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Car Sellers Refine Pitch to Women

Among Millennials, 53% of Car Buyers Are Female

Aug. 20, 2014 6:52 p.m. ET

Cathy Anderson, right, owner of Woody Anderson Ford, a Huntsville, Ala., dealership, discusses a car with
Connie Hicklen. Shawn Poynter for the Wall Street Journal

On a recent hot summer night outside Detroit, a 62-year-old woman sat in a chair watching the Telegraph Cruise, a classic-car parade on Telegraph Avenue in Taylor, Mich., when a stranger approached and began asking questions.

What kind of car did she drive? Why had she chosen that automobile? What did this choice say about her identity?

The stranger, it turned out, was Chris Lezotte, a Ph.D candidate at Bowling Green State University, in Ohio, who was doing ethnographic research for her dissertation on the relationship women have with cars.

Ms. Lezotte is one of a small army of researchers trying to get inside the heads of women who need transportation—"to uncover the various meanings women ascribe to cars in a variety of contexts," as she puts it. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute put out a study in 2012 showing that the number of women drivers in the U.S. had surpassed that of men, 105.7 million to 104.3 million, as of 2010.

Ever since, researchers have been wondering why the car-shopping and buying experience is still such a man's game. The National Automobile Dealers Association says last year some 91% of car salesmen at franchised dealerships were men.

Women accounted for 39% of car purchases in 2013, up from 37% four years earlier, according to J.D. Power. That may not seem like a big change, until you consider that Americans bought almost 15.6 million cars last year. A 2% shift represents more than 300,000 vehicles.

When a man buys a car, there is often a woman behind the decision, according to the buzz in auto circles. Globally, women are "making the final decision on more than 60% of new car purchases," said Carlos Ghosn, president and chief executive of Nissan Motor Co, in a speech in July.

Chris Lezotte, a Ph. D candidate studying women's relationships
with their cars, in her 1949 Ford Coupe. Alan Kalter

Melody Lee, director of brand and reputation strategy for General Motors Co.'s Cadillac division, says she believes women wield influence in anywhere from 85% to 95% of car purchases. "That's what we're seeing in our showrooms and that's what our dealers are telling us," she said.

Here's another statistic, culled from her research: "If 74% of women feel that they are misunderstood [by car marketers] but they're influencing up to 95% of our car purchases—that's a huge missed opportunity there," she says.

Researchers say demographic shifts offer more reasons for auto makers to refine their sales pitch to women. Women earn more, marry later and divorce more often than they used to. And both women (and men) can be formidable customers, arriving at the dealership armed with research found online, so they aren't at the mercy of a salesman.

At the same time, social media give women "a voice that can impact brands like no other time in history," says Jody DeVere, chief executive of AskPatty, a women's automotive-advisory website.

AskPatty.com is a kind of automotive matchmaking website for women. Its panel of female experts, from automotive executives to magazine editors to race-car drivers, give women advice on buying, maintaining and insuring cars. At the same time, it sells services to automotive companies who want to attract more women customers.

By completing Web-training modules, retailers can be certified by AskPatty.com as "Female Friendly." AskPatty also offers webinars on how to reach women buyers who are Hispanic or baby boomers.

A newer company with some similar aims is Women-drivers.com, which serves as a forum for women to discuss experiences at specific car dealerships. It also offers support for dealers with feedback from women, content for social media and its own market research. Even before Chief Executive Anne Fleming founded the company in 2013, she had begun compiling her own research on car buying, by sending a questionnaire to some 500 women. The company's continuing research has found that women visit an average of 1.9 dealerships before buying. And 47.5% of women who bought a new car went to the dealership by themselves.

Experts have found women are more likely to rely on online customer reviews and friends' opinions when shopping, while men are more likely to turn to expert reviews.

Ford Motor Co. has created a program called "Live.Drive.Love," which offers women 24-hour test drives. Chantel Lenard, director of U.S. marketing for Ford and Lincoln, said, "It's an opportunity [for women] to experience the product on their own time, in their own environments, so they can show it to friends."

What's down the road? Consider this statistic, Ms. Lenard says. Among millennials—the young adults all industries will soon be fighting for, if they aren't already—53% of car buyers are female. A 2013 Autotrader.com study also projects U.S. millennials will be the wealthiest generation ever.

"We're seeing a shift where females are becoming the majority," Ms. Lenard said. "It's an important market and we want to make sure we're delivering on their needs."

Read more…

Your Reputation: Are You Leaving $6M on the Table?

Today’s Women’s Wednesday we are focusing on the up$ide of reviews and what they really boil down to with women shoppers, prospects and buyers.

While you know that women buy almost half of all cars purchased and influence even a much higher number, are you aware of the real upside in selling more cars to women by distinguishing your store as a women+family friendly marketplace? Why is this important? Let’s take a closer look.

Men shop at 1.4 dealerships while women visit 1.9 dealerships prior to buying a car. One-third of women are apprehensive about the buying experience and 20% report being overwhelmed. In fact, a recent poll shows that women are 50% more likely to rely on car dealer reviews than their male counterparts. Why? They want to get the purchase right and avoid getting it wrong. Elite dealers leverage reviews in advertising to mitigate any negative emotions of some customers and to showcase that their dealership is a pain-free company with which to do business.

A brilliant way to distinguish their store from the competition.

Did You Know?

JD Power reports women are more generous than men when rating their dealership experience

Women relate to other women and trust these reviews more than ones written by men

Certified Dealers Upside is in the Million$
Let’s be frank. Women can buy a car anywhere in your city for within a couple of hundred dollars from another dealer. Distinguish your store from the others by using your certified logo in your advertising and branding yourself as a Certified Women-Drivers Friendly Dealer. Benchmark with your sales team how many cars you sell to women each month and keep track of it.

By selling just 5 more cars each you will add $2M to your sales at your store.10 more cars will add an average of $4M in sales and 15 more will bring in $6M more in sales annually! Get your team on board and turn those women browsers into women buyers by having them walk into your dealership as a destination store they have come to do business with because of your stellar reputation with women+families.

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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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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What's the NEW TOP Reason Women Buy?

Today's Women’s Wednesday we are focusing on the new top reason women are buying from their sales advisor. Trust has always trumped price when it comes to buying from a sales advisor, but now, in our latest mid-year #bigdata report directly from women's reviews, “trust” no longer has the top spot.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Aretha Franklin couldn’t define it better. Respect is now the #1 prerequisite to trust in the formula to selling to women.

The top 5 reasons women buy from their sales consultant are ranked as follows:

1. Respectful
2. Trustworthy
3. Likeable
4. Knowledgeable
5. Understanding

Did You Know?

The 6th reason women buy a car from a salesperson is price. Of course, it doesn’t mean that price is not important to women. It means that having a personable, empathetic, real, approachable, open, and friendly engagement is paramount first and foremost. Pretty much like a first date. Nothing can happen before she sums you up. You have to pass the first test - then, and only then will there be a discussion regarding the price of the vehicle.

 

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…

Today, our Women's Wednesday focuses on the ranking of the top 20 auto brands, as of July 1st, and how they are rated by women car buyers.

After analyzing the car dealer reviews written by women when purchasing a vehicle from January through June, the information below summarizes the top 20 brands by Women Satisfaction Index® scores on a scale of 5.0 (perfect) to 1.0 (lowest). The average WSI® for all brands is 4.72 during this time period.

1. Mercedez-Benz - 4.98
2. Volvo - 4.96
3. Lincoln - 4.89
4. Dodge - 4.88
5. Mitsubishi - 4.87
6 & 7. Chrysler & Jeep - 4.86
8. Buick - 4.84
9. Volkswagen - 4.83
10. Lexus - 4.82
11. Chevrolet - 4.80
12. Ford - 4.79
13. Audi - 4.78
14. Toyota - 4.74
15. Mazda - 4.72
16. GMC - 4.71
17. Honda - 4.70
18 & 19 & 20. Hyundai & Nissan & Subaru - 4.68

Did You Know?

3 in 10 women are apprehensive about their car dealership visit when buying a car. In fact, 20% feel downright overwhelmed. Top rated dealerships get the critical importance of establishing trust with their female clients the moment they walk onto the showroom floor or reach
out digitally. It is the only thing that matters to her. Price is secondary.
If rapport and respect cannot be immediately established, she will buy a vehicle elsewhere.

Congratulations to dealers that are using the Women-Drivers.com Certification to distinguish and market their store! They are selling more cars and their WSI® shows how satisfied - how happy - women are when buying their car.

Our model goes beyond reputation management to an expanded level of really understanding your women clientele. Dealers with 50 reviews and more receive their own customized WSI® Dealer DATA Report that helps take guesswork out of marketing to women. Click to view Demo.

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…

Your Website is #1 With Women

Most auto shoppers start their search on the web but would it surprise you to know that the #1 online destination for women shoppers is your dealership’s website? That’s right, our research lists the top sites nationally that women visit prior to buying a vehicle. They include:

  1. Dealership
  2. Manufacturer
  3. KBB.com
  4. Consumer Reports
  5. AutoTrader.com
  6. Edmunds.com
  7. Cars.com
  8. Carfax.com
  9. Craigslist.com

We also know that women account for over 50% of all vehicles purchased and influence up to 80% of those purchases. It would seem important that a dealer’s website cater to this substantial segment of the market.

Did You Know?

A new report by Women-Drivers.com shows a huge upside still remains. One-third of women buyers report that the dealership website that they visited was not helpful. What can you do to improve your website?

A. Understand the Target Market
To make your website more female friendly you need a better understanding of women buyers, their online research behavior and buying habits. A global leader in measuring the digital world, comScore Inc., has released a new study that sheds some light on this topic, which includes highlights:

1. Social networking is central to women’s Internet experience: Integrate social tools into your website that allow for photo viewing and sharing. Show vehicle models that appeal to women.

2. Community and Lifestyle sites attract women: Create a community page on your website. Women relate to family activities. Create a Lifestyle page showing vehicle in various settings.

3. Women have different preferences when it comes to online search. They prefer Bing in a way that men don’t” – When running BING PPC campaigns, use female centric search phases like “Most Popular Cars For Women” and link to a page featuring those vehicles.

4. The rise of online solitaire, card and board games has generated a new audience of gamers: women.

5. Women tend to consume less video overall than men but show more of a propensity for YouTube. Develop “How To” videos, host on You Tube and have links on your website. Ah…. a real plus for SEO.

B. Other Areas to Increase Women’s Engagement & Sales
1. Women are style conscience: Maybe it’s time for a modern site “makeover”. Hold the pink.

2. Quality + Informational Content: Another way to keep women hooked is to post quality and informational content on the site. Make sure it’s relevant and valuable for women+families. Be her trusted advisor 365/24/7 – not just the 3 days a year she is in your store. How? Visit here.

3. Chat feature: Is a nice way to start interacting and is a safe, non-threatening feature.

4. Create a staff page where customers can see who they are interacting with; can put a face to the name and include email links.

For more on Engaging Women on your Website 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.

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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.

Read more…

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.

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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.

Read more…

The Conundrum of Johnny Manziel and Tim Tebow

Whether you are a football fan or not, unless you have been living in a cave you have probably heard a lot about Johnny Manziel and Tim Tebow.  What Tebow and Manziel have in common is that both are former Heisman Trophy winning college quarterbacks.  What they both also have in common is that they are both very much hated and reviled by so many.

From the outside looking in, they are polar opposites in many ways. Tebow is publicly very religious and Manziel is not. Tebow is outwardly extremely humble and Manziel is viewed as being extremely cocky and even arrogant. Tebow apparently lives a very straight arrow life and Manziel has had his share of documented days of partying. Tebow never reacts to his detractors and Manziel seems to give the proverbial middle finger to his. Tebow quotes scripture and Manziel plays rap. Tebow appears humble while Manziel seems to flaunt his ability with a little in your face style.

Manziel and Tebow outwardly opposite in every way but yet both share in common massive doses of venom by the media, coaches, some players and large amounts of the general public. Tebow the humble, virtuous Christian is hated and Manziel the cocky, partying one man show is hated as well. Actually, I am not sure which one seems to be condemned and hated the most. Seems to be a conundrum doesn’t it.

In my opinion, the answer in this does not lie in the characteristics of either Manziel or Tebow or what they do or don’t do. The answer to this conundrum lies with people who are constantly judging others. Often these people judge them but inwardly are wishing they could be more like them.  They are not really hating on Manziel or Tebow. Instead, they are expressing their hatred of themselves and their own perceived shortcomings expressed outwardly towards Manziel and Tebow. Haters hate because that is what they do.

Don’t be a hater and stop judging others. Look at yourself and judge yourself. Work on yourself and let others be. Success and happiness is always an inside out job.

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http://www.automotivedigitaltraining.com 856-546-2440 

http://www.dealersynergy.com ;

Car Salesman "Ups" A Waitress & Sells 2 Different People Cars & Sets 4 Additional Appointments For Future Car Sales!

Sean V. Bradley, CEO of Dealer synergy recently conducted a training session at Roswell Honda in New Mexico and inspired a fledgling Automotive Sales Professional to try some of the Dealer Synergy Prospecting strategies… And the VERY FIRST time, Dexter hit a grand slam home run! Congrats Dex! 

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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.

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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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