Women’s Wednesday #19: 5 Ways to Deliver a Competitive Edge

Today, our Women’s Wednesday focuses on the road to ultimate business success. This is powered by a growing customer base, increasing loyalty and customer retention. Here are some innovative marketing ideas to increase your competitive edge by delivering more value to women customers.

1. Buy A Car In Less Than 2 Hours
Do you know it currently takes a woman an average of 3 hours and 20 minutes to buy a car? Most women feel "highly inconvenienced" by this, especially because time is one of women’s most prized commodities. Implement a marketing approach where buyers can seal the deal in 2 hours or less.

2. Test Drives On-Call
Half of the buyers at a dealership are women – but most women work. With professional females and moms on the go, a way to distinguish your dealership is having “test-drives-on-call.” Bring a new vehicle to her place of business or home to test drive; this concierge service is attractive to women as again, it is time saving.

3. Access To Technology Experts
Car buying is a costly purchase. Women buyers, especially, take a lot of time to research the dealership and learn about the vehicles before they make their final decision. In the car itself, there are so many buttons and touch points on a dashboard. Who can remember all the things said during a test drive? Most buyers spend no more than 5 minutes learning about their NAV or tech packages and leave the dealership unfamiliar with these aspects of their new vehicle. Have classes for consumers to attend – post purchase – about the cars’ technology and perhaps some one page cheat sheets for them. Having access via email, text, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to your dealership’s technology expert is a must.

4. Build A Strong Brand Dealer Reputation
Women rely on car dealer reviews 50% more than men. It makes sense, they want to get their car buying right! They really want to buy from well-reputed and trusted dealers. To build strong brand reputation and attract more women buyers, dealers can get reviews from women shoppers and train their sales team to deliver the ultimate car buying experience to every customer who walks in the store. This low cost model is a win-win.

5. Acknowledge Mistakes And Show Customers They Are Valued
It is difficult for businesses to acknowledge their mistakes. When it comes to client retention, “holding up your hand” in business, is paramount. For example, when it comes to Reviews – keep it real and be transparent. Ask to have a one-on-one discussion with the consumer via telephone. Market your dealership in such a way so that all customers feel included and a valued part of the process.

Positioning your dealership in this way – and clearly communicating these services – makes clients and potential customers feel that your business is working in the clients’ best interest rather than just "selling cars and making money."

For more on this topic, 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!

5 Ways to Deliver a Competitive Edge

The road to ultimate business success is powered by a growing customer base, increasing loyalty and customer retention. It includes aspects from the sale, ensuring that the customer returns to your service drive – to having them purchase their next car at your dealership.

Here are some interesting ideas to deliver more value to customers while increasing your market share:

1. Buy a Car in less than 2 hours
Do you know it currently takes a woman an average of 3 hours and 20 minutes to buy a car? Most women feel ‘highly inconvenienced’ by this, especially because time is one of women’s most prized commodities. Implement a marketing approach where buyers can seal the deal in 2 hours or less. Buyers will love this. A friendly and knowledgeable sales team, who not only listen and educate shoppers, but are all likeable and trustworthy can get this job done.

2. Test Drives On-Call
Half of the buyers at a dealership are women – but mot of those women work. With professional females and moms on the go, a way to distinguish your dealership is having “test-drives-on-call.” Bring a new vehicle to her place of business or home to test drive; this concierge service is attractive to women as again, it is time saving.

3. Access to Technology Experts
Car buying is a costly purchase. Women buyers, especially, take a lot of time to research the dealership and learn about the vehicles before they make their final car buying decision. In the car itself, there are so many buttons and touch points on a dashboard. Who can remember all the things said during a test drive? Most buyers spend no more than 5 minutes learning about their NAV or tech packages and leave the dealership unfamiliar with these aspects of their new vehicle. The problem? In crunch times the user is not familiar with how to use the features – an issue for consumers, dealerships and manufacturers. Have classes for consumers to attend – post purchase – about the cars’ technology and perhaps some one page cheat sheets for them.

Having access via email, text, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to your dealership’s technology expert is a must.

4. Build a Strong Brand Dealer Reputation
Women rely on car dealer reviews 50% more than men. It makes sense, they want to get their car buying right and avoid any mistakes. They prefer to buy from well-reputed and trusted dealers rather than just any dealer. To build strong brand reputation and attract more women buyers, dealers can get reviews from women buyers at their dealership and train their sales team to deliver the ultimate car buying experience to every customer who walks in the store.

5. Acknowledge Mistakes and Show Customers They are Valued
It is difficult for business to acknowledge their mistakes. When it comes to client retention, “holding up your hand” in business, is paramount. For example, when it comes to Reviews – keep it real and be transparent. Always ask to have a one-on-one discussion with the consumer via telephone to get the understanding and resolution quicker. Market your dealership in such a way so that all customers feel included and a valued part of the process.

Approaching that conversation with the elements of validation, humbleness, appreciation and gratitude are helpful to having the customers feeling valued and the issue put to rest.

Delivering value added services is the core of enjoying a growing customer base. Positioning your dealership in this way – and clearly communicating these services – makes clients and potential customers feel that your business is working in the clients’ best interest rather than just ‘selling cars and making money.’

Women’s Wednesday #18: 7 Ways to Leverage Sales to Women and Increase CSI Now

In today's Womens Wednesday, we focus on selling to women. Let's get real: Research indicates that women rely on reviews 50% more than men. They account for 52% of the vehicles purchased in the US and influence over 80% of the total purchases! So developing a marketing strategy to target this substantial buying segment is critical. Wouldn’t becoming a Certified Women-Drivers Dealer be a great first step?

7-Ways to Leverage and Merchandise your Certification to Increase Sales and CSI
Leverage your Women-Drivers Certification by distinguishing your dealership from others in your city! Advertising the Certification like this shows women that you are serious about their business and treat them exceptionally. Over one-third of women buyers feel that the dealership website that they visited was not helpful. So that is an excellent place to start!

1. Integrate the Women-Drivers Car-Buying and Service Guide into your website. The WCBSG is a micro-site within your site that contains an abundance of content and tips for women on many areas of shopping and servicing vehicles and is a clear indication that you appreciate their business. CLICK HERE for more information. Make sure you include the WCBSG in your navigation and main site rotator.

2. Incorporate the Women-Drivers logo into your website. Include it in main navigation items such as About Us, New Cars, Used Cars and Service and Parts. Provide a link to your reviews.

3. Be a ZMOT practitioner. Incorporate W-D Reviews on your VDP’s to take advantage of that Zero Moment of Truth when the shopper is trying to determine if you have the Right vehicle and if you’re the Right dealership for her!

4. Improve your Women-Drivers conversion ratio by including your Certified Logo and status in every lead response to female shoppers. Let them know that you are the only, or one of few, W-D certified dealers in your town and provide them a link to your reviews.

5. Make your reviews more engaging. With our mobile platform and photo upload system, you can get a positive review AND take a picture of your happy customer with their new vehicle, right at time of delivery. This will make your reviews much more engaging and more likely to be shared by your women buyers. Remember all Women-Drivers positive reviews are automatically pushed to Facebook.

6. Targeting your Digital Advertising. One of the best ways to reach women these days is on Pandora radio. Its unique format and technology allows you to target JUST women. One of the neat aspects of Pandora radio is your radio ads come with “companion” digital display ads. So you could create a digital ad specifically targeting women and link the ad to the WCBSG on your website. Pretty cool!

7. Traditional Advertising still strong among women. As you know, there are certain TV and Cable shows geared specifically towards women. Your rep can show you the research and put together a buy to target women. Using your W-D Certified Logo, produce a commercial specifically designed to reach women and leverage your certification and desire to make their shopping experience both pleasant and productive.

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!

Women’s Wednesday #17: (Don’t Say) “We Treat Everyone the Same”

Today we focus on customization when selling to women. When dealership personnel say that they “treat everyone the same,” what that really means is that they greet prospects consistently and similarly with a sales process – whether in person or digitally. However, having the capacity and ability to treat each customer the same simply can’t be accomplished. It sounds nice as a concept, but after all we are humans, not robots. We can’t be shaped and programmed to treat everyone the same. And, who would want that anyway? Certainly not your customers. But, it’s more than semantics.

It Simply Isn’t True
Does a physician treat all her patients the same? Does your child’s teacher treat all his students the same? Of course not. They would have a pretty bad reputation if they did. Why? Each patient has his own well-being issues and each student performs at her own learning style that is personal to them. Why would it be any different for a client or customer purchasing a car? What brings them in, their finances, influencing factors, comfort and ability to negotiate are all personal and individual.

Don’t Let Past Experiences Interfere with Sales
It’s important to advise and remind your sales team not to let their past experiences interfere with their sales engagement. But that is much easier said than done! Folks who sell cars are just like us all; sometimes those experiences from the past influence the way we behave in the present. It’s largely because each and every one of us has a neurological make-up filled with fright and flight responses. Let’s take a closer look.

Sales advisors interact with numerous customers every day. The good, bad and ugly experiences, behaviors, reactions and emotions of previous situations are all stored in the human brain. When confronted with a similar situation, whether consciously or not, elicits reactions based on past recollections, right? A dealerships’ sales team undergoes the same level of training. How is it that some sales advisors are very engaged and sell to women with ease? Others, even seasoned ‘car guys’, may get through it, but have less comfort and success.

Customized Treatment is Critical
Today is about customization, both in offering tangible and intangible services. The same holds true in selling and approaching customers. Using the same opening line to sell customers equally isn’t going to work. Being ‘customer-focused’ means going the extra mile in delivering quality experience to each customer individually according to their preferences.This means dealerships must ensure that their team of experts on the sales floor and BDC don’t deliver cookie cutter lines, openers, or emails to customers; but rather understand each customer as well as possible. That’s what customers are now looking for. Not, just a sales exchange. Wow, it’s a tall order!

Understanding the customer is more crucial today because our industry is shifting from male to female-focused, leaving dealership management trying to truly understand this growing market segment. It’s time to break away from some idea that you are ‘treating everyone the same’ and start to deliver tailored treatment to each customer.

For 7 Tips on How to Customize the Customer Experience, and more on this topic Click here to read

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!

Don’t Say “We Treat Everyone the Same”

When dealership personnel say quickly and almost automatically that “we treat everyone the same”, what is really meant is that they greet prospects consistently and similarly with a sales process in person or digitally. However, having the capacity and ability to treat every walk-in customer the same simply cant be accomplished. It’s the perfect ideology, the perfect philosophy that we all want to live by but the truth of the matter is that it is not possible. After all we are humans, not robots. We can’t be shaped and programmed to treat everyone the same. And, who would want that anyway? Certainly not your customers.

And, it’s more than semantics.

It Simply Isn’t True
Think about it. Does a physician treat all her patients the same? Does your child’s teacher treat all his students the same? Of course not. They would have a pretty bad reputation if they did. Why? Each patient has his own well being issues and each student performs at her own learning style that is personal to them. Why would it be any different for a client or customer purchasing a car? What brings them into this dealership, their finances, influencing factors, comfort and ability to negotiate are all personal and individual.

A dealerships’ sales team undergoes the same level of training. How is it that some sales advisors are so much more engaged and sell to women with ease? Others, even seasoned ‘car guys’, can have a more challenging time – sure, they may “get through it”, but they don’t have the comfort and success rate?

Don’t Let Past Experiences Interfere with Sales
During sales training, it is important to advise sales professionals not to let their experiences from the past interfere with their sales engagement. But that is much easier said than done. Folks who sell cars are just like us all; they have full and robust lives, and sometimes those experiences from the past influence the way they behave in the present. It’s largely because each and every one of us has a neurological make-up filled with fright and flight responses. Lets take a closer look.

Sales advisors interact with numerous customers every day. The good, bad and the ugly experiences, behaviors, reactions and emotions of previous situations are all stored in the human brain. When confronted with a similar situation, whether consciously or not, elicits reactions based on past recollections.

Let’s say a sales associate approaches a women shopper who resembles a one-time friend with whom the relationship soured. Instantly and unconsciously there will be a negative association formed with this customer. In most cases the sales process will not go well or be successful as the sales professional person fails to deliver customized, service. In most cases when pressed what went wrong, the sales member feels and believes that “that customer rubbed me the wrong way.”


Customized Treatment is Critical
Today is about customization, both in offering tangible and intangible services. The same holds true in selling and approaching customers. Using the same opening line and attempting to sell customers equally may not go so well. According to the new world definition, being ‘customer-focused’ means going the extra mile in delivering quality experience to each customer individually according to their preferences.
This means dealerships must ensure that their team of experts on the sales floor and BDC don’t deliver cookie cutter lines, openers, or emails to customers; but rather understand each customer as well as possible the way they want to be treated. That’s what customers are now looking for. Not, just a sales exchange. And, it’s a tall order!

Understanding the customer and offering customized treatment has become even more crucial today because the auto industry is gradually shifting from male to female-focused, leaving dealership management trying to truly understand this large and growing market segment. Its time to break away from the so-called ideal philosophy of treating everyone the same and begin deliver tailored treatment to each customer. And, who knows what that approach will be until the customer speaks, and dictates it?

Tips for Your Dealership

  1. At a sales meeting, brainstorm on ideas for opening conversations and ice-breakers with women.
  2. Women buy a car because they trust and respect the seller. Period. Ask questions to get a true understanding of what she is looking for and how you can be a trusted advisor. Don’t stop asking until at least 5 questions have been asked to each customer. Get to know her. That is relationship building and what women want.
  3. Outbound emails should be personal and of value to each client. Provide her with women+family relevant content that will truly assist her. For example, if a prospect is considering leasing and needs a few days to consider the numbers, send her a personal email from your dealership with a link to this article. Customers appreciate when they are made to feel special and that you care.
  4. Be supportive, attentive, and interested. Above all, listen.
  5. Speak in full sentences to women. Many times we hear that sales advisors say “leather or cloth”? etc. The point is there is another adult being spoken to, so don’t be in such a hurry that you stop speaking to them and instead start talking at them.
  6. Don’t ask for a test drive too early without being very clear on #2 above.
  7. Don’t jump to conclusions about any of your customers. Even with a husband and wife and who is going to initiate the paperwork. Keep your eyes on both of them.

Women’s Wednesday #16: The Good + Bad News about Your Service Drive: What Women Want

Today we are looking at the Service Drive. This is the critical department where your female customers visit in between purchasing or leasing their vehicles. With all the touch points in the service department, it's also happens to be the highest gross margin department in your store. It's the place where retention happens – or doesn’t.

The Good News?
Women are having very good experiences on the front end of the dealership. 93% of women report it was easy to schedule their service appointment. Furthermore, a stellar 95% of women report being satisfied with the way they were greeted by the service advisor. Better yet, 96% were completely satisfied with their dealership experience. Bravo!

The Bad News?
There is a drop off at the end of the interaction. How so? Only 69% of women report receiving follow-up communication from their dealership… a huge miss! Why not send them a personalized email for a free car wash? A free tire rotation or oil change? Additionally, 13% of our reviews report the service was not completed correctly, on time or at the estimated price. This is more troubling, as over one in 10 women can be leaving your dealership, and because you don’t even know it , you can’t resolve the issue and retain that customer.

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

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

 
Good Selling!