You Don't Need To "Figure Out" Women To Sell Them A Car

Illustration for article titled You Dont Need To Figure Out Women To Sell Them A Car

The auto industry is constantly trying to capitalize on the next big "target market." Seeing as female buyers influence more than 80% of carbuying decisions, dealers and automakers are trying figure out what makes them tick, but it is really not that complicated.

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Friend of Jalopnik, A.J. Baime has complied some fascinating research in a piece for the Wall Street Journal about how the industry is responding to millienal buyers, particularly women.

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Here are some highlights:

- Women accounted for 39% of car purchases in 2013, up from 37% (that is about 300,00 vehicles)

- 74% of women feel that they are misunderstood [by car marketers]

- Women wield influence in anywhere from 85% to 95% of car purchases.

- 47.5% of women who bought a new car went to the dealership by themselves.

Most of the study focused on the development and marketing of products to female buyers, but what concerns me is what happens when people actually go to purchase something. As a buyer's consultant I speak to both men and women everyday about their auto purchases and I still hear from women buyers that dealerships treat them differently than men.

Silly dealerships, you don't need some think-tank to learn how to sell cars to women. Just treat them like you would any other customer. Specifically...

Don't insult their intelligence

A woman who walks into the showroom is not some clueless dame who wants a nice set of wheels that will be financed by her husband. Chances are that the woman who walks into the dealership knows more about the product than you do, so don't go making shit up. That may have worked in the past, it doesn't work anymore. Answer the questions, and if you don't know the answer say, "I'll find out for you." That phrase doesn't mean that your manly parts don't work anymore, it just means you have to ask someone else. Trust me, your customer will respect you more.

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Don't waste their time

You may think, "Oh, women love to shop. They spend all day at the mall trying on shoes and whatnot. They won't mind a few hours at the car dealership." Wrong. Female car buyers want to spend the least amount of time possible at a car dealership, like everyone else.

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Just tell them the damn price

None of this ,"Well if we can get your monthly payment to X, will you buy the car?" bullshit. If they ask for the best price, go talk to your manager or whatever (see above about time) and tell them the best possible price that you can sell the car. This is especially true for online shoppers. In case you are not already aware, if they emailed you they also emailed other dealers. So think of this as the Wild West, whoever shoots first and shoots best (cheapest) wins.

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Keep the games to a minimum

Don't tell a female customer that the "extended warranty is mandatory" or that the "$200 VIN etching helps protect her investment." I get that margins are slim and you need to make money in the F & I office. If you want to offer products that give the buyer an opportunity to purchase some extra peace of mind, go for it. But there is a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it.

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None of what I just said is groundbreaking in any way, good salespeople have known these tips for awhile. This is because the above tips work not only on women, but EVERYONE. Because women are people, and people don't like the hassle of buying a car. So minimize the hassle, and you will be a successful auto salesperson.

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(Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

If you have a question, a tip, or something you would like to to share about car-buying, drop me a line at AutomatchConsulting@gmail.com and be sure to include your Kinja handle.

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DISCUSSION

adabofoppo
ADabOfOppo; Gone Plaid (Instructables Can Be Confusable)

True story:

My wife got one of those "Come Test Drive X Car and We'll Give You $## Gift Card!" flyers in the mail from Fiat. We both liked the Abarth, so we decided to visit and give it a go.

We showed up just before close on a Friday, not knowing their hours, otherwise I would have said that we should wait until they weren't pressed for time. Sales guy does the typical only addressing me, not my wife who would be the one buying the car. We asked about the Abarth, they didn't have any on the lot as it was very new and they sold them as soon as they were unloaded from the trailer. He then mentions that it only comes as a manual to verify that my wife knows that fact. She already knows how to drive stick (get your mind out of the gutter) and sales guy is shocked. Totally did not know how to respond after that, other than to say that most women do not know how to drive a manual.

We took a manual 500 POP! spec car for a quick spin. I wound up driving it and wasn't impressed anyway. Clutch was far too light, zero steering feel, felt cheap, etc. We get back and sales guy still will only address me.

My wife almost sent Fiat an angry email about the whole experience.