In the male-dominated dealership environment, women consumers are often not as comfortable. Yet women purchase the majority of new vehicles and service work at dealerships, according to WardsAuto. This makes it critical for salespeople to be able to effectively communicate with and sell to women car buyers.
The Numbers Don't Lie
From a consumer standpoint, the numbers say that the automotive realm is one that is dominated by women, especially when it comes to financial decisions. For example:
- There are more women drivers than men, according to a 2015 study conducted by the University of Michigan.
- Women purchase 65% of new vehicles and the same percentage of the service work at dealerships, according to WardsAuto.
- 80% of all vehicles purchases are influenced by women, according to Jennifer Libin, a sales director at the consulting firm Automotive Profit Builders.
- Also, CEO of AskPatty.com (an automotive advice site for women) Jody DeVere says that women influence 85% of all buying decision in North American households.
Women are very active when it comes to planning and coordinating finances for the household. They often act as the primary financial decision makers. That's important for your store and its salespeople to understand. Especially because women are underrepresented in the dealership workforce.
Women in the Dealership Workforce
Even though women make up the majority in the car buying market, they are still underrepresented when it comes to car selling.
According to the most recent NADA Dealership Workforce Study, women make up just 18.5% of dealership employees. Furthermore, only eight percent of women were employed in "key" positions. This is compared to 91% who hold office and administrative support jobs.
Here's an obvious truth: it's more difficult to sell to customers who are different than you are. The numbers suggest that it wouldn't hurt to brush up on your knowledge of the female car buying market.
Tips When It Comes to Selling Cars to Women
The aforementioned Jody DeVere has been working in the auto industry for 16 years, mostly in consulting. She also runs AskPatty.com, an automotive advice website for women that also offers dealership training services relating to more effectively selling and marketing to women.
We dug into her work to uncover some of the top tips that she has to share:
- Learn to Listen
She calls this the most important tip she can give to any car salesmen. In her experience, women feel valued and respected when you listen to them. So, try asking open ended questions to get to the bottom of what features they want in a car. Then, you can help them identify cars that meet their needs.
- Different, but Equal
It's okay to recognize that women shop differently than men, but they still need to be treated with the same courtesy and respect. WardsAuto states that the entire shopping experience is more important to them than it is to men. If they don’t feel like they are being listened to or treated fairly, they will leave and never come back.
- No One-Size-Fits-All Approach
DeVere stresses that it's also important to understand the complexities of the market. No one-size-fits-all approach is going to cut it. There are all kinds of women buyers in the market when it comes to demographics such as age, lifestyle, purchasing power, ethnicity, etc. It's not just the stereotypical soccer mom anymore.
And of course, it wouldn't hurt to have some (more) women on your sales team that can provide helpful insights and perspective.
Making More Money with ACE
Understanding what women car buyers want is becoming more and more important. They are the majority of the car buying market, so effectively marketing and selling to them will help your store remain profitable. It's not rocket science either - just treat them with the respect they deserve and hear them out so you can find the vehicle that's right for them.
If your store is looking to make more gross profit on every deal, it might be time to team up with Auto Credit Express. We provide the best special finance leads in the business, and our other dealer tools will help you maximize your per-unit gross every time. Get in touch with us to learn more by calling us at 888-535-2277 or by filling out our contact form online.