Dealers are always talking about how to sell cars to women, but don't usually do anything about training their staff on how women think about cars. It is estimated that over 50 percent of all cars are bought by women, and women infl uence the sale of 85 percent of all cars. To quote Jody DeVere of AskPatty.com, "You can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on how to bring women into the dealership, but if they don't have a great experience while they're there, you've just thrown away a lot of money."
Have you or your staff actually gone to someplace like AskPatty.com and looked at what is available?
We at OVDA/OPSA did just that, and it was interesting, to say the least. On their 'Womanars' Podcasts, there are seminars and conversations from a variety of women who are prominent in the industry giving their views and expertise away to women, and of course are available to you and your staff, right on line, all for free.
The current podcasts are:
* Alternative Fuels, Hybrids, and Efficient Vehicles Oh My! By Cristin Lindsay, Senior Director of the Automotive X-Prize, 20 minutes.
* eBay Motors: Tackling the Worlds' Largest Online Marketplace by Sarah Draley, Vice President of Marketing and Acquisitions at Rocket City Automotive Group, Inc, 20 minutes
* How to Read a Tire's Sidewall and Tire Safety 101, by Mary Aichimayr, managing editor of Tire Review Magazine, 20 minutes
* How to Sell Your Car Private Party and Get the Most Money out of Your Older Vehicle by Heather Conary, Founding partner of Illumination Design Creative Services, 30 minutes
* Know What You Are Buying: Make Sure to Get a Pre-Purchase Inspection, by Kim Walker, Peak Automotive, and 'The Most Female Friendly Shop in the Triangle (NC), 20 minutes
* Under The Hood: Lori Johnson Teaches the Importance of Oil and Coolant, Lori Johnson, Owner and instructor of 'Ladies, Start Your Engines!', 20 minutes
* Why are Women Different?, by Marti Barletta, CEO and founder of 'The TrendSight Group', about marketing to women. 40 minutes
* Financing A Vehicle and Knowing about Insurance and Warranties, by Jenny Trostel, owner of 'Saab of Baltimore', 20 minutes
* How to Buy a Great Used Car, by Amy Mattinat, Author of book of same title, columnist on auto repairs, maintenance car care and safety, 30 minutes.
Want to be a 'Certified Female Friendly Dealer'? They have a training program for dealers to obtain this certifi cation. And, they say, women are going to their site looking for female friendly certifi ed dealers in the dealer locator and will come to your lot because of that certification. We did a search of 'Certified Female Friendly Dealers' within 50 miles of Salem, and came up with only one dealer, Lexus of Portland.
Dealer Solutions asked Peter Martin CEO of AskPatty.com
Question: What is in it for an independent dealer?
Answer: Number one is the valuable training to become more effective selling to women. Two, the ability to be listed on the AskPatty. com site and third, receive additional exposure in local markets utilizing our co-branded advertising and marketing programs.
This program is focused and tailored to women and that's where AskPatty.com can help a dealer as an independent or franchise dealer. We look at your advertising budget and ask, "Is there any money focused on women, who are more than 65% of the customer base?" A large portion of the budget should be reaching out to this infl uential demographic.
Are dealers paying attention to the trend? It's obvious dealerships have some room to grow here. While our main program was designed for the franchise dealer we developed a program that really works well for the independent used car dealerships, because of the many requests by independent dealers who wanted to become certified female friendly.
Because of the high US divorce rate, many women have credit challenges and are single people or heads of household. We reach out to these women and assist them by arming them with expert advice on purchasing a vehicle. If you take care of them, they will bring their friends. If you don't, they tell all their friends! We have One Goal--provide information to women about their automotive needs. There are two aspects of that goal, two charges, with two leaders who run our programs.
Empower Women - This aspect is run by Jody DeVere
Working with the dealers - This aspect is run by Peter Martin.
Question: Is there a benefit for the small dealer?
Answer: Yes, if they are looking to grow, they will have a competitive advantage. The AskPatty.com certifi ed female friendly programs helps small dealers partner with our strong and trusted brand by women. Women don't start out dealership loyal. They are looking for what the dealer has to offer and the smaller used dealer can compete on a level playing fi eld by giving women a superior car buying experience. We (AskPatty.com) continue to grow. We just launched the AskPatty. com Auto Finance Center, a new service that assists women in fi nancing their next purchase for a new or used car, in partnership with myAutoloan.com. Women can qualify online for a loan with a quick and easy pre-approval process, this allows women to walk into the dealership with a check in hand.
For information on how to sign up as a dealer, go to askpatty.com.
For more information on the Oregon Vehicle Dealer Association, visit www.oregonvda.com