Women’s Wednesday #54: Do Emotions Play A Part In The Process?

Car Buying and Emotions, Part I
Women shop and buy cars for a number of reasons, but regardless of the reason, emotions are involved in every step. The emotional range can start with excitement about the prospects of a new car, to apprehension when signing papers, to frustration when taking a car in for service.

Why Emotions Matter
During the buying process, your customers will experience a range of emotions. You know this. It is important to understand how these emotions ultimately end up reflecting on your dealership.

Women-Drivers.com has tracked the emotions reported by 3,105 women car buyers, and they are:

  1. Excited 55.7%
  2. Relaxed 34.4%
  3. Confident 30.7%
  4. Apprehensive 30.3%
  5. Nervous 25.8%
  6. Overwhelmed 20.1%
  7. Intimidated 11.4%
  8. Confused 8.6%
  9. Frustrated 8.6%

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

It’s key for your sales advisors to recognize and understand these emotions. They are a normal part of the buying process for any large-ticket item. What becomes important is the ability to discern if these emotions are helping or hurting the approach. Savvy advisors ask the right questions to see if the negative emotions can be minimized by assisting a female buyer to feel more comfortable with the decision being made.

For example, a buyer who is overwhelmed or confused can easily decide to stop the process before it is completed. Recognizing these emotions and taking steps to clarify any buyer’s questions can mean the difference between saving and losing a sale. A buyer’s frustrations can be mitigated by streamlining the sales and financing process to eliminate wasted time.

Emotions make up a large part of a shopper’s experience, and smart dealerships will learn to monitor and do what is necessary to keep the emotions on the positive side.

Women’s Wednesday #53: Have you earned your bragging rights?

Does your dealership brag about your reputation? Do you constantly explore new ways to improve your interactions with customers and employees?

Big BragBrag Boards
Women rely on reviews 50% more than men and especially like reviews by other women. Reviews act as your 24 x 7 brag board by letting others hear the voice of your customer champions.

  1. Be sure reviews are front and center on your website and social media efforts.
  2. Don’t limit your reviews to only glowing comments or they will look pre-screened. Show how you readily solve problems.
  3. Post reviews in plain sight. A bulletin board provides a good way to reinforce your performance. Include reviews where customers will stop and pause, like in your service lounge.
  4. Encourage customers to write reviews about their visit. Let them know you are using their ideas to improve your ability to deliver outstanding service.

Explorations Boards
An exploration board is today’s “suggestion box.” An exploration board is very open and inclusive. Dealerships can start the conversation by using “what if” statements to get people thinking about specific topics, like:

  • What if each sales advisor sold an additional 5 cars this month?
  • What if prospects were immediately comfortable when they walked in the showroom?
  • What if today was the top selling-day of the year?

Here are tips for getting an Exploration Board started at your store:

  1. The board must be presented in a non-threatening way to gain participation from all. Using first names or initials can help keep the suggestions positive. Everyone’s participation is encouraged, and must be met with respect.
  2. Allow ongoing discussion of the ideas. Bring the exploration topics to staff meetings to encourage continuation of the conversation.
  3. Pick specific topics from the board and keep the discussion going. Turn suggestions into a new plan, adding metrics and goals. Post the results.
  4. Reward employees for participation. Let people know that their ideas can be brought to fruition.

Encouraging participation and showing the results makes a difference in your employees’ performance, and ultimately will drive more dollars to your store, boost morale and encourage healthy competition. Customers will feel that you are interested in their feelings and perceptions.

Employees whose ideas matter become happy employees, stay longer and interact better with customers. And that is really something to brag about!

Women’s Wednesday #52: Increase Sales to Women Buyers by $6 Million

Women-Drivers.com is excited to bring you this white paper on how you can generate up to $6,000,000 in annual sales to women. Now is the time to strengthen your position and turn your dealership into a destination for the fastest car buying segment. The headlines are reading how business is only getting tougher. Is it really going to finish up at another 17.5 million unit year? How will your store stack up?


This white paper enables dealers to train their sales team and help develop new attitudes and behaviors to sell more cars. The bonus tracking worksheet allows GSM’s and SM’s to measure female guests (ups), referrals, and sales to measure this growth over time. CSI and retention are improved, too.

A Way of the Future: Stress-Free Buyers

Lexus Plus dealers introduces no-haggle pricing. Really!

Many people associate car buying with stress and hours of time as well as having to navigate a difficult decision process. Deciding which car is right is only the first step in a long process that includes negotiating, financing and service.

Women can find the process especially challenging, while trying to balance work and family. Women report that car buying creates a lot of apprehension and uncertainty.

Lexus Plus – Streamlining the Process Start to Finish
No-haggle pricing isn’t new. Pre-the great-recession, Saturn (when it was still around) was the first brand to adopted an “one price” strategy. Recently, even Cadillac announced it’s creating a retail overhaul that streamlines the sales process.

And now, Lexus has introduced #LexusPlus. This pilot program in 11 select dealers has a dedicated consultant for sales or service. This consultant is the single point of contact for the entire process, ensuring continuous communication throughout buying or servicing. This consultant has access to all of the information necessary to create a fast and efficient process. Click here to see Lexus Plus video.

No-haggle pricing is a big part of Lexus Plus. Each sales or service consultant knows the exact price of a vehicle or a service and offers transparency in how the numbers are calculated. No-haggle pricing removes the discomfort of negotiation and ensures that the buyer establishes trust in one person that will see the transaction through each stage – including financing. Frankly, a relief – for many.

Lexus may very well be on to something. Last year, Autotrader conducted a survey showing that 44% of car buyers did not want to negotiate the purchase of their vehicle. Other industry reports show that younger buyers are no longer interested in negotiating.

Jeff Bracken, group vice president and general manager for Lexus, shared more about what’s driving Lexus Plus, “Women rank trust at the top of their list of reasons to buy from a particular sales consultant. Lexus Plus appeals especially to this audience because relationships and transparency are the pillars of trust, and Lexus is already a strong brand with this powerful segment.”

Dealer Payoff
Dealers who adopt the dedicated consultant and no-haggle pricing strategy have several advantages over traditional sales methods:

  • Consultants can be selected to carefully match a dealership’s demographic. If the demographic is over 50% women, then at least half of the consultants should also be women.
  • Training is streamlined. When a consultant “owns” the start to finish process, can be delivered in a cohesive way.
  • Consultants provide a more personalized service, since they will get to know a customer in a more thorough way.
  • Possible issues during the deal will be more easily spotted, because one person is monitoring the transaction from start to finish.
  • A customer is likely to develop a more trusted relationship if there is only one consultant involved.
  • Further, because the client has had a rewarding experience over and over, retention and CSI will be increased.

Customer Payoff
A dedicated consultant can be a welcome change for a number of reasons:

  • A customer has a single point of contact for everything and can find answers to her questions quickly.
  • Streamlined communication and up-front pricing saves an enormous amount of time.
  • Knowing exactly who to talk increases a buyer’s confidence and reduces the confusion of shopping for a car.

Overcoming Possible Pushbacks
One price or “No-haggle” pricing may not be right for everyone. Customers who place a high value on getting “the best price” may feel negotiating is necessary, since it’s the overwhelming industry paradigm. Either way, get ready to see this more relaxed approach to car buying more and more over the next 5 – 10 years.

Women’s Wednesday #51: Women Buyers… Show You How they Really Feel

Women Drivers Mobile HomepageWomen are where it’s at when it comes to buying cars! They are also more generous with car dealer review scores!

We are so excited to share with you the Women-Drivers.com slick new mobile site, now with emojis.

With the increased participation of dealers and reviewers alike, its paramount that we continue to deliver a website and mobile platform that are more relevant for both.

The company is unveiling an industry-first by allowing the user to choose from five emojis when reviewing their Purchasing, Shopping or Service Drive experience. Emojis are used everywhere and are a quick way of expressing feelings. This supplemental feature allows women to share their overall dealership experience. The five emojis users can choose from when reviewing their Purchasing, Shopping, or Service Drive experience are:

Women Drivers Emojis

Women Drivers Mobile Site Other New Features include:

  • Snap a Selfie and #TagYourDealership
  • Top Certified Trusted Dealer comes up first in zip code search
  • Simple to Access Your Dealership
  • Easy to use interface to read or write a review

Did You Know?

Women are responsible for influencing 85% of all vehicle purchases. In 2015, 45% of women buyers reported they purchased their car by themselves. Get Your Edge Now.

Women’s Wednesday #50: Use Attention and Intention to Increase Sales to Women

Unprecedented, Yet Simple Tracking Worksheet Helps Build Your Business
There remains an untapped opportunity in your sales plan now to implement. This will make a huge impact just by tracking and measuring a few new metrics.

Follow this: While half of car buyers are women, and that percentage increases to 53% for millennial women. 1 in 3 women out earn their husbands.

But how successful is your dealership in converting women guests? How many guests actually buy? Are you aware how these buyers find out about your store? How can you grow what you don’t track and measure?

Tracking 5 Results to Analyze Success
Using our new worksheet*, track these 5 key stats each week and month:

1. Number of Female Guests: This statistic applies to a woman who comes into a dealership to buy a car for which she will be the registered owner. This applies to a woman shopping by herself, or with someone else, as long as the car is specifically for her.

2. Number of Female Referrals: Inquire at the beginning if the guest was specifically referred by someone else. This someone else could be a friend, a Facebook friend, a Women-Drivers Certified Trusted Dealer or a review by someone online.

3. Number of Female Sales: This is the number of sales to women each week and month.

4. Total Sales: Total ALL sales for your dealership by week and month.

5. % of Total Sales to Women: This is the percentage of sales to women compared to all sales for the week and month. This provides an at-a-glance view of how your store compares to the national numbers for sales to women.

What You Put Your Attention On Grows
When you begin to track these numbers, several things will occur:

1. The attention of the sales team will be drawn to the figures being tracked. The numbers will be front and center. If your conversion numbers are low, you will implement strategies to raise them.

2. Focusing on the numbers elevates their importance. Understanding that the intent is to increase sales to women will increase your overall sales!

3. Tracking referrals helps you understand how well you are being perceived. It’s nice when a customer sees your advertising, but a customer who has been referred already has a positive outlook coming in.

Formal tracking of guest numbers and conversions is the first step toward capturing the valuable market segment of women buyers and becoming a destination dealership in your region.

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