my husband or the other male present.
2. The salesmen were condescending and assumed I knew nothing about cars.
3. The salesmen would not listen and answer my questions and gave me inaccurate information.
Face to face interactions between the dealership and your customers start with the sales staff. Why not invest in making sure those interactions are positive and encourage a pleasurable car buying experience. Resources like; Ask Patty.com, is a company that offers automotive advice to women. They travel to dealerships to conduct sensitivity training that provides the sales staff a better understanding of what women want, how to listen to and respect them, and how to answer their questions. You may also learn more about this topic in our post Appealing to female car buyers Part I.
The manufacturer gets it…the dealer should as well
No one in the automotive industry understands the importance of offering what female buyers are looking for better than automotive manufacturers. Have you ever wondered why the Volvo YCC has gullwing doors or why the Toyota Sienna has front and side/curtain airbags. It’s because women are more interested in features like safety and easy ingress/egress. Unfortunately this is lost when sales people would rather talk about “how the color matches her eyes.”
Consider this statement from a female car buyer. "I'm 5-foot-2, and I can't reach the back of the trunk, so it's nice to have hooks to keep the gallon of milk from sliding to the back." When’s the last time you as a salesmen sold a car based on its unique storage options or adjustable petals? Research conducted by Toyota shows that men focus on the outside features and women are more interested in the inside.
There is a process in creating a comfortable, shopping experience for the female car buyer improving the dealerships overall CSI.
The internet has enabled women shoppers to eliminate car buyer stress.
Questions are easily answered and preliminary decisions are made before they even go to the showroom. Before women go shopping, they go CROPing. According to she-conomy.com women are more likely to shop around and compare pricing by soliciting creditable opinions (CROPS) from credible online sources, friends, and family. Since 22% of woman shop online daily, resources like Kelley Blue Book and Women-drivers.com have become trusted sites for information. It’s important for sales people to be well aware of this same information.
At the end of the day the key will always be to listen. So set gender aside and toss the slick sales speak out the window. Most likely the prospect has done their research…they just want to buy from someone that listens, understands, addresses their questions and has a good price. And most importantly, buy from someone that asked for the business.