By Patricia Roberts
Women influence 85% of all consumer-purchasing decisions in the U.S. and 66% of the consumer-purchasing decisions in Canada.
When thinking about the impact that this group has on commerce and on businesses in general, you are probably asking yourself this question:
“Am I getting more than my fair share of this opportunity?”
The next question you are probably asking yourself is:
“What is it that women want?”
Well, here are some suggestions to help with that answer:
The Place Of Business
Do an inspection of your facility or better yet, have a third party evaluate the property and buildings to determine if they are appealing and have them share their findings and recommendations with you. Does the area look fresh and free of debris and clutter? What about the parking lot and entryway to your business? Is the building and outside area well lighted and groomed?
How about those waiting rooms and bathrooms? Are they welcoming or are they places where only the most daring will venture? Is your dealership as inviting as your home?
And, most importantly, how do your employees interface with women consumers?
A Gathering Location
Once your dealership is as inviting as your home, get the word out into the community that you have a facility that welcomes women’s organizations to attend a car and tire care workshop at your facility.
Provide light refreshments like coffee, tea and sodas and light snacks. Make sure that all of your employees know your guests will be on the premises and welcome them and escort them to the meeting area. The women attending this workshop will spread the word for you, and positive word of mouth will help you increase your ROW = Return on Women.
A Destination Choice
Conduct a “Ladies Night Out” at your location and plan one for every month or two. Women want to understand the maintenance of their vehicles so think about conducting an entire series of vehicle and tire care clinics.
Another suggestion is to hold a philanthropic activity like collecting household items for local or regional organizations that assist women. Have a radio broadcast while the collection activity is taking place to get the word out and generate excitement for the community. For those who contribute, consider providing a discount coupon for a vehicle service item. Women look for and use coupons and this is a great way to provide an incentive to return to your place of business
Men and women communicate differently. Have your employees been trained to understand the nuances of interacting with the women who patronize your place of business? They can probably handle most male customers quite well, but do they know how women prefer to communicate? How they shop and buy? What they are looking for in products and services especially vehicle and tire services?
Make certain that everyone understands how to interact with your women customers so that you not only attract but also retain them as regular customers. Properly armed with the right tools and trained employees your automotive business can increase your share of the largest and fastest growing demographic of new vehicle buyers women.
Women want the same things that men do and that is to have a pleasant experience, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to pay a fair price for goods and services.
Make sure you are getting your fair share of their business.
Patricia J. Roberts is the director of business development for AskPatty.com. She has nearly 40 years of experience in the automotive industry, which includes increasing the number of women who own and who work in auto dealerships.