Women in the driver's seat
LAGUNA NIGUEL Darwin Bicknell, Internet director for South Coast Toyota in Costa Mesa, believes that women buying cars should get the same respect that men do. He trains his team to avoid questions like, "Where's your husband," or "We'll wait until your husband comes in."
"By 2008, 80 percent of consumers will buy their cars online," Bicknell said. "This service gives women a chance to buy a car through a new online portal and get the respect she deserves."
AskPatty.com is the online service he's contracted with to allow women, and men, to access the inventory of cars he has on the lot.
That's why he's become a certified client of the online Web site, "AskPatty.com." Here's Breanne Boyle to tell you about it.
Q: What is AskPatty.com?
A: Ask Patty is automotive advice for women by women. We offer a safe place for women to come to ask any automotive questions without judgment and they will receive an expert answer within 24 hours. We also provide a blog with daily tips and automotive news. We train and certify car dealerships to become "female friendly." We are partnered with MaddoxSmye, a premier diversity training company that specializes in teaching Fortune 100 companies how to sell to women.
Q: What is your job?
A: I am the eMarketing Manager with Ask Patty.
Q: Is this a franchise, and how long have you been in business?
A: Ask Patty is a privately held company that has been in business since June 2006.
Q: What is your background in business?
A: I've always been involved with the automotive industry. It's a family legacy of sorts. My grandfather built hot rods and his first Instant T rod is actually in the Petersen Auto Museum. I started in the industry by working at Primedia Publishing, European Cars, Honda Tuning, Import Tuner, Automobile, Intellichoice and Motor Trend magazines. I was involved in writing and later, eMarketing and business development. I take my knowledge of cars and the industry and put it to work with Ask Patty. Because I am a female with car knowledge, it suits Ask Patty perfectly.
Q: What are your goals in business?
A: I do want to make a difference. I want to empower women with their automotive needs, both for car buying and car care.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge for you?
A: The business is growing very fast and our bandwidth and the time to manage all the excited opportunities is short, but it's a golden opportunity.
Q: What is your work and what are your responsibilities?
A: Ask Patty in multi-faceted. My responsibilities include writing content for the blog, helping dealerships get started on the certification program and plan their marketing and advertising programs around being certified as "female friendly." I also manage most of the AskPatty.com marketing and advertising programs that are aimed toward women.
Go to AskPatty.com for information. Breanne Boyle is the eMarketing manager, and you can reach her at 988-745-1928, or e-mail at Breanne@AskPatty.com.