Area dealerships target women with AskPatty.com
In the car world, men buy, women shop. The adage is a huge oversimplification but not one to ignore.
Just ask Burnam Eubank, dealer principal of Palmetto Jaguar. Eubank hadn't really thought of male and female car buyers in those terms, even though she has headed the Jaguar outlet for a decade or so.
But a light bulb went off after reading the industry best-seller, "How to Get Rich Selling Cars and Trucks to Women!"
And Eubank is more convinced since Palmetto Car & Truck Group partnered earlier this year with AskPatty.com, an online car advice service for women.
She's learned that men as a whole go to a car lot with the intent to make a deal. Car dealers clue into that. That's resulted in the time-honored goal of salesmen not letting a customer off the lot without a sale.
Women, in contrast, as a group like to peruse the merchandise before they settle in for the one they want. So even if a woman buyer wants a particular car, she may visit other lots, do research and otherwise take her time on reaching a decision. The high-pressure approach can be a turn-off.
What's critical about the sales tactics is women purchase more than 50 percent of all vehicles sold in the United States and influence 85 percent of buying decisions, spending more than $80 billion, according to AskPatty.com.
Eubank is a member of the AskPatty.com advisory board, fielding and responding to e-mails from women shoppers nationwide. She hears queries such as "I have a (fuel guzzling) Durango worth $6,000. Should I buy something else?" She said it's a challenge to answer the questions but finds it interesting trying to assist people from all over.
Eubank is keen on how the Internet program, which has a link on the Web site for Palmetto Ford, Jaguar and Mama's Used Cars, can help women customers, all buyers for that matter.
"AskPatty has gotten a lot of press," said Davi Hesher, who heads the program for Palmetto Car & Truck Group's Business Development Center.
Oprah Winfrey has talked about the Internet service, as has iVillage.com.
"There's just a big gaping hole out there," Hesher said of women customers who want car-buying information.
But it isn't just women. "I've had several leads from male customers" who got in touch through the AskPatty.com link, Hesher said.