In certifying dealers as female-friendly, AskPatty.com has partnered with Maddox Smye, a Naples, Fla.-based company that specializes in training salespeople to sell to women.
Their methods are based on the book "How to Get Rich Selling Cars and Trucks to Women," coauthored by founders Rebecca Maddox and Marti Smye.
Maddox told the Free Press that the training and tests involved to become certified are not "fluff and puff," and that the company does not just hand out certification to any dealer willing to pay.
She shared some of the test questions with the Free Press:
1. If something went wrong in dealing with a female customer and you were able to repair the damage, what technique would you employ?
A. I would make sure she understood where the problem occurred and who was at fault (e.g., delivery delayed by manufacturer, service person problem, financing delay). I would apologize profusely for their mistake.
B. I would take ownership for the problem and work to repair the damage. I would make sure she understands the steps that I was taking to fix the situation and apologize for the problem.
C. I would explain to her what had happened and how it would impact her purchase. I would bring the appropriate manager (e.g., sales, service, financing) to the meeting to support my explanation.
D. I would let her know what had happened and how the dealership would fix the problem. I would give her a date that the situation should be repaired.
2. Which one of the following most closely resembles the approach you take when presenting female clients with advice?
A. I provide her with options, discuss the pros and cons of each one, and suggest which options might be best for her.
B. I provide her with options, discuss the pros and cons of each one, but don't try to tell her which options to choose.
C. I provide her with options, but only the ones that fit with the recommendations I had given her.
D. I don't provide options. Instead, I tell her what I would recommend and what she should do.
3. Recent studies have shown that 65% of new-car buyers use one or more Web sites to research and compare models, features and costs prior to visiting a dealership. This can improve your results in what way or ways?
A. Because a woman has done research online in advance, she should be prepared to make a decision the same day she first visits our dealership.
B. Having researched manufacturers' and dealers' costs, she will be more comfortable with a total price rather than having to see the breakdown of costs.
C. The more information a woman has gotten from the Internet, the more time the salesperson can devote to developing a good customer relationship.
D. All of the above.
4. At one time or another, many clients start talking about things that are not directly relevant to their purchase, for example, where they were born, their hobbies, what schools they attended, their present life situations, the names and ages of their children or grandchildren, and so on. When a female client of yours started to talk about these aspects of her life, what do you do?
A. After a couple of minutes I politely interrupt her and move the discussion back to business.
B. I wait until she pauses, and politely ask her if we could move on to business.
C. I wait until she pauses and change the topic back to business.
D. I listen to what she is saying, occasionally taking notes (e.g., her children's names), and encourage her to keep talking by occasionally asking questions or noting things that we have in common.
E. I let her keep talking. While she is talking, I think about how I could make a sale to her.
Answers: 1. B; 2. B; 3. C; 4. D