What Happens When A Women Wants To Buy a Car?
Women consumers influence 80% of all vehicles purchased in the United States, and buy approximately 50% of all new and used cars and 40% of all trucks sold in the US. And yet, according to Marketing2Women, 74% feel misunderstood by automotive marketers.
It's a common scenario. Did you ever go to a car dealer to buy a car... and instead of talking to you, the salesperson constantly addressed your male partner? or they talked down to you? Did you ever feel like you got "taken" just because you were a woman?
Men notice it too. We read a blog by Peter W. Robinson in which he says: "I have seen a lone woman drive into a dealership, park, walk around for a while, and finally go up to the receptionist and ask for some assistance. I find this curious, as women directly influence nearly 75% or more of ALL car sales. To watch trained attack-jackals...er, sales associates, virtually ignore her because they believe that she is not the decision-maker is almost surreal." And that's a shame, especially when recognizing that American women spend about $5 trillion annually... Over half the U.S. Gross Domestic Product!
This illuminated man recognizes that women shop differently for cars than men do, and acknowledges our significant role in household purchases. He says "in most deals involving married couples, the woman is in charge of the final decision. Perhaps men instinctively know that we can often become mesmerized by shiny, fast moving objects and make poor decisions. Without the steadying influence of our better halves, many of us would be living outdoors, under a lean-to, foraging for sustenance. Of course, we would have some really cool cars. Women are particularly sensitive to time-wastin' and bull-shootin', and being disrespected on top of it all makes enduring a difficult and expensive process that much more grating and demeaning."
He's got an excellent point there. Women also want to have really cool cars, and we can also be mesmerized by shiny, fast-moving objects. But we tend to do our research more carefully ahead of time, and often come to the dealership armed with a significant list of questions. Less erudite salespeople may confuse our preparation with ignorance, and instead of patiently answering our questions and earning the trust of a loyal customer, tend to dismiss us as not able to understand the technicalities of the automobile and in the process can quite easily lose the sale. And that's bad for everybody involved, because when a woman walks away unhappy, she will tell all her friends.
Raise your hand if you're among the group of women who would rather spend the afternoon with her gynecologist than an automotive salesperson... We feel your pain, sister. That's why we developed the Ask Patty Certified Dealer Program specifically for car dealerships to attract and retain loyal women consumers. When properly armed with the correct tools and training, certified dealerships are better able to appeal to women consumers, the largest and fastest growing demographic of new vehicle buyers in the United States. And this is good for everybody involved, because when a woman walks away happy, she will also tell all her friends.
Get the picture? So, what is an Ask Patty Certified Dealer?
An Ask Patty certified dealer creates a safe and comfortable environment where women feel welcome and helps make the experience of purchasing and maintaining her vehicle a pleasant one. Female Friendly Dealers have made a major commitment to providing an enjoyable buying experience for female customers in a safe and comfortable automotive retail experience that includes relationship building, trust, respect, and improved communications. These dealers are held to such a high level of customer satisfaction for women consumers that they should surpass her expectations with enough excellent customer service to win her lifetime loyalty. Additionally, an Ask Patty Female Friendly Dealer is committed to providing the highest quality repair and maintenance service while striving to repair the vehicle right the first time. That doesn't seem so hard, does it?
How else can you improve your experience at the dealership? Do some internet research ahead of time. Use Edmunds.com or autobytel.com to find out what's standard equipment on a vehicle and what's an option. You can usually also find out the invoice cost and whether any the incentives are being offered for your vehicle. Go to a variety of dealerships and check out similar models so you know better what features you want or don't like. I participated in an extremely informative video here at capessa.com that shares oodles of useful car-buying tips to help women get a great deal in a car lot.
Robinson's advice to any woman who feels that she is not receiving the attention or respect due her, "is to simply announce, loudly, that the car is for you, you are the only decision maker, and you want to buy a car TODAY!!" And if you're not happy with the service you receive, then leave dealership and find another place to shop. Or better yet, use AskPatty's female friendly dealer search to find a business that understands your special needs.
Share your stories with us here. Have you had a car-buying scenario that made you want to run screaming from the dealership? Or have you interacted with a salesperson who went above and beyond the call? We would love to hear the details.