Three Strategies to Build Lasting Relationships with your Women Buyers
Today’s cars continue to become smarter as manufacturers recognize the value of automobiles that “learn” and adapt to the behaviors of drivers. Cars recognize their drivers by connecting to their smartphone, then adjusting seats, mirrors and the steering wheel for comfort and safety. The cars “listen and learn” about each driver to provide the optimal driving experience. How can car sales advisors learn from smart or self-learning cars to engage, optimize and convert women shoppers into buyers and provide the optimal sales experience? What changes can your dealership make to shorten the sales cycle and create an ongoing relationship with the female demographic, which is 50% of your overall market?
Today’s car shopping and buying process is multi-faceted and complex. Women purchase half the cars and influence up to 80% of purchases. How do you differentiate yourself and create an effective sales process that lasts beyond a car sale? Here are three strategies you can implement today:
- Think emotionally. Emotions matter in car shopping and buying. Respect and trustworthiness are the top two reasons a woman buys from a particular sales advisor. While 50% of women are excited about their car purchase, only 30% are confident during and after the deal. Price matters in the deal, but emotions are a very large part of a woman buyer’s satisfaction levels.
Your Strategy: Learn how emotions affect the shopping experience. Learn to read body language as a way to assess how a deal is progressing. Create strategies to steer the sales process towards a better result. Offer a three-day money back guarantee to alleviate any concerns about the sale and make your buyer feel more confident. Learn to read your customer’s verbal and nonverbal cues that indicate hesitation. Ask questions to find out what is causing doubts about the purchase and work hard to eliminate the doubt and increase confidence.
- Respect your shopper’s time. Everyone is busy. Your woman shopper may be on her lunch hour or ready to pick up her kids from school in an hour. She certainly isn’t window shopping; she is there to accomplish something. If a woman senses she is wasting her time, she will go elsewhere. The average woman spends 3 hours and 20 minutes buying a car. The prior shopping experience should be quick and efficient.
Your strategy: When a woman shopper walks in your door, create a mental attitude to treat her as the most important and busiest person you have ever met. Listen carefully to what she is and isn’t saying. Don’t interrupt, and ask the right questions to understand her needs quickly. When she asks a question, answer it in a succinct manner. Give her the best quote possible and don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Let her know that she can trust you and your dealership from start to finish. This trust has to start in the showroom and continue through to the service lane. You are looking for a customer that not only buys from you today, but services her car at your service center and returns to buy her next car.
- Visualize Your Best Dealership. How do you help your sales advisors have the highest possible EQ (Emotional Intelligence)? How do you see your dealership changing if you proactively educate your sales and service advisors to read your buyer’s emotions? What would happen if you empowered your advisors to adjust their sales techniques to advance a sale? What if your hiring procedures screened for people with high EQs as well as strong sales skills?
Your Strategy: Drive more sales by educating and empowering your women buyers. Offer seminars to your women customers about buying and servicing cars. Educate and empower your sales and service advisors. Encourage new ideas to engage your customers and foster loyalty. When you are hiring your sales advisors, look for people who already have a high EQ. This means they are trustworthy, respectful, good listeners and adept problem solvers. Choose people who easily adapt to new situations and can read nonverbal cues such as body language and tone of voice. Explore new ways to motivate and incentivize your sales advisors to help them realize that the sales process is just the start of a good customer relationship. Reward your sales advisors when your women customers continue the customer relationship by bringing their car in for service.
This is no longer your father’s dealership. Demographics have changed and the old rules no longer apply. Half of your demographic, women buyers, will respond to a softer approach that can create a long-lasting, satisfied customer relationship with your dealership. Technology has created its own demands for a digital-to-showroom strategy that begins long before you even meet your customer. Integrating an EQ-based approach can ensure that your dealership will meet the needs of today’s woman car buyers and build a relationship that lasts well into the future.