5 Keys of Marketing and Selling to Women

Women make 65% of new car purchases, yet dealerships often struggle to connect with women. In fact, 74% of women feel misunderstood by automotive marketers.

Lori Wittman, General Manager of VinSolutions and Senior Vice President of Retail Dealer Solutions at Cox Automotive, recently shared her top tips for selling to women with Dealer Marketing Magazine. Read on for Lori’s insights on what women want when buying a vehicle:  

1. Stay organized

An organized dealership is key to effective marketing and selling.

This includes leveraging the CRM for proactive communication with leads and customers, as well as having staff that is prepared for new customers that walk into the dealership.

Women are often more organized on their end of the car-buying process, making dealership organization critical. To best sell to women, keep all their information and previous communications at your fingertips using technology, such as a tool like VinSolutions Connect CRM.

One easy way to sabotage dealership organization is to expect your salespeople to keep track of detailed customer notes on their own. That is far too much to ask; give your staff good technology.

2. Listen to their requests

Every VinSolutions employee has at least once heard me say “feedback is a gift.” It’s a motto I live by when it comes to managing, but it also applies to selling. Too many dealers ignore customer feedback, instead of treating it like the valuable gift that it is.

Women often walk into a dealership knowing exactly what they want and likely have already interacted with the dealership online. In this digital age, dealers need to understand this and not try to oversell women on a vehicle or features they do not want.

Likewise, if a customer requests a specific color, model, financing option, etc., it is critical that dealers address those requests, even if they can’t fully deliver. Too often, dealers try to do what suits them, instead of the customer.

To best sell to women, really listen to what they tell you, and make sure they know you’ve heard them.

3. Create and cultivate the relationship

Women often especially appreciate a personal connection with the people they choose to do business with.

Knowing their names, what they do for a living, their family background, and most importantly, what kind of car they are looking to buy when you call them can be the difference between having a customer for life and being hung up on.

A CRM is a great tool to help you build meaningful customer relationships, but, as we tell our dealership customers all the time, a CRM is only as good as its users.

For a CRM to do its best work, every customer interaction needs to be recorded from the first moment of interaction, and updated throughout.

4. Recognize her as the decision-maker

The worst thing any dealer can say to a woman is, “Do you want to talk to your spouse about it?”

A woman can buy a car by herself. If she’s there by herself, assume that she is making the decision. If she is there with somebody else, still consider her a decision-maker.

Do not ignore or patronize women looking to do business with you. Women have the knowledge and money to make a car-buying decision without input from a man, so treat them that way.

A woman can buy a car by herself. If she’s there by herself, assume that she is making the decision. If she is there with somebody else, still consider her a decision-maker.

Like anything else, it helps if there’s a process that people are trained on and held accountable to.

5. Give women equal respect

I’ve been the only woman in the room for most of my life.

I consider myself lucky to have been raised on a farm, walking the soybean fields alongside the boys, because I’ve never questioned whether I belong somewhere because of my gender. On the farm, rolled-up sleeves were rolled-up sleeves; no one cared if you were a man or a woman if you knew what you were doing.

At many dealerships, I watch the opposite take place in the selling process. Malicious or not, far too many dealers buy into the stereotype that women don’t know anything about cars or financing. Too many dealerships leave women feeling like they don’t belong.

So this one is simple. Give all your customers the same respect. Make every customer—regardless of gender—know they are a valued customer.

Read the entire article at Dealer Marketing Magazine.