Women’s Wednesday #42: BREAKING NEWS: 2016 U.S. Women’s Car Dealership Report | Insights from Progressive Dealers

This week, hot-off-the press, we’ve got the 2016 U.S. Women’s Car Dealership Report, showing how progressive car dealerships make a difference in the experiences of women and families. This national report shows what is important to women when shopping, buying and servicing their vehicles.

The information in this report is drawn from over 4,000 women’s reviews and opt-in surveys. Using the reviews, Women-Drivers.com generates a Women Satisfaction Index® (WSI Score), ranging from a high of 5.0 to a low of 1.0. The surveys are used to delve deeper into women’s shopping, buying and servicing experiences.

This information is specifically generated from dealerships certified through Women-Drivers.com based on the customer reviews. These progressive, forward-thinking dealers use the company’s platform to improve sales and service experiences for their women clients. Dealers who participate, continually evaluate the data an consumer intel they receive to ensure they maintain high scores, knowing women rely on reviews almost twice as much as men.

“Unlike other 5-star review sites, we give women the opportunity to write quick reviews and then opt-in to a 25-question survey, which 9 in 10 women nationally participate in” said Anne Fleming, President of Women-Drivers.com. “Our platform empowers women to respond in an honest and productive way, thus, helping certified dealers evaluate and improve the customer experience. This data helps dealers take the guesswork out of marketing and selling to women.”

Certified Women-Drivers.com Dealers receive an average satisfaction score of 92%, which is 23% higher than non-certified dealers. Women rely on reviews 50% more than men, so having positive ratings has a direct impact on a dealership’s building trust and the bottom line.

Women have a variety of options when shopping for a car and have an array of information available. It is always in a dealer’s best interest to understand how to engage women, and tune their strategies to maximize this buying segment’s interest.

Click here to read the full Press Release about the 2016 US Women’s Car Dealership Report.

Sell More Cars to Women+Families!

Sell more cars to women in 2016 with our innovative digital-to-showroom marketing program. Click here to learn more.

Women’s Wednesday #41: What Leads to Great Chemistry? Check Out The Key Elements

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.

Dealership Chemistry ChartDownload 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 resource 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
At this stage of the process, 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.

Read the Latest Her + His Car Review
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There are two sides to everything, right? To keep our car reviews innovative and interesting, we provide an animated, insightful, detailed and sometimes uncouth two points of view on the same car from – Her + His perspectives. Click here to read the 2016 KIA Sorento SXL AWD review.

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 a 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.

Sell More Cars to Women+Families!

Sell more cars to women in 2016 with our innovative digital-to-showroom marketing program. Click here to learn more.

Women’s Wednesday #40: What’s Your Dealership’s Chemistry with Women? Download Periodic Table

Happy New Year to you all! Now is the perfect time to reflect on your current customer engagement and interaction strategies in order to exceed last 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 has 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

Sell More Cars to Women+Families!

Sell more cars to women in 2016 with our innovative digital-to-showroom marketing program. Click here to learn more.

Women’s Wednesday #39: Neuroscience: Pay Real Attention to Women & Sell More Cars in 2016, Pt 2

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.

LAST CHANCE: Download Report on Millennial Women Car Shoppers and Optimize Sales

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.

Sell 15% More Cars to Women+Families!

Sell more cars to women in 2016 with our innovative digital-to-showroom marketing program. Click here to learn more.

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.

Happy Holidays.

Women’s Wednesday #38: The New Year + Neuroscience | The Basics of Selling MORE Cars to Women, Part 1

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.

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There are two sides to everything, right? To keep our car reviews innovative and interesting, we provide an animated, insightful, detailed and sometimes uncouth two points of view on the same car from – Her + His perspectives.
Click here to read our 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Inscription FWD..

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.

Sell 15% More Cars to Women+Families!

Sell more cars to women in 2016 with our innovative digital-to-showroom marketing program. Click here for details.

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.”

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

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.

Women’s Wednesday #37: What’s Exceptional About Your Dealership? Share THAT with Women Buyers

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.

Sell 15% More Cars

Sell more cars to women in 2016 with our innovative digital-to-showroom marketing program. Click here for details.

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.

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