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What Are The Elements?
What are the various elements in creating great chemistry with women visiting your dealership? The good news? Half of all women buyers shop at only one (1) dealership. The bad news? 6 in 10 women report that once they leave a dealership and didn’t buy, they never return there. YOU HAVE A SMALL WINDOW TO MAKE AN OUTSTANDING IMPRESSION.

Download The Dealership Periodic Table and review this with your executive staff and sales, service and BDC advisors. Lets review these closer:

Chemistry Matters

1. Website

Today’s shopping starts long before a woman walks in. What chemistry are you creating with your Internet, Facebook and Twitter presence? Is your site appealing & personal? Is it engaging? How about reviews – are they easy to find? Don’t forget to show various demographics. Have value-add content. And, certainly you site should be mobile responsive.

2. Social Media

Social media keeps your message current. Daily posts show that your dealership is actively engaging. Be a trusted resources by providing educational, lifestyle and life-stage content. Reviews by women for women will bring great results, too; women rely on reviews more than men.

3. Advertising

Be sure to offer women-centric ads that speak to what matters - like safety and practicality. Think of ways to differentiate your store from the competition. How do you show a woman and her family that you are the better choice? Your advertising should speak of engagement and service.

4. Store Environment

When a woman arrives, her perception forms instantaneously. Aesthetic chemistry matters. Flowers, artwork, fresh paint and a warm environment add comfort. Another important aspect is a balanced workforce – it reflects that you are heading into the future.

5. Sales

Your sales advisors have the task of engagement. A good impression is mandatory, and goes beyond appearance and friendly demeanor. Women demand a respectful, trusted advisor who is interested in finding the best car for her. How well does your team understand the nuances of Emotional Intelligence? Advisors should be able to detect frustration and concern, which means they must be excellent listeners, too.

6. F & I

Here, she is dealing with a new person, altogether. If she perceives she is being coerced or her questions aren’t being answered to her satisfaction, she can become uncomfortable; that can unravel the entire buying experience. Keeping it easy, be patient, and be a solution provider.

7. Service Drive

Here she will again interact with a new group of people. This critical relationship delivers revenue to your dealership for 5-8 years, and is a lifeline. Getting a car serviced is rarely a welcome task, so it is important to take steps to ensure convenience and comfort. A courtesy vehicle is a must, as well as a comfortable waiting area with Wi-Fi. Dealerships that build great chemistry go beyond the standard – they provide healthy snacks & beverages, PlayStations and child play areas as well as workout rooms and business lounge. Educational videos and seminars help retain and engage clients.

8. Reputation

Larger dealerships have a Director of Customer Experience that takes a true pulse of your customer’s journey and charts course corrections if necessary. They solicit fair and authentic reviews, thanking and acknowledging your customer’s contribution. Be sure to use reviews by and for women in your advertising, outbound emails, web site and social media.

9. Your Ideal Buyer

Last but not least is the chemistry of an ideal woman buyer. Not all buyers will fall into this category, but you and your staff have a real say here. With your dealership’s help, she can be confident and comfortable throughout. She can drive away in a car that she loves, feeling satisfied and excited. She can feel empowered knowing she has a thorough understanding of her car and your ongoing commitment to her satisfaction. If she has a question, she knows exactly who to call.

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Why aren't dealers seeing enough ROI in Social Media

4 Tips for Bridging the Gap with Dealers and Social Media

The gist of the article was that dealers don’t see enough return on their investment in social media.

Why do you think this is?

Is this because people aren’t interested in their local dealers on social media, or is it because campaign effectiveness in social media lacks?

2014 survey of more than 10,000 active car buyers found that social media ranked far below dealer websites, web searching and the automotive news media as a source of information when they are shopping.

In the NY Times article, Hyundai of Huntsville General Manager Matt Howell is quoted as saying that personal relationships are more important than social media, and that he is yet to attribute any meaningful impact on his business to social media.

Could it be that this manager does not truly understand the role of social media, or is he simply taking the wrong approach?

In the aforementioned article, another dealer is quoted saying, “I don’t even bother wasting my people’s time posting all day.” By focusing on ads, including ones that target car buyers when they are near rival dealers, the dealer reported an increase in sales while cutting marketing expenses per car sold to $90 from $500.

Are Facebook Ads the answer to dealers’ woes with social media? What about producing quality content that engages people, like other brands do, which marketers continue to stress importance?

What is “quality” dealer content anyway?

Is it happy customer videos? Is it warm fuzzy photos and videos that make people feel good?

When I encounter dealers producing this type of content, engagement is low, e.g. single digits. This is no way to market your dealership. Do you see other local retailers do this?

No!

Which brings me to my point…

Dealers are local multi-million dollar operations that are unique in the retail world. You can’t really equate franchise dealerships to any other entities in an apples-to-apples comparison. However, they are franchises, they are retailers, and they do thrive on repeat customer business much like other local franchises and retailers, so many of the same basic principles do apply:

  1. Always strive to provide an exceptional customer experience that people will talk about
  2. Provide useful informative information that your customers will appreciate
  3. Offer your customers meaningful incentives and promotions
  4. Make sure your dealership is easily accessible across multiple platforms, networks, and devices

While all four of these suggestions are equally important, each of them requires its own strategy to achieve.

1. Exceptional Customer Experience

The customer experience is a byproduct of the integrity of the dealership, which begins at the ownership level and works it way through the fabric of the organization. Most dealerships in my experience do provide a good customer experience, but no organization is perfect. There is always room for improvement. Without this, everything else is in vein. If your dealership isn’t reaching or exceeding your standard on customer experience then you need to strive to be a change agent there or else move on.

2. Quality Relevant Content

This is a challenging objective, especially over time. My philosophy is that dealers need to lean on whatever resources they can to consistently provide quality relevant content. By “quality and relevant” I mean information that is published by the dealership on dealership resources, e.g. the dealership blog and social media profiles.

The information does not always have to be produced by the dealership, but the more that can be, the better.

Here’s a resource; check out Jason Stum’s Ultimate Blogger Resource Pack on his siteMarketPunch. Here you will find multiple resources that Jason has produced to give dealers powerful useful resources for producing blog content which of course can then be used in social media. This could be a terrific starting point for you.

3. Meaningful Incentives and Promotions

Take my word for it, people aren’t interested in videos of your happy customers and they aren’t interested in gimmicky information such as cute pet videos. People want to know what’s in it for them and when you can save them time and money and give them a great value then you don’t want to be shy about letting them know that.

Put together exceptional offers, make them look and sound fantastic, and then let as many people know about them as possible. The great thing about digital media today is that it gives us insights as to who might want to know about what, and when, and how. Leverage today’s advanced tools and data and partners to execute smart and effective marketing and advertising campaigns.

4. Multi-Channel, Cross-Platform

As I just mentioned, leverage today’s advanced tools and data and technology. Dealers today have access to incredible resources, giving you the ability to reach people across multiple channels and different platforms and devices. But you need to harness these resources through key vendor relationships.

If you are tuning out vendors because you don’t want to be bothered by the noise then you are doing you and your dealership a disservice. If that’s the case then you might want to consider avendor visit protocol.  You are not a data or computer technology company, you are a car dealership; you sell and service vehicles.

Questions:

  1. Is your dealership incorporating Social Media in its marketing strategy and if so then how effectively?
  2. If so, are you able to measure and/or justify the ROI accurately?
  3. Is your Social Media strategy focused on sales, service, or both?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ryan Gerardi

SOURCE - http://www.dealerrefresh.com/4-tips-for-bridging-the-gap-with-dealers-and-social-media/#more-20380 

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Happy New Year to you all! Now is the perfect time to reflect on your current customer engagement and interactions strategies in order to exceed this past year's business. How to achieve this? Does this sound unreasonable? For starters, with the emerging buying power of women, unemployment at its lowest rate in years, and millennial buyers out in full force, 2016 may very well be a repeat performance. Naturally, it's nothing to be taken for granted and every walk-in matters.

The Right Formula
When it comes to customer service or sales, we often talk about having the right chemistry with a customer. But what does that really mean? What are the right ingredients to attract women shoppers, turn them into buyers and keep them coming back to your service center? There are many combinations of the “right formula” and it can seem very complex to find the optimal combination. We have created a handy chart to use as a reference for steps your dealership can take to help “re-create” the right synergy and drive more dollars to your bottom line this new year.

Download Now and share this with your team at the next sales/company meeting. Women-Drivers.com will take the next few weeks to touch upon the elements creating chemistry and trust including WEBSITE, SOCIAL MEDIA, ADVERTISING, SALES, STORE ENVIRONMENT, F & I, SERVICE, and REPUTATION. Lastly, we will discuss how all of the processes, people and planning you have in place have a huge difference in driving in YOUR IDEAL BUYER.

Do You Know?

CERTIFIED Women-Friendly Dealers have a 92% Satisfaction score – 23% higher than Non-Certified Dealers. Further, 6 in 10 women DO NOT return to a dealership when they leave and 55% of women only go to 1 dealership. The take-away? There is a lot at stake on that first visit. #ChemistryMatters

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Last week we began a two-part series on the brain. More specifically, the science of how it works, or Neuroscience. This is a hot topic. Leveraging scientific knowledge about the brain can create a better sales process, drive more dollars to your dealership’s bottom line and create happy women customers that remain loyal to your dealership for years to come.

Let's check “under the hood” at the Limbic System and the Neocortex. After last week’s Part 1 article, you know that when selling cars, it had better be your NeoCortex doing the work – and definitely not your Limbic System. When selling to women, having the optimim level of engagement with your buyer is imperative. While you know that intellectually, it helps to have reminders in place to reduce the natural tendency to let your brain’s autopilot take control.

4 Strategies for Interrupting the Autopilot of your Brain

1. Know what matters to women. Women have a list of needs when buying a car, but emotional factors also figure into this decision. The top reason women report buying at a particular dealership is not price. The top reason is the customer service and treatment received. Price ranks second. This is important, because it really means you have to have the best price and top that off with unparalleled sales and customer service.

When it comes to what women look for when working with a specific sales person, trust and respect rank first and second. Here, the Limbic System is at work in your woman prospect’s brain, comparing you with her memories and making emotional judgements. The easiest way to build trust is to listen carefully and remain present.

2. Be confident, but not overly so. Confidence matters in life, but over-confidence can derail a potential deal. Overconfidence can allow you to miss the subtle emotions from your prospect that may be signaling she is apprehensive, intimidated or frustrated. Keeping overconfidence in check can help you ask the questions necessary to mitigate any concerns she may have.

Her emotions may have nothing to do with your dealership or your sales process. She may have brought those emotions with her from another experience, and it is up to you to find out how to overcome the issues. Listen more and talk less to help you assess how the deal is proceeding.

3. Stay logical. While emotions will play into a car sale for your woman buyer, it is important that you stay logical and focused. Relying on your intuition, instinct or “gut feel” has great potential to mislead you. Relying on a “smile” from your prospect as an indicator of her happiness, can be completely wrong. Studies show that 90% of people smile when they are frustrated. Again, culture and gender can be at play here – women often smile out of habit to placate others.

Your instinct has a good chance of perceiving false signals of success. Keep a logical perspective on the immediate situation to keep from misreading anything.

4. Find out what you don’t know. I’s easy – and natural - to rely on experience and knowledge when selling. Your prospect will expect you to have answers to her questions. Often times, however, it’s what you don’t know that will break the deal.

Maintain an open mind, and ask questions until you know what you need to know to lead the sale to a successful close. For example, some women may have trouble articulating their issues about the car they want, the warranty, or the loan. Don’t assume you know what they are asking before you answer a question. Careful not to interrupt or answer the question before she’s finished asking.

There is nothing easy about being human. But paying close attention to paying attention will make a real difference when selling to this emerging, powerful market in the New Year.

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As we get ready to embark on a new year, we will dedicate the last two issues of Women’s Wednesdays in 2015 to an ultra-sophisticated topic….the Brain. More specifically, the science of how it works, or Neuroscience. Why? Leveraging scientific knowledge about the brain creates a better sales process, drives more dollars to your dealership’s bottom line and creates happy women customers that remain loyal to your dealership. Toning down the Limbic System and firing up your Neocortex will help your sales team avoid “autopilot” and turn potential lost sales into successful deals and new clients.

Lots of times women come into the dealership and may say “just browsing”. But when a genuine buyer or potential successful sale falls through, that is met with real surprise to the staff. There may be questions like “What did we miss? What was going on with her?”

When an expected conversion doesn’t happen, it is human nature to blame or to shrug it off and say someone wasn’t a serious buyer. By employing new ideas, however, your sales team will avoid miscues – and missed sales. Let’s take a closer look.

The Brain’s Autopilot
Any activity that is repeated over and over can become routine. Our brains are built that way for efficiency. The brain’s Limbic System stores these memories and reactions so we can call on them again rather than “recreate the wheel.” This system can be handy when we are doing tasks that don’t require a lot of new thought, such as driving a car.

The Neocortex, on the other hand, is the best part of the brain to use during a car sale. The Neocortex is in charge of language, reason and analysis. This part of the brain needs to be active and supercharged during the sales process in order to take in all of the information necessary to understand interactions with your customers.

Here are some ideas for reducing the natural tendency to let your brain’s autopilot take control:

1. Assume your woman browser is a buyer until she buys a car. This may sound silly, but it is important not to dismiss anyone who is IN A DEALERSHIP looking at a car. On average, women visit two dealerships prior to buying a car. Dismissing any prospect may mean she buys at the “other” store. Stay engaged and find a way to interact with your women prospects.

2. Beware of blind spots. Gender is a powerful filter for the way people look at the world. Bridget Brennan, author of “Why She Buys” and CEO of Female Factor, thinks it is “more significant than age, income, ethnicity or geography” in the way we see the world. It pays to examine if your dealership and sales advisors have preconceived notions about women buyers. Brennan suggests studying women as you would a foreign market, because “cultural differences dictate language, behaviors and perceptions.”

Making assumptions can prevent accurate assessments of the potential success of a sale. Allowing emotions to cloud logic is easy to do – that Limbic System is always ready to turn on and take over! Work to remove any unconscious bias so that the sales engagement doesn’t follow the path of past unsuccessful encounters. Next week we will examine 4 new ways to Interrupt the Brains AutoPilot.

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Last time, we discussed not selling cars like they are “power tools” in your advertising. You know, “the best this, the best that”— it is so cliché and it doesn’t resonate with women. Here are four recommendations to ensure that your sales approach doesn’t fall into the “power tool sales” category, but rather, speaks to women about what’s important to them:

Sell more than cars in your advertising. Women look at car ads, read dealer reviews and use social media to help make a car buying decision. Do your ads only talk about price? If so, spend more time conveying your reputation for excellent service and trustworthy business. Be the dealership that attracts women buyers because they can get a great car from a trusted, respectful sales advisor AND great service for the next five to eight years.

Show that your customers matter before, during and after the sale. Include reviews by women on your website and social media. Provide stories about happy customers. Show women that your service center is professional, fast, trustworthy and provides amenities that matter to women.

Did You Know?

Nearly 40% of women out earn their husbands. And when researching for a car, women rely on car reviews about 50% more than men.

Understand and respect women’s emotions. Be sure your sales advisors understand woman aren’t “ just shopping". Understanding body language will teach you if your customer is engaged in the process. (e.g., folded arms, stiff body and short responses probably mean the conversation is not going well). Be sure to listen – distinct from hearing.

Be ready to answer tough questions. For women, a car is much more than a way to get from point A to point B. Women will do plenty of research before visiting. Be ready to listen to a woman’s needs and have truthful, knowledgeable answers ready. If you don’t have those answers, the dealership down the road will.

Sell your dealership, too. Let women shoppers know what is exceptional about your service business Is it free car washes? Courtesy vehicles? Do you have extended service hours or exercise rooms? How about quiet spaces to conduct business? What is exceptional about your dealership? Let women know this when they are shopping for a car!

Ultimately, the most important thing to remember when selling to women is: don’t assume anything. The world of women’s car buying is changing continuously.

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Women buyers have different reasons than men for choosing where they finalize the deal. Understanding the nuances of women’s buying habits can mean the difference of making a sale or losing it.

It's easy to make the assumption that price is the first priority. Price does matter, but it’s weighed along with more emotional priorities like trust and respect. When women are asked their reasons for purchasing at a particular dealership, price is the #2 factor. The top reason is a positive engagement with the sale associate.

Now, think about your car ads and commercials that run each week. How much focus is on the price? Remember women are buying over half of the cars today and influencing 80% of the deals! Be careful your advertising isn’t too slanted toward sounding like power tools from the home improvement store. Cars and power tools may be perceived the same by men, but women see more nuance in the car deal.

Did You Know?

Women rely on reviews and reputation 50% more than men. Showcase your stellar reputation in commercials so women "get" what a reputable, comfortable and trustworthy place your store is to do business.

Sell more than cars in your advertising. Women look at car ads, read dealer reviews and use social media to help make a car buying decision. Be the dealership that attracts women because they can get a great deal from a trusted, respectful sales advisor AND great service for the next five to eight years.

Show that your customers matter before, during and after the deal. Include reviews by women on your website and social media. Provide stories about happy customers. Show women that your service center is professional, fast, and trustworthy and provides amenities that matter to women, like a comfortable place to wait, service hours that respect her time and extras, like a courtesy car.

Have You Downloaded Our FREE Report On Millennial Women Car Buyers?

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Today’s news is full of articles about the buying power and habits of the “millennials”, which has an estimated population of 78 million. This Women’s Wednesday is part of a multi-part series we are exploring about women buyers within this segment. Of millennial buyers, 53% are female. Understanding the nuances of selling to this new generation of women can put your dealership in a position to leverage the newest car buyers and truly increase your market share in today’s ever competitive industry.

Our latest study tracked 620 reviewers and sheds light on the similarities and differences between millennial and non-millennial women that will help you create age-specific sales techniques. Both millennial and non-millennial women ranked their satisfaction level with dealerships as very high.

1. While “excited/excitement” is the #1 emotion the buyer felt while shopping for a car, millennials report “relaxed” as being number two, versus “apprehensive” for non-millennials.

Why it Matters and How to Leverage: The newest generation of women reports they are more relaxed and confident when buying a car than previous generations. Why? According to a study by Ameriprise Financial (June 2014), millennial women are more in control of their finances and enjoy making these decisions. Six in ten millennial women (vs. 43% of non-millenial women) reported they learned about finances from their parents.

Percentage of women who learned about finances from their parents

Additionally, younger women are more comfortable using technology to arm themselves with the information they need to make car buying decisions. Astute sales advisors who understand and respect this confidence will quickly gain the trust of their potential car buyer. A good sales approach is to ask questions, respond truthfully, and guide car shoppers through the remaining information needed to make a decision. Above all, assume these women are smart, and have spent a lot of time learning about what they want. While they may have less experience buying cars than older generations, they have a wealth of information at their fingertips that has not been readily available in the past. They are prepared and fully capable of accessing that information while inside your dealership.

2. “Trustworthiness” and “respect” are ranked #1 and #2 for millennials’ reason to buy from a sales advisor. “Understanding” replaces “knowledgeable” as #3. Millennials visit slightly more dealerships to look for a car.

Why it Matters and How to Leverage: Millennial women hold trust and respect as the top qualities they insist on for a sales advisor. They expect their sales advisor to understand them and what they want in a new car. Many millennials are first time buyers and combined with the knowledge and confidence described above, want to feel they are making a comfortable choice. Trust and respect comes from realizing millennial women have done their homework about what is available to them.

Sales advisors will benefit from listening carefully to what their millennial shopper is saying and provide honest answers to her questions. A prepared buyer doesn’t need help with all of the decisions. Learning to perceive where the grey areas are can help accelerate a sales decision. Be there to help, not coerce. And listen, don’t lead.

Get The Full Millennial Women Buyers Report Now!

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Today’s cars continue to become smarter as they “learn” and adapt to the behaviors of drivers. Cars “listen and learn” about the driver to provide the optimal driving experience.

How can your sales advisors learn to engage, optimize and convert women shoppers into buyers and provide the optimal sales experience? What changes can your dealership make to create an ongoing relationship with this demographic, which is 50% of the national market?

Women shop at 30% more dealerships than men. How do you differentiate yourself beyond all that noise - and create an effective sales process that lasts beyond a car sale?

1. Think emotionally. Emotions matter! Respect and trustworthiness are the top two reasons a woman buys from her sales advisor. While 50% of women are excited about their car purchase, only 30% are confident. Price matters, but emotions carry the day when buying and securing a woman buyer’s satisfaction level.

2. Respect your shopper’s time. Everyone is busy. Your woman shopper may be on her lunch hour or ready to pick up her kids from school shortly. She certainly isn’t window shopping; she is there to accomplish something. If a woman senses you can’t assist her – even if she said “no, I’m just looking” - she will go elsewhere. And, when buying, the average woman spends 3 hours and 20 minutes at a dealership. See where you can save time to make it quicker and more efficient. Be honest, when was the last time you bought a car from your own dealership?

3. Visualize Your Best Dealership. How do you help your sales advisors have the highest possible EQ? How do you see your dealership changing if you proactively educate your sales and service advisors to read your buyer’s emotions? What would happen if you empowered them to adjust to advance a sale? What if your hiring procedures screened for people with high EQs as well as strong sales skills?

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Why Do Women Visit More Dealerships Than Men?

Women visit 30% more dealerships than men when buying a car. Several factors contribute to this variance. According to KBB, women are twice as likely as men to be undecided about which car they want. Add to this the fact that women are less confident (38%) about car buying than men (58%), and take longer to make a decision; 75 days for women vs. 63 days for men.

The tendency for women to shop at more dealerships, coupled with different buying criteria, can be turned into an advantage for any dealership willing to lean in and take the right steps to meet the needs of this emerging segment of car buyers.

4 Ways to Attract Women to Your Store
Check this out -- 60% of women do not purchase from the dealership brand closest to their home.

1. Women rely on car dealership reviews 50% more than men and they prefer reading reviews written by women. A dealership will benefit from encouraging happy and satisfied women clients to write reviews. This has an additional benefit, because women who are satisfied will leave a higher-scoring review.

2. Nearly one-third of women report their dealer’s website as “unhelpful”. Making sure your website appeals to women will keep them on the site longer and help speed a buying decision. This means knowing and highlighting what matters to women, such as durability, safety and economy, not just MSRP.

3. Women rank respect and trust at the top of the list when it comes to working with a sales advisor. Customer excellence ranks higher in a purchase decision than finding the best price or deal. Creating a comfortable environment that establishes trust and respect makes the difference for sales now and in the future.

4. Women now account for half of car purchases and influence up to 80% of auto buying choices. In a study by University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, women drivers now outnumber male drivers 105.7 million to 104.3. Understanding these statistics and reflecting them in your sales approach and process are important to foster an environment of trust and respect.

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So, you’ve received a poor review from a woman customer. Now what? First, remember poor reviews will happen. Someone will be unhappy with your dealership at some time. The same happens to Starbucks, Apple and Nordstrom. As long as the poor reviews are infrequent, they really are good news. Why?

  1. Customers expect to see a variety of ratings when reading reviews. If all are “exceptional”, customers will think they aren’t seeing the whole picture.
  2. You have a chance to correct the issue. Your dissatisfied customer could have not mentioned the problem and just told her friends. Instead, she took the time to tell you about it, and now you have a chance to work on it – and most importantly, the relationship
  3. It allows other women prospects to see the entire thread and see the larger picture as well as understand how you respond and treat customers.

The key issue for any ‘poor review’ is how you handle it. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Use rating services that allows this type of feedback to be held offline until you have a chance to resolve the problem. (Certified Dealers on Women-Drivers.com allows 10 working days for customer resolution before posting the review.)
  2. Carefully read and note the real issue. Determine if it's a problem you need to address internally. Don’t dismiss it or think it is a one-time problem.
  3. Discuss the problem in a prompt manner with your customer. Be sure to thank her for the feedback and make sure she has been “heard and gotten.” Once the issue is firmly resolved, you may consider:

    a. Offer a service coupon and ask her to give you a chance to make up for the inconvenience.

    b. A follow up call from the Service Advisor or even the GM provides an appreciative touch.

    c. Free car washes or lunch for two can be in order.
  4. Resolve the issue internally, even if it was a one-time problem. If one customer reported the issue, other customers may have experienced the same thing.
  5. Ask the customer if they are willing to re-write another review based upon this issue being resolved to their satisfaction.

Did You Know?

Customers who leave a bad review have taken the time to tell you about it rather than just walking her business elsewhere. View this as an opportunity rather than a threat and reap the rewards. Customer retention and recognizing the residual revenue in the service drive is paramount. Keeping a customer costs a lot less than getting a new one.

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Car advertising is heavily slanted towards price. The buying demographic has shifted to women who now make up more than half of the sales, and influence over 80% of the deals. Today, it makes sense to move advertising to accommodate this powerful market sector.

Did You Know?

When women are asked why they bought a car at a particular dealership, the “Sales Advisor” was the #1 reason. “Price” and “Dealership Reputation” tie for second place.

All customers want the “best” deal possible and women are no exception. In fact, 7 of 10 women report that price is a top factor in purchasing a particular vehicle.1

What Does this Mean for Your Dealership?

It means that applying “softer and smarter” factors can improve the overall messaging effectiveness in traditional TV, radio and print advertising. Improved effectiveness increases reach, and provides more advertising dollar value. Let’s take a closer look:

Idea #1: Ensure your advertising conveys reputation, trust and respect. Reviews and scores are subtle forms of advertising that are ongoing, persistent and pervasive. Frankly, they create an evidence-driven reputation. Numbers speak louder than words. Emphasize your dealership’s rankings and how you compare with others in your brand category and geographic area. Consider using:

  • Customer Testimonials: Authentic and local testimonials will personalize your advertising and convey a customer-centric approach.
  • Reviews, especially reviews from women. Women are 50% more likely than men to read reviews, and prefer reviews written by women.
  • Statistics to convey reputation, e.g., “#1 in customer satisfaction” from reputable sources.
  • Positive words that convey a high level of service: happy, comfortable, delighted, pleasant.
  • Supportive Digital content. Make sure your web site conveys inclusion, with women as an identifiable demographic. Showcase reviews on your home page.

Idea #2: Supplement competitive pricing with specifics that speak to women. Show women (happy women) in your ads. Include a broad demographic. Photos speak volumes and convey emotions. Remember, 50% of car buyers are women; and 53% of millennial buyers are women.

Idea #3: Show that your dealership is more than a showroom full of cars. Be sure your advertising includes:

  • Showcasing your service center. Mention courtesy vehicles, and any other amenities that show the value you place on customer loyalty and an ongoing business relationship. Ensure your advertising promotes the message “when you buy from us, you receive a good price, PLUS you receive great service.” Describe what “that great service is.”

Putting these ideas into practice
Using these ideas can mean a fresh conversation with your creative agency. Let them know what you want to convey as you reach out to women buyers. A comprehensive advertising program is the best way to start the process of customer engagement. Including and targeting your most powerful buying segment will increase your overall advertising success, provide more value from your budget, and drive more dollars to your dealership’s bottom line.

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Overselling: What is it Costing You?

Selling cars to women takes a confident equipped sales person with a high level of communication skills, personal engagement and EQ. Women visit 30% more dealerships and may take a longer time in the shopping funnel than men. Patience is another key aspect to making a sale. Understanding when to stop pitching ideas and pull back is extremely important. Going overboard can be perceived as annoying or assertive an end up being a deal-breaker.

Surefire Signs of Overselling
Here are some signs of overselling. These show shoppers may be changing their minds and no longer interested. Paying attention to these can help your sales team pull back when they start overselling without realizing it.

1. Shopper becomes Distracted - When customers get busy with their phones while having a conversation with their salesperson, this is an indication that Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram are winning. It shows the potential buyer is losing interest and could leave soon if their interests or needs are not piqued.

2. Unease in Body Language - Body language, like averting eye contact and fidgeting, can be signs that are not hard to miss. These body movements show that customers are tired of listening to the pitch. They may believe their salesperson is trying to assert his/her personal opinion on them regardless of understanding what it is they want. This can cause frustration.

3. Moving Away From Salesperson - When women shoppers begin to move away, it shows the salesperson might have overdone it. This is the time to stop focusing on techniques and check in by asking them questions on their interest.

Did You Know?

One of the main reasons women go to more dealerships is NOT price. Rather, it’s because they want to get their buying experience “right”. If that initial engagement doesn’t go as well as they want, they will leave your dealership and go elsewhere. The sale and residual revenue have been lost forever. What’s the cost of your cumulative lost sales due to poor first engagement?

Tips to Avoid Overselling
1. Understanding what women buyers want and need is the key. Instead of pitching ideas right from the beginning, provide a space for women to express themselves. Ask questions and then ask some more. This is the best way to learn what their car buying needs are. It also provides a great opening to get related, so there is a connection; women buy when there is trust and respect provided. Listen to them first and then pitch ideas.

2. Friendly sales people are easier to talk to and women feel more comfortable around them. They find friendly salespersons more likeable. Our research shows that likeability is one of the top factors that help close a deal.

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Boost Women's Confidence to Boost Your Sales

The Good News? Women account for 50% of car purchases, and influence more than 80% of the deals.

The Downside? One in three women report feeling apprehensive or overwhelmed when they shop and buy a car. Only 38% of women feel confident about the process.

Women have different buying criteria and behaviors than men. Women rank trust and respect at the top of their list when it comes to choosing a sales advisor and are 50% more likely to read dealer reviews. They prefer to read reviews written by her peers.

Reading dealer reviews, bringing someone with her to the dealership --- these actions show women are seeking ways to be confident about their purchase. Here are tips to boost women’s confidence and impact your sales revenue:

1. Convey trust and respect. At the core of building trust and respect is the ability to listen and respond to what a woman is saying. Listen, don’t lead, and pursue a goal of truly understanding. After all, she is in your store and she is there for a reason, even if she isn’t purchasing today.

2. Support the decision making process. When it's time to buy, just 1 in 10 women know exactly which one they want. What this means is she has a list of needs and desires in a car, and wants to find the best fit for that list. This isn’t indecision, it is a smart and more open way to shop. A savvy sales advisor will create a “decision tree” that helps reduce the list of cars to the best choice. Following a logical decision-making process will help a woman feel she bought the right car.

3. Create a powerful evidence-driven reputation digital-to-showroom story. Encouraged happy female clients. Why? Their scores rate higher than men, and they acknowledge their dealership and sales person with rave posts. Use your reviews and reputation in your advertising so this buying segment puts you at the top of the list.

What’s in it for Your Dealership?
A confident, delighted buyer who has written a positive review of her experience can influence countless others to follow her lead. When that buyer decides to purchase or lease again, the loyalty created during her engagement with your dealership will bring her back.

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It’s Officially the Women Buyers Era...

OEM’s are increasing their advertising towards this powerful buying segment. Smart dealerships are too. Women bought an estimated 13 million cars at new car dealerships last year; an estimated 35,000 vehicles a day.

How many female “up’s” are converting to buyers at your store? If you aren’t tracking that number yet, we suggest you start accounting for sales by gender. The upside of your gross profit potential is tied to this.

The 2015 US Women’s Car Dealership Report, compiled after 3,450 women’s car dealer ratings and reviews, showcases the top car brands as rated by women when purchasing. Each brand’s WSI® or Women Satisfaction Index is derived by taking the aggregate of all the dealer’s scores from that brand’s reviews on the site ranging from a 5.0 (highest) to 1.0 (lowest).

The average WSI® for purchasing was 4.73, up from up from 4.65 last year. The top ten rated brands are Mercedes-Benz (also held the #1 spot in 2014), Lincoln, Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Lexus, Chevrolet, Ford and Volvo. They were followed by Audi, Toyota, Hyundai, Subaru, and Nissan brands.

Did You Know?

One in 3 women buyers describes being “apprehensive”, “nervous” or “overwhelmed” at a dealership when buying. Another 13.4% say they feel “intimidated” or “frustrated”. In this hyper-competitive market, what is your dealership doing to combat this? Do you offer a hassle-free, seamless experience?

You’ve heard it before: women have a different set of needs and expectations when buying a car. Yet, it’s a pretty straightforward equation. Car manufactures and dealerships that focus on treating women well by engaging and respecting them in a trustworthy manner throughout the purchase process are positioning themselves exceptionally to capture future business. It is not the luck of the draw; these businesses have processes and training in place to optimize the customer visit. More importantly, the execution of that training is being fulfilled.

Certified Dealers Rate Higher

While the overall WSI® score was 4.73, there is a distinct difference in the dealerships’ reviews and scores.

  • Certified Women-Drivers Friendly® Dealers have a 4.85 WSI® or 97.0%
  • Non-Certified Dealers have a 4.48 WSI® or 89.6%

There is a tremendous upside for dealers to become Certified and distinguish their business to women+families. These numbers indicate a correlation between Certification, higher CSI and increased sales and profits.

HOW DO I BECOME A CERTIFIED DEALER?

Click here to find out!

Click Here For Your FREE Copy Of The 2015
US Women’s Car Dealership Report

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Our company has published it’s second annual report which showcases women are having empowering experiences at progressive car dealerships in the United States.

Women are responsible for buying over 13 million cars at new car dealerships; that’s an impressive 36,000 vehicles a day. Dealerships have to literally change gears, advertising, amenities and their sales strategies to attract this powerful buying force. “It’s a very competitive industry” shares Women-Drivers.com President, Anne Fleming. “Women know they can buy a car anywhere in their respective city. It’s in dealer’s best interest to strategize and market to women. However, it takes more than just having a family female spokesperson.”

The research in the 2015 US Women’s Car Dealership Report comes from over 3,450 women’s surveys from the company’s website. From these surveys, the company generates a Women Satisfaction Index® or WSI score. The range is from a 5.0 (the highest) to 1.0 (the lowest).

Unlike other 5-star review sites, Women-Drivers.com offers women the opportunity to write a quick review and then opt-in to a ‘deeper dive’ survey to share more thoroughly about their dealership visit. Over 90% of the reviewers opt-in to the twenty-five question survey.

Fleming goes on to share, “In the past, women haven’t been asked for any real feedback by the industry, with the exception of the dutiful CSI. Through our platform, women are empowered by the opportunity to share their voice and provide productive opinions. Generally, these buyers are having more than “satisfied” visits at car dealerships; they are truly delighted by the respectful and trustworthy manners of their sales advisors. In turn, when asked to write a review, they are generous.”

Dealership groups and manufacturers use the data collected by the company to better understand, improve and shape the customer’s experience. From the analytics, trends and predictive patterns are captured to help take the guesswork out of marketing to women.

Key Findings

  • When shopping for a vehicle, the overall WSI was 4.37, up from 4.25 last year. The top five rated shopping brands by women are Volkswagen, Ford, Chevrolet, Jeep, and Buick.
  • When purchasing a vehicle, the overall WSI was 4.73, up from 4.65 last year. The top five rated purchasing brands by women are Mercedes-Benz (also held the #1 spot in 2014), Lincoln, Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler.
  • When leasing (a subset of purchasing), the overall WSI was...Click here for more about Trends of Women at Car Dealerships.

Click Here For Your FREE Copy Of The 2015 US Women’s Car Dealership Report

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