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The Power of Taking Charge!

Published Dec 11th 2006, 4:09pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles


THIS IS THE YEAR OF THE WOMAN, meaning that auto manufactures have discovered that 50% of the decision makers of auto purchasing are women. Manufactures have even implemented programs to train dealerships in how to work with women so they are at ease when walking in a showroom floor.

THIS IS ALSO A BUYERS MARKET. It is great to know that manufactures are not only catering to women through dealer training programs and incentives but this is the time to be purchasing as there is an overabundance of vehicles in which the prices are more competitive.

With this fabulous knowledge, it is grand to know that we as women, are powerful and important! In 1984 when I went to work in the NASCAR arena as a mechanic, I had to get out of the box in thinking like a woman...toughen up...and think like a guy to earn respect. I didn't know anyone in NASCAR and became creative how to get an appointment for my first mechanics job. I used a guy's approach which got me started working for a couple of teams without getting paid for it, but didn't complain. I had to show my determination, my skills, while keeping quiet, learning by watching, listening, and working twice as hard as anyone else. My plan worked and I ended up as a full time paid mechanic on Joe Ruttman's team in charge of brakes and tires. (It was when the tires were staggered.) I didn't date anyone, didn't bother the drivers, kept my values and earned respect from my teammates.

When Richard Petty won his 200th win at the Firecracker 400 in Daytona Beach, our team won the fastest pit crew time, and I was part of that pit crew – as “catch can”. I knew when the cameras were on me, because as I turned to go back over the wall, it was packed with photographers and TV cameras.

They recognized my ponytail sticking out of my hat. The beauty of the entire experience was that I had a goal in mind and believed enough in that goal to not let petty situations sidetrack my focus. I took charge of my purpose became powerful with determination to succeed. One thing I didn't ever forget was that I was a woman in a man's world, a pioneer in the sport, at a time when very few women were recognized as professional.

TODAY IT'S OUR WORLD...and WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY! The twist is wonderful, whereas in the 80's I was having to think like a guy to fit in the group, and now guys are learning to think like a woman just to get the autos sold! I LOVE IT! So let's talk about car buying. Here are some steps to take to help any woman feel at ease and to take charge when purchasing an auto.

1) RESEARCH - Before going into a dealership it is best to research what you want first through internet. Do you know what type of vehicle you want? Going to the manufacturers website will give you details without having to speak to a salesperson. You can do web search cost comparisons with your vehicle. TAKE CHARGE and create your own personal research facts.

2) DEALER INTERNET – Once you have done your research from other websites, then turn to the local dealer website that you chose to purchase your car from (or thinking about). Check their website out to see their prices. The internet prices are about as good as you can get because they are competing with other dealer website pricing. Compare those prices with your research. Also, check out their service department. Purchasing an auto isn't just about getting the best price, you will want to make sure they have the service to back up the vehicle.

3) OWN FINANCING / DEALER FINANCING – Research your own financing, as credit unions seem to have the best situations. When you are ready to make a purchase at the dealership, be prepared to have a resource of financing to compare with. Many dealers today have their own in-house program and work with twenty or more banks. Again...TAKING CHARGE is having your homework done so you can compare rates. For your information, dealers make more money selling used cars then new cars. Dealers can negotiate more with used cars.

4) MEETING WITH A SALESPERSON – Don't be afraid of this step. Remember that you are in charge the entire time. They are trained to cater to women and they are trained that honesty is what sells a woman. There really is something to a “WOMAN'S INTUITION”, and they know that. Let them know that you have done your research and have checked their website out. Stick with the price you want and hang tight. YOU HAVE DONE YOUR HOMEWORK. Ask as many questions as possible. They are working for put them to work. There is no difference with cash or finance with auto buying to get a break. Once a vehicle and price have been decided upon, the salesperson will have to run this buy the sales desk. There may be rebates on certain vehicles that need to be checked. Again, remember it is a BUYERS MARKET. YOU ARE IN CONTROL.

5) WARRANTEES – There are great manufacture warranties that come with brand new cars, but if you have selected to purchase a used car I would suggest an extended warrantee as long as it is only with a manufacturer or a reputable company. Again, research as to what is best for your needs.

6) DEALER SERVICE – All vehicles out there are as good as the dealer servicing it. The buyer needs to feel comfortable – pick a dealer that will service you – even if you have to pay just a little bit more. TAKE CHARGE knowing that dealers are now wanting to make the female comfortable especially in the service arena. When it comes to taking your vehicle to the service department, I encourage EVERYONE to READ THE HAND BOOK – MAINTENANCE PROGRAM prior. Lift up your hood and understand what is under it. Everything is explained in the manufacturers handbook. There are diagrams to follow. THIS IS IMPORTANT TO TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR CAR. It is important to understand the maintenance to make sure it is taken care of. (My car comes first when getting the attention it needs.) Becomes friends with the service tech. Bring him a pizza for his lunch time, etc. Ask him about things you don't understand about the car. You will be surprised of the understanding, learning and respect you will receive by being truly interested in how everything works and how willing they are to share it with you. I used to sell cars in my early 20's and the outlook and focus concerning sales has changed drastically for the better. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and through your research, you will have the ability to TAKE CHARGE and actually enjoy purchasing your auto. YOU ARE IN CONTROL!

"Daytona is founder/host of Daytona & Friends Celebrity Network, a daily positive talk radio format soon to launch 24 hour positive programing – 7 days per week, as well as host of Daytona & Friends noon-time TV Show. She was the first female NASCAR licensed mechanic in 1984 and “over-the-wall” pit crew member, and is an advocate of building self-esteem in people of all ages. Daytona is mother of four children, grandmother of two and resides in Eagle,

Idaho with her three teenagers."


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