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Developing Your Brand

I'm re-launching my Think Tank Tuesday series next week.  Until then, I've been encouraging business owners, entrepreneurs, and dealerships to watch the last 4 episodes on branding.

How important is a brand? Critical.  Without a brand, your business will lack trust in its followers and won't gain loyal customers or increased sales.

Watch these episodes to help develop your brand and become a successful business!

Website: http://www.ppadv.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PotratzAdvertising

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Potratz

Instagram: @Potratz

Snapchat: PotratzAgency

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Using Twitter to Grow Your Brand

Use Twitter to its fullest potential! In this week’s Hard Facts, Samantha talks about how you can use Twitter to search for potential customers and engage with clients. Using this resource will ensure that you’re expanding your brand and business.

If you're an advertising or marketing agency, this is definitely a Hard Facts episode that you should be watching. Let us know what you think! Comment below:

Website: http://www.ppadv.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PotratzAdvertising

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Potratz

Instagram: @Potratz

Snapchat: PotratzAgency

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Empowering Women at Your Store: What's in it For You

In today’s competitive marketplace, women buyers are crucial for auto dealers' success. Just take a look at numbers and reported growth opportunities in a recent Wall Street Journal article.

It may be no surprise that car buying is an emotional purchase for women. Even on the heels of a recent survey showing women are comfortable with negotiation than men, there is still a huge upside for dealers to create an empowering buying experience for women.

Did You Know?

Every other woman in the United States purchases a car by herself. While many women are confidant and excited, others walk in with different emotions. Consider, that 3 in 10 women report being apprehensive about their visit while 20% are nervous and overwhelmed. You don’t know which woman coming in your door is feeling what. Nonetheless, it is vital to encourage and boost women's confidence, respect and trust from the get-go. Establishing trust-based relationships and assisting them in a considerate, flexible, non-intimidating manner is the equation for having a browser convert to a buyer. Anything short of that, she walks.

Tips to Empower Women and Increase Buyers + Retention:

  1. Respect and Trust are the building block to every car sold today. It begins with greeting her in a timely and friendly manner. Eye contact is locked in and the smart phone is put away.
  2. Invite women to use your wifi or child play area. Would they like a cold or warm beverage?
  3. Have them lead the conversation, but it's your job to ask questions. What distance does she drive to work? Does she have children? What type of activities does she do? Talk to women like you are having coffee with her. Don’t be in a hurry to get her into the car for a test drive.
  4. When asking about features, be sure to use full sentences with women, not “leather or cloth.” Our senior trainer friend, Vicki Parker, provides these tips that make a difference when engaging with prospects. Women don’t want to be rushed, they want to build and create a sense of relationship.
  5. The four-corner-around-the-block-11-minute-test-drive doesn’t serve all customers anymore. Let women make their own trail. Bring the car to their work place to test drive when needed. Better yet, let her take it overnight so the family can give it a true road test. That is one way to surprise and delight your customer.
  6. The average length of time it takes a woman to buy a car is 3 hours and 30 minutes. How about a “Buy a Car in 120 Minutes or Less”? Women love saving time.
  7. Have an open door Car Wash Policy.
  8. The #1 concierge item requested by women is an overnight vehicle. It is no mystery women do not want to have to wait for someone else to pick her up, be dropped off by a van, or — have to pay for a rental car. Make it easy for your customers.

Want to Sell More Cars and Distinguish your Dealership to Women?  Click here

Did you receive a Free copy of the 2014 Women’s Car Buying Report? Click here

Read more…

Last month there was such strong interest in our mid-year report “Dealers Websites are #1 with Women Buyers” we have decided to follow it up with more nuggets regarding your site, engagement and women shoppers.

As competition rises, it’s the right time for dealerships to focus on areas of improvement, engagement, and delivering a quality experience to women customers. Today we are focusing on low cost, positive and quiet changes that can make a big difference in showcasing transparency to women.

1. Provide Email and Direct Number Details: Make it easy for your women prospects to locate and contact the people that they are working with. Email addresses, direct phone or even a cell number is ideal.

2.  Professional Photos of the Staff on the Website: By posting professional pictures of your staff with their names and titles, it is easy for customers to give a face to the voice they have spoken to. Or, at least, it will lower any anxiety or mystery about whom they will be working with during the car buying process

Did You Know?

The #1 online destination for women shoppers is your website? That’s right, dealer’s websites are the top on-line source women visit when in the car buying funnel. Yet, one-third of women report that their dealer’s website was NOT helpful. Making the access, usability, color, content and design appeal as user-friendly as possible is paramount to YOUR business success.


3. The New Standard: No AOL or Yahoo’s in emails: A Hotmail or AOL email address on the dealership business card does not cut it today. Simply put, it comes across as unprofessional and dated. Certainly an Apple, Nordstrom or Lulu Lemon Sales Advisor doesn’t hand out their business card with an “aol” or “yahoo” email. When giving cards to women clients, make sure the email is professional and customized according to your dealership name.  

4. Quick Access to the GSM or Sales Manager: Lastly, customer delays on hold can be inevitable when trying to reach the GSM, Sales manager or ISM. Still, it may be frustrating for women customers to wait and then interact with a receptionist because a voice mailbox is full.
Allowing customers to get through in seconds without long hold times can make a big difference to your women customers calling. Even if it means taking the call and saying hello just to set up a time to call them – it sends a message of transparency, interest and availability. 
 

For more "Small Changes in Your Digital Footprint Create Easier Access for Women," Click Here.

Want to Sell More Cars and Distinguish your Dealership to Women?  Click here

Did you receive a Free copy of the 2014 Women’s Car Buying Report? Click here.

Good Selling!

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Today’s Women’s Wednesday focuses on women’s reviews, and why they MUST be a critical, daily and intentional component of your business practice – both with the sales team and in the service drive.

As the #BigDataAuthority on women’s dealership experiences, we have shared that this powerful buying segment will purchase 27 million cars at new and used car dealerships this year. That equates to over 75,000 vehicles a day. What is your share of this?

Did You Know?

1. Women rely on and use car dealer reviews 50% more than men. This makes sense as they don't want to get it wrong.

2. JD Power reports that women leave higher scoring dealer reviews than men.

3. Women go to 2 dealerships before buying a car. If they leave your dealership and don't buy - 70% of them will NOT return.

4. The top reason women buy from your dealership is NOT price. The way she is treated is paramount.

Market your trust and transparency via the positive reviews you have received. Women especially trust other women reviews and experiences. This helps them narrow down their choices on where to buy a car.

How to Be the Go-to-Dealership for Women

  1. Dealers that market reviews have women walking into the store with an expectation of trustworthy and respectable service. And they get it.
  2. Stop marketing on price alone. Advertise your CERTIFIED logo in TV ads, classifieds, and lead gen sites (AutoTrader, TrueCar, Cars, etc.)
  3. These dealers are report selling 10 – 15 more cars a month – a huge increase to monthly sales performance.

So stop selling exclusively on price alone.

Begin advertising to women+families on what matters to them: they are treated exceptionally and are provided a tremendous value in the product they are buying. And, reviews reinforce that your shoppers can count on that.

Want to Sell More Cars and Distinguish your Dealership to Women? Click here to learn more.

Did you receive a Free copy of the 2014 Women’s Car Buying Report? Click here to download.

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Most reliable car brands

There was a great article published by Motoramic about the most reliable car brands which you can read here. The author determined the most reliable automotive brands by looking at almost 350,000 appraisals performed by “professional car buyers who are trained to detect mechanical and structural issues” with no biases. The study is beneficial because most reliability studies are on new cars within the first 90 days. Longer term reliability studies don’t usually go beyond three to five years.

We wanted to come up with our own algorithm to determine reliability and see if our findings matched Motoramic. We analyzed over 500,000 cars, model years 1995 to 2014, listed for sale on MojoMotors.com to determine the average selling price depending on a vehicle’s mileage. Using a linear regression model, we were able to calculate the dollars of value lost as mileage increased and ultimately, the number of miles until a car lost all value.

In other words, we found out how much mileage could be racked up before a car became valueless. Less reliable brands will lose value quicker since they have a greater chance of breaking down with fewer miles on the odometer. Make sense? One thing to remember – just because a car is considered valueless beyond a certain number of miles in this study doesn’t mean it won’t drive for another 100,000 miles.


10. Mazda – 177,729 miles until worthless

Mazda has been known for building economical cars. Their lineup has expanded in the last few years as they now offer compact, midsize and full size crossovers that have fared well in reviews. Go here to learn more about the different used Mazda models and reviews.

9. Acura – 178,947 miles until worthless

It doesn’t hurt that Acura is the luxury brand powered by Honda engineering. It should also be noted that Acura is the only luxury brand to squeak into the top ten most reliable car brands. For further reading, read reviews of used Acuras here.

8. GMC – 188,584 miles until worthless

GMC has been building quality pickups, SUVs and crossovers a very long time. Since GMC splits many parts with Chevrolet, repairs aren’t usually too expensive. This is why you’ll see Sierra pickups with miles well into the hundreds of thousands. Read more here for used GMC reviews and research.

7. Subaru – 189,370 miles until worthless

It isn’t too surprising Subaru is on this list. According to Polk’s auto data, 95% of Subarus sold in the last ten years are still on the road. Pretty impressive. So are their all wheel drive systems and boxer four cylinder engines. For additional Subaru reading material including Subbie reviews and different models, go here.

6. Nissan – 195,593 miles until worthless

Nissan is consistently one of the most Followed brands on Mojo Motors, but they usually aren’t perceived as being one of the most reliable brands on the road. They should be. Nisan vehicles, especially their cars, are among the most reliable shoppers can buy. Learn more about the best Nissan rides and read reviews here.

5. Chevrolet – 195,754 miles until worthless

If you’re a prisoner of the present, you might think Chevrolet is anything but reliable. Ahem. Recalls aside, the last few generations of automobiles built by Chevrolet are their best ever. Especially Chevy pickups, SUVs and crossovers. For reviews and research on a variety of Chevrolet vehicles, keep reading here.

4. Dodge – 198,266 miles until worthless

Dodge, like Chevrolet, is known more for their pickup trucks than cars. Thanks to the resale value of a Ram pickup, the brand makes it into the top five of this list. Our advice? Stick to a high mileage Ram pickup or Grand Caravan minivan, the same can’t be said about Dodge cars. Go here for reviews of popular used Dodge cars and trucks.

3. Ford – 198,409 miles until worthless

Unlike other American automakers, say Dodge or Chevrolet, Ford has both reliable trucks AND cars. The Ford Focus compact and Fusion midsize, along with Ford’s lineup of crossovers make them the most reliable American automaker on this list. Having the best-selling vehicle in the country, the F150 pickup truck, doesn’t hurt either. Learn more about used Ford vehicles here.

2. Honda – 209,001 miles until worthless

While Dodge and Chevrolet excel at the big trucks, Honda excels at pretty much everything. Look at the ‘miles until worthless’ stat because Honda and Toyota boast a 10,000 mile lead over Ford. If the average driver puts 12,000 miles a year on their car, that 10,000 mile difference is almost an entire year! For reviews and research on used Honda vehicles, keep reading here.

1. Toyota – 210,705 miles until worthless

The public perceives Toyota as one of the most reliable automakers and our study concurs with this perception. While Toyota might not build the most eye-catching cars, they are certainly reliable and efficient. A Lamborghini it is not, but a cost-effective car it most definitely is. Keep reading for reviews, research and pictures of the best used Toyotas.

Graph of How Toyota Depreciates Overtime

Please note that while this data is a great way to understand how vehicle prices correlate to reliability, no study of used car reliability and its value is perfect. This is a make-specific study, not a breakdown of models, trims or years. There can be a large variation between each model’s trims and there are many factors that go into the price of a car. Things like color, options, warranties and whether a car is a certified pre owned or not all greatly affect a cars valuation. Our study did not account for these variances.

Read more…

Today’s Women’s Wednesday is about becoming new leaders in the growing and dynamic market of women consumers.

As competition tightens, the need for exceptional leaders at dealerships couldn’t be greater. Wayne Gretzky, the hockey legend, explained the key to his success, “a good hockey player knows where the puck is – however, a great hockey player knows where the puck is going”.

To be an exceptional leader like Gretzky, a proactive and anticipatory approach is important. Currently, the industry is dynamic, producing great opportunities to differentiate. It is imperative to take strategic risks and be proactive about tapping emerging trends that pertain to women+families.

Did You Know?

1. Women in the U.S. buy 50% of vehicles – about 75,000 a day at new and used car dealerships

2. According to the U.S. Census, over one-third of women out-earn their husbands

3. More and more children are born to single moms

These may seem like just numbers but they are real money-making and business performance boosting statistics for dealers who want to be positioned as the go-to dealerships in their market. How?

1. Recognize Women have the Buying Power: Break from the traditional model and make the store more women+family friendly. Since women are propelling sales, cater effectively to this buying segment by hiring more women sales and service advisors. Hire qualified people that relate and look like your customers for a more comfortable and successful sales experience.

2. The Changing Family: Women are the breadwinners in over one-third of family households. There are many homes with stay at home dads, same gender parents and multiple generations living under one roof. Cater to each potential customer with ultimate respect.

3. Meet Your Customers Where They Are:

a. Problem Solve: As more children are being born to single moms, it is important to know that all parents appreciate a child-play area.

b. A Caring Company: The #1 requested concierge service item from women is an overnight vehicle. This shows you understand the inconvenience of having a car repaired overnight and are willing to go the extra step to do something about it; providing hassle and worry free service.

c. Have women WANT to BE THERE: Have fun services like a boutique fitness and yoga studio with changing area, shower, and rest rooms. (Not everyone wants to sit and watch TV.) How about Play Stations for mom gamers while their car is being serviced? Sound silly? At one time your grocery store simply sold food. Now it has services like banking, café, childcare, dry cleaner, pharmacy, and health and wellness, and other conveniences.

d. Install vending machines with healthy food options and beverages (not just M and M’s & Pepsi) and provide Starbucks coffee and tea. How about a manicurist in the store, part time?

e. Free car wash policy is a winner for you and your customers as they will stop in a lot more frequently – different and more lasting relationships will be created.

f. Engage and Educate: assist customers in getting to to know their new car better with a specialist 1 on 1, or spend time checking out the latest safety+tech features of your top 3 models being featuring this month.

Women visit two dealerships but they buy from just one! What plays are you making to ensure she picks your store? Leadership paired with strategy is a better game than luck in capturing new business.

For more on Leadership and to read about Wayne Gretzky type of Dealers, click here.

Want to Sell More Cars and Distinguish your Dealership to Women? Click here to learn more.

Did you receive a Free copy of the 2014 Women’s Car Buying Report? Click here to download.

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With this Women’s Wednesday we will focus on the Service Drive at your store.

Women buy a car about once every 6-7 years, but they visit the service lane several times a year. The good news? This is where on-going loyalty is developed. The not-so-great news is that 42% of women report they no longer go to the service department where they purchased their vehicle. And, you will never know it is their LAST visit, because they may smile, pay the bill, and never say a word, even though they have made up their mind not to return. As the Big Data Authority on women's dealership experiences, the top 6 reasons are:

  1. Not satisfied with the experience
  2. Did not like the way they were treated
  3. Inability to get the problem fixed to their satisfaction
  4. Cost to service the repair
  5. Hours + Location not convenient
  6. Lack of concierge services
DID YOU KNOW?
While 79% of women would recommend the service department to friends and family, less than two-thirds report not receiving follow up communication. Are you and your web provider optimizing platforms to provide educational tips and stay connected with your customers, post visit? Stay in touch by being her trusted advisor 365/24/7 – not just the 3 days a year she is in your store. How? Visit here.

Increase loyalty by paying attention to the little things, like:

  1. Provide Ultimate Respect: Provide respect+treat women graciously every single visit. This builds rapport, trust and loyalty.
  2. Key Concierge Services: The #1 requested concierge item from women is a courtesy car. This shows you understand the inconvenience when the car is undergoing maintenance and repair overnight. Services like Wi-Fi/TV, café and play area for children also help deliver a quality dealership experience while women+families wait.
  3. Best Ear Forward: Your top listeners are the Service Advisors - or, should be. Why? To hear what women are saying and not saying. Your best listener behind the service counter makes female customers more comfortable to ask questions concerning repairs and, when triggered or upset, provides a space to problem solve and get the issue handled and move on.
  4. No Threatening CSI “Requests”: Careful about strong-arming your clients with comments that sound intimidating regarding CSI, like: “Leave all 5’s or call us first before submitting”. This can sound completely inauthentic and uneasy to women.

For the Top 2014 Brand as Rated by Women when Servicing their Vehicles, click here.

Want to Sell More Cars and Distinguish your Dealership to Women? Click here to learn more.

Did you receive a Free copy of the 2014 Women’s Car Buying Report? Click here to download

Read more…

Buying a Car? Look at the Benefits of Leasing!

Did you know that last year, women purchased an estimated 27 million vehicles? That is the equivalent of 75,000 cars a day at new and used car dealerships. Women are now the fastest growing segment of vehicle buyers and car dealerships are taking notice. To that end, there is much more flexibility when buying a car more than ever!

It seems that women are still more reluctant than men when it comes to the advantages of leasing a car. With the car industry back on its feet after the recession, leasing is at a high of 28% of all new car purchases.

This educational article from Women-Drivers.com offers insights into some “traditional” objections as well as provides a more updated, informed perspective on leasing and its benefits for anyone considering going to the dealership soon. (And, for those that believe ‘buying a car outright’ is the only way to go, consider that over one-third of car purchases today are leased for 72 months. Just because you buy a car does not mean you own your car. You only “own” your car, when the title is in your hand, i.e. the loan is paid off.)

Marlena McCoy, Sales Manager at Moon Honda, a Women-Drivers.com Certified Women-Friendly Dealer, shares her thoughts about leasing “Leasing is just another way to pay for a car, a less expensive way. With little or no money down, you can have an affordable payment, a warranty, free inspections, free car washes, and so much more! Why not pay less and get more.”

Below are the most common objections:

1) “The idea of ownership is important to me.”
Cars depreciate and then have service repairs and costs. Most women who lease don’t pay for brakes or tires because they don’t keep the car long enough to wear them out. If you finance a car for five years or more, it will most certainly need tires and brakes plus other repairs; budget $1,000 a year on maintenance.

2) “I have little or no ownership equity in the leased car.”
The trade-off for a lower or manageable monthly lease payment is that there is no trade-in value. It is fairly common that the market value of a vehicle at lease-end is higher than the purchase option price specified in the lease contract — which means there is some equity trade value there.

3)”I don’t understand how leases work, and I’m afraid of getting ripped off.”
Dealerships – and their sales advisors – are conscientious and will take the time and effort to help you understand the leasing process and the intricacies of the contract.

These contracts can be complex and difficult to understand, so a dealership’s F&I manager should encourage customers to take their time and read the fine print. Leasing is not as complicated as it was years ago nor is it limited to just luxury brands.

4) “I don’t understand the leasing lingo. I don’t know what cap cost is or what comparison pricing means.”
Again, dealers will explain exactly what these terms mean – and in ways you will understand. Dealers who skim over these terms do a real disservice to a buyer and compromise any future dealings they may have with the dealership.

5) “I don’t want to be making car payments forever. I’d rather pay the car off early and have several years without a car payment.”
While you may not have a payment anymore, you will still be spending more in repairs to keep an older car on the road, with fewer safety features than newer cars, and more likely to break down. Your dealer can show how a lease provides a safe, more reliable car at all times, not just when the car is new, and a car protected by manufacturer warranty and with few repair bills.

6) “My car payments will be higher.”
Not true. Depending on a number of factors, monthly lease payments are considerably lower than a purchase loan for the same car and same term today.

7) “I’m worried about any early termination costs. What if I lose my job?”
To break a car lease means breaking a contract, can result in tremendous fees, as well as negatively impact one’s credit rating. Dealers can help customers find other buyers to assume the remainder of their lease, which would take them off the hook, while gaining a powerfully loyal customer. Such transfers are now made possible by companies like Swapalease.com or Leasetrader.com who help car lease owners find people interested in taking over the payments. The fees for both buyer and seller are reasonable, and save the seller from the early termination costs which could amount to thousands of dollars.

8) “I am concerned with excessive mileage charges.”
If a car buyer exceeds the mileage allowance in her lease contract, she will be charged for the extra miles at a specified per-mile rate, usually $0.20 per mile. Your dealer can help you reduce your exposure if you “buy” the extra miles you expect to drive at the time of lease signing. If you choose this option, you will be refunded for any unused miles.

9) “I am worried about excessive wear-and-tear charges, especially with the children and multiple drivers.”
If a buyer returns a leased vehicle at lease-end with dents or scratches, she will be charged. Dealers can explain what is “excessive” so that she knows to get the car repaired before she returns and avoid being charged. Also, it is best to clean the car or have it detailed for the best evaluation.

McCoy further explains,” You may have never leased before, you may not understand leasing, or you might just say that you would never lease a car. No one likes to go car shopping. No one likes to deal with the “typical car salesman”. I am not that “typical salesman”. I treat customers the way I would want to be treated — really. It’s important to be completely informed on all aspects of the car transaction – and that most definitely includes leasing!”

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Apple’s recent announcement of CarPlay which will integrate the iPhone, Apple maps and Siri into the car dashboard, is a move meant to compete directly with Google’s Open Automotive Alliance (OAA), and Microsoft’s Sync platform. This means big changes are in store for how shoppers driving, commuting and traveling by car will find and learn about your business.

The fast moving map space plus local-search is attractive areas for innovation for software developers. One of the more interesting innovators taking advantage of the mobile trend is YILLIO which takes maps and local search to the next step by offering a patented ‘route-based’ search.

Launched in January, users using YILLIO are able to search for businesses, information and value along their entire route, may it be 10 miles ahead or 150 miles ahead. See our article: Don’t Just Go…… YiLLiO!

What’s cool for your biz is it aims to give users the right information; at the right time, by looking at signals such as where the user is located, their daily habits, their preferences, where they’re going (via their routes), and what they want to do when they get there.

See YILLIO’s user experience video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2igf9WOazo

For brick-and-mortar businesses, YILLIO’s innovation improves marketing relevancy and efficiency. See the short video which explains YILLIO’s route-based search and marketing platform: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noJ4UE7b7AM

Take a few minutes to add your dealership on the YILLIO map to reach mobile shoppers, everyday commuters, and travelers – for Free!

Is route-based marketing and advertising the next mobile innovation? We think there is value in this for you.

Read more…

Welcome to Women’s Wednesday!
Dealers who “get it” know that the key distinction in optimizing sales to women is having exceptional sales advisors who offer exceptional service. But what does that really look like?

Women tell us directly through our car dealer review platform what works for them when interacting with a sales agent.  Below are their top 5 reasons for buying a car from them: 

  1. Trust  52.3%
  2. Being Respectful  52.1%
  3. Likeable  47.8%
  4. Knowledgeable  45.6%
  5. Understanding  40.6%

These percentages add up to more than 100% because reviewers can submit multiple answers.

NOTE: Coming in at 34% was the ‘price of the vehicle’. It is important, but ranks 6th overall. Clearly, connection and relationship are pivotal, outranking price.

  1. Trust:  Women buy from those they trust.  It’s essential to build trust – that rapport can take just a matter of minutes to create. The best way to build trust is to provide valuable and relevant information, quality guidance and advice. Be honest and never try to make a forceful sale because that is a complete turn off. 
  2. Being Respectful: How women are treated matters. In fact, it’s the only thing that matters. Without respect, nothing else gets too close to a purchase.
  3. Knowledgeable:  Women buy from those who are knowledgeable and informative. Since they may not have purchased a vehicle in a number of years and  technology has changed dramatically, they want to be provided with complete and comprehensive information.
  4. Likeable:  Likeability is definitely a trump card. Studies show that women buy from sales advisors who are likeable and friendly. It is easy to talk to a friendly person rather than someone who  is dismissive or doesn’t listen well. Maybe even lightens thing up during a stressful purchase with a smile or a joke. 
  5. Understanding:  Being understanding is vital to meeting a buyer’s expectations. Women buy from those who are concerned and empathetic rather than pushing their own opinions or ‘spiffs/bonuses” on them. Successful sales ambassadors listen to women needs and wants. They are also extremely cooperative and patient.

Want more information on this all important topic, Click here to read. 

Want to Sell More Cars and Distinguish your Dealership to Women?  Click here to learn more.
 
Did you receive a Free copy of the 2014 Women’s Car Buying Report? Click here to download

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Welcome to Women Wednesdays!

Have you ever walked into a store or visited their website and seen an award that says “Voted #1 in 2010”?

Doesn’t that beg the question and make you wonder what happened since then; who has won it this year?

This situation can be likened to when car dealers have a lapse in (getting) consumers reviews on dealer review sites

– like Google, Yelp, Dealer Rater, Women-Drivers.com etc.  On our site, we have some dealers with great overall scores, but they haven’t had a single review in months. That sends mixed signals and red flags to customers.

Why?

Think about it...having an exceptional score has a lot less credibility to your prospects if there is a huge gap in time with the reviews last posted. It certainly is an indicator that something has changed and could even be detrimental to your business!

Did You Know?

67% of women say they are less likely to purchase a product they were considering after reading negative online reviews – and old reviews can have the same effect.

Here are 15 Best Practices to put in place with Women and Your Reputation, Click here to read.

Want to Sell More Cars and Distinguish your Dealership to Women?  Click here to learn more.

Did you receive a Free copy of the 2014 Women’s Car Buying Report? Click here to download.

Good selling!

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Welcome to Women’s Wednesday. When women perceive they are not treated the way they expect at car dealerships, 65% leave and do not return. That’s a lot of business walking out the door and buying down the street. What can your dealership do to turn more browsers into buyers? We compile a lot of data from dealer reviews, and below are the top three reasons women buy from the dealership they do.

1.Treatment by Sales Person

How well women are treated is the single most influential factor when it comes to buying from a dealership. Women typically evaluate cars on the same grounds as men like price, mileage, design and safety features. However, the deciding factor of whether to close a car deal is greatly dependent on her interaction with the sales advisor.

Treating her with respect is paramount. Show her that you are glad she’s come into your store, acknowledge her presence, put the smart phone away, and listening to her questions are all part of a winning formula. All this may not matter quite as much to men, but it is highly effective in selling to women car buyers. These little things go the distance in winning a customer for a long-time, maybe even a life-time.

2.Best Price or Deal

The second reason women buy from a dealership is the price of the car. Women prefer to buy from dealerships that understand their needs and budget and don’t try to push them into buying cars that exceed their budget.

3.Car Dealer’s Reputation

The car dealership’s reputation really matters – especially to women – as they are more apt to research and use car dealer review sites than men. They want to make an informed decision where they shop so they don’t waste time and have no regrets.

Did You Know?  

Women are 3 times more likely to leave a review – and, a higher scoring review – than men. So, be sure to ask for reviews from your female customers! If you want to be the go-to-dealer in town, deliver the ultimate car buying experience to every woman who walks in your store.

For more on this topic, click here.

Women are the fastest growing segment of buyers. Market to them before they walk into your store by showing your transparency with your Certified Women Friendly logo.

Sign up and learn more here.

Ps - Did you get your free copy of the 2014 Women’s Car Buying Report? Click here.

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Whether it’s the film industry or the auto industry, the shift in lead roles is hard to miss. The 2014 Oscars that took place a couple of weeks ago was truly a revelation of the changing gender role trends in films. More than one film nomination had strong female leads, enjoying almost all the air time as opposed to their male roles.

In the Oscar nominated film “Gravity,” Sandra Bullock played the lead role while George Clooney played the supporting role. According to an article in the New York Times, Ms. Bullock occupied almost 87 percent of the film’s running time and was the life of the film. This was an industry first and did not go unnoticed.

Women taking over lead roles is a step towards breaking the “stereotype” and reducing the gender gap. Just like the film industry, the auto industry landscape is also experiencing significant shifts where women are becoming the fastest growing car-buying segment.

Analysis on Professional Women at Dealerships

There remains a tremendous and visible gap in the number of women working in dealerships compared to the number of female buyers. The percentage of women working at dealerships is between 18 percent and 20 percent, while women represent over half of all purchasers.

Yet, many of the women are largely working behind the scenes at car dealerships in business development roles, service, social media, advertising, Internet and office administration. Women in sales roles are fewer in number.

The era when men sold cars to men is over. Today is the genesis of a diverse customer base. How can the needs of these buyers be met, and exceeded?

It’s Time to Mentor & Develop Women Leaders at Car Dealers

Who would have thought that male actors like Clooney would be playing a supporting role while the actress would be the lead? Just like this gender gap is being bridged in film, now is the perfect time for dealerships to implement the same strategy and groom women to be take on leadership roles.

According to CNW Research, of the 17,540 new-car dealers just under 3 percent are women-owned — a significant, grossly disproportionate under-representation.

By having women in leadership and executive positions at car dealerships, it will open up options for buyers to have more choice. In 2010, CNW Research found that when asked, 47 percent of women car shoppers would prefer to do business with women dealers — a huge upside for female-run businesses.

This leads to the bold question: Who will take on recruiting, training and developing women to become GSM’s, board members and dealer principals?

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Welcome to the inaugural Women’s Wednesday blog. As the leader in connecting women+families with Certified car dealers, look for brief educational tips and nuggets from us to weave into your sales and service practice to expand your sales to women. With our deep vertical expertise, we are here to assist with suggestions to make doing business with women a natural, core value and expression at your dealership. With that, let’s begin:

While women influence over 80% of all car purchases, they actually bought 27 million vehicles last year – most at car dealerships. That is almost 75,000 cars a day! How about at your store? Are you optimizing sales to this powerful buying group?

Did you know?

Women visit 2 dealerships prior to buying a car. When women leave dealerships and don’t buy, 2 out of 3 do NOT return! Ouch -- better ask the right questions and treat her exceptionally the first time. Chances are, there is no second chance. The number one reason women report they did not return is, “I didn’t like the way I was treated.”

How well a women is treated is the most significant and important factor for her staying at, staying engaged, and buying from your dealership. Price is secondary! Stay tuned for the more including the top 5 reasons women buy from their sales advisors. Again, it is NOT price!

Women are the fastest growing segment of buyers. Market to them before they walk into your store by showing your transparency with your Certified Women Friendly logo. Sign up here to learn more.

Ps - Did you get your copy of the 2014 Women’s Car Buying Report? Click here

Good Selling!

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Do you remember the person who consulted with you about social media and told you that brands are having tremendous success on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest? That's the type of person that you're reaching the most according to a report by NBCUniversal Integrated Media.

The report is designed to show how consumers who are part of GenX and GenY are digesting their influences. It took a split approach to the study which consisted of 2,500 people - 2,000 were average respondents age 18-49 and the other 500 were "digital trendsetters" in the same age group which represent 5% of the national population who are "first adopters" of technology and are highly active on social media.

Could it be that the real people you're actually reaching with social media are the same ones who are telling you that social media can reach people? It sounds like a double-talk question but it's important to understand based upon your business. If you're selling a trendy footwear product or pushing a music discover service, there's little doubt that the trendsetters are the ones you want to be able to hit. What if you're selling cookware? Is social media a valid venue?

The answer is yes and no. On one hand, you have 39% of regular people saying they interact with companies on social media while 67% of the trendsetters are engaging. This means that the people who live on social media are the ones that are accepting the messages being put out by brands and according to the study, that's only 5% of the population. On the other hand, 39% isn't a small amount. It's not ideal, but it seems to be growing.

On average, people are following 27 brands on social media. This might seem like a low number and a challenging group to try to get into if you're selling cookware, but considering that in 2011 the number was 9, we're heading in the right direction.

In the end, it really comes down to what your brand is doing and how successful you can be on social media. It's worth a valid attempt and a bit of effort to see if it's going to work for your brand, but I wouldn't be sinking big chunks of my marketing dollars into social media if my target customer is 55+. While the older generations are starting to get into social media and it's the fastest growing demographic, it's also the one that is least likely to be using social media for anything other than seeing pictures of little Timmy sliding into third base.

Here's a graphic from NBCUniversal that breaks down a good chunk of the findings.

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"Trendsetter" image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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CarsDirect is proud to be a sponsor of the Internet Sales 20 Group, taking place March 19-21, 2013 in Dallas. This exclusive, attendance-limited workshop will showcase a panel of the most successful dealership owners, managers and industry experts who will share their secrets on what is working in today's market. Each attendee will be given a custom success strategy to ensure your dealership's success and growth in 2013.

3 Reasons to Register Now!

1. Internet Sales 20 Group attendees will get 25,000 ad impressions absolutely free* on CarsDirect's leading network of automotive websites that gets 35+ million visits each month.

2. We're giving away an iPad mini! Stop by the CarsDirect booth at the event for more details.

3. Get a $250 discount on registration to the Internet Sales 20 Group! Simply use discount code CARSDIRECT2013 upon check-out.

* with any paid purchase of a CarsDirect product

CarsDirect Is Giving Away 25,000 Banner Ad Impressions & A FREE iPad Mini - To Incentivize FURTHER Your Education!

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Facebook Timeline for Brand Pages has Arrived

With the rollout of the Facebook timeline complete for personal profiles, Facebook has now, quite brilliantly, pivoted their attention onto brand pages, which is why when you logged in this morning, you saw the little notice at the top of your Fan Page saying:

"On March 30, 2012, all Facebook Pages will get a new design. Preview your page now to see what it looks like and try out the new features."

Effective next month, your dealership's fan page will have a fundamentally different look. You see those cool tabs underneath your dealership's profile picture ("Inventory", "Welcome", "Photos", etc)? Those tabs will no longer be there once you activate the Timeline look. Your entire page will be rearranged. While this does sound a bit scary, especially to those who have put ample time into designing interactive tabs for pages, there is a distinct advantage. Of course, I'm talking about the Cover Photo. 

The Cover Photo is the photo at the top of your current Personal Facebook page (assuming your page has the Timeline feature). Essentially, the cover photo is replacing your welcome tab. It will be the first thing everyone sees when they visit your page. You'll have your own virtual billboard. A billboard with no limits, except for size :) You can play around with the cover photo until it suits your dealership's needs. You can design one in which you're Thanking your customers, or one in which you featuring a quote from a satisfied customer, and or just a simple variation your current Profile picture. There's so much you can do with it to benefit your brand. 

The Facebook Timeline manager, Sam Lessin, had this to say regarding the new rapid change, "Organizations have identities too." And, he's completely right. Thanks to the implementation of the Timeline for Brand Pages, you'll be able to distinguish yourself from your competitors. With the cover photo (billboard!), you'll be able to brand your dealership in a much more effect way.

What do you think of the Timeline rollout for Brand Pages? Are you on board with it? Or, still partial to the traditional Fan Page?

Source: Facebook Timeline Brand Pages are Here [Mashable]

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