It’s no secret that women play a major in the car buying process. According to RoadAndTravel.com, women account for 65% of new car purchases and influence 95% of all auto purchases. Failing to address women’s needs is a business blunder, resulting in lost sales. Frankly, not many dealerships have policies and procedures in place for selling and marketing to women. Recognize how to sell to women, and you should have more women purchasing vehicles at your dealership.
6 Things Women Look For When Buying a Car
Car-Buy-Her.com surveyed women readers to find out what women look for when buying a car. These women identified six factors that enhance the car buying process and make them more willing to make a purchase. Implement these simple but important modifications in your selling technique, and you will see an increase in car sales.
Make a Great First Impression!
Although women are purchasing the majority of new cars, they still feel uncomfortable and intimidated about the car buying process. Women don’t want to be talked down to or ignored, especially when accompanied by a male companion. From the moment a woman customer enters the dealership, make her feel welcome. Ask her name, be friendly, and show that you are ready to help. In other words, set the tone for how the rest of the car purchase process at your dealership will go. Make that first impression a positive one, and you will be off to a great start.
Build a Relationship
Make building the relationship with your customer your priority, not selling. By professionally addressing a woman’s wants and needs (and concerns), you are building her confidence and trust in you. Ask her what she is looking for in a car. Ask her what concerns she has about any particular model. Ask her what car she may already have in mind. Get to know her – and her lifestyle – as you discuss her car needs. A woman is more willing to make a purchase from a person with whom she has a rapport, than from one who delivers a sales pitch.
Listen to What She Has to Say
The biggest complaint women report is that salesmen do not listen to what they have to say. A woman usually has a few items in mind or a checklist of features she is looking for in a car. When you ask her what she wants in a car, listen carefully to what she says (take notes, if necessary!). Don’t assume you know what she wants or needs – let her tell you. You can guide her to or away from cars based on your understanding of her needs, but don’t choose for her. It is your job to show her vehicles that fit her checklist, not ‘push’ for a car that she is not interested in.
Before purchasing a vehicle, many women research what will be the best vehicle for them. Make it your job to educate your customers with all of the ‘ins and outs’ of each vehicle that fits her checklist (you’re building on item #3 here!). Add your professional insight to what she has learned on her own. For example, if a car has a reputation for many repairs, let her know. If a car handles better in certain terrain or weather, share this information as well. The idea is to build upon the facts that she has researched in a way that helps her choose a vehicle. Make her visit to your dealership an educational visit, not a sales trip. By proving yourself a reliable and informative resource, you gain a definite edge over your competition. Remember, you are building your relationship (part of item #2 above!) with your customer, and creating customer loyalty. Even if your customer leaves the dealership unsure of which vehicle she wants, she’s more likely to return to you when she’s ready to buy.
Highlight Specific Features
As you build your relationship with each customer, getting to know her car needs, highlight and emphasize the special features that may interest her. For example, for mothers, emphasize features such as safety, reliability, security, cargo space, and even cup holders. A mother usually wants a car that is safe for kids and dependable – a vehicle that will get her through her busy day. Spend time showing her how roomy a vehicle’s storage space is, including those cubby holes (a great place to stash kids’ toys). Demonstrate the built-in booster seats, or the integrated sunshades. Don’t forget to demonstrate that back-up camera! And for the professional woman who’s constantly on-the-go, keep in mind features such as integrated phone, keyless remote, GPS, and a massaging driver’s seat.
Women often like to take their time, weighing their options, when they are making a large purchase such as a car. Don’t rush or make them feel like they have to make a decision right away – that may make them feel as if they’re nothing more than another sale for the month. Maintain your rapport, and be patient and reassuring when helping your customer make her decision. Make your customer feel as if you want her to have the right vehicle for her.
By following these simple tips, you will make your women customers feel more comfortable about your dealership and the sales process. Most importantly, you will increase the chances that they will return to your dealership when they’re ready to make their next car purchase.