All Women Aren’t Created Equal… Or
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
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
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