Mistake; Opposites don’t always attract
Everyone suddenly wants to hop on the Marketing to Women bandwagon and paint it pink, shout out that they understand women and their needs, and then do the exact opposite of whatever they are doing with their current marketing.
This is true in many industries, including automotive. Some salespeople in their over-zealousness to not offend women often end up doing just that.
Equal but different
Treating women as men—assuming there is no difference in what they want when they walk into a dealership—doesn’t work. Treating men and women as totally different beings or changing your approach 180 degrees doesn’t work either, as many companies have found out by implementing costly programs and policies that have failed. So what does work?
If you are dealing with a couple:
If you are dealing with a woman alone:
When to push, when to pull
Being too pushy won’t make sales with women. Sometimes there is a fine line between being too aggressive and making her feel like she is being ignored. Going from one extreme to the other, or 180 degrees, usually doesn’t produce the type of results you want.
Sometimes the best approach is to pull back and let her set the pace. Some women, like men, are quick decision makers; others are indecisive. The object for both parties (female customer and salesperson) is the same: to complete the sale so the customer can drive a new vehicle home.
The concept of the 180-degree mistake is that when the customer is a woman, many companies and salespeople will change from their standard practices to extremes or 180 degrees from what they usually do. For instance, I’ve seen salespeople talk only to the woman and ignore the husband trying to be female-friendly in their sales pitch. Moderation is the better approach. Drastic steps, such as making it pink, having a powder puff car care clinic or patronizing by talking down to women in order not too sound too technical when discussing the vehicle are unsuccessful techniques.
Adjustments need to be made in how you market and sell your products and dealer reputation to women. Don’t make 180-degree changes that take you from one losing premise to another. Look at each woman as an individual who needs and wants your product, has the money to buy it and will help you be profitable in the future.
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