In Her Shoes - AutoSuccessOnline

In Her Shoes

I just returned from the 2018 Women in Automotive Conference, held in Orlando, FL. This year’s theme was “Stronger Together.”

Are you feeling inspired today? I am!

I just returned from the 2018 Women in Automotive Conference, held in Orlando, FL. This year’s theme was “Stronger Together.” I’ve attended the conference for many years and am always impressed by the carefully crafted agenda, which is filled with incredible presenters and activities to educate and inspire women — and men — in the automotive industry.

The conference included speakers from a variety of OEMs, Facebook, Google, J.D. Power, career and marketing strategists and many more. They tackled social media (do you know what’s on your sales reps Facebook pages?), negotiating salaries (talk about why you’re great while being great), changes to our industry (be activists for change) and so much more.

I always leave the conference motivated and excited to share what I’ve learned with the female members of our AutoSuccess team as well as our entire readership. While the focus is obviously to benefit the women in attendance, the majority of the information can be applied to anyone in the automotive industry.

Exceptional Service — You Had Her at Hello
I found one particular seminar to be especially motivating. Katie Mares is, according to her website, “a certified speaking professional (who) has inspired audiences around the world to think differently about customer service and leadership.” Her “Be Part of the Change” session did just that. 

She spoke about the average car dealership sales associate/customer interaction, discussing how women want a relationship with a dealership’s sales associate, whereas men just want to get the transaction done.

“You are in the customer perception business,” she said. “It no longer matters what we think is exceptional service. It only matters what they (your customers) feel is exceptional service.”

But in order to gain a woman’s loyalty, her referrals and her attention, as a consumer, Mares continued, we need to move from “transaction” to “interaction” because for women it’s all about the connection.

“We have to put ourselves in their shoes to provide an experience that speaks to women,” Mares said.

Watch the way some of your sales consultants first acknowledge customers entering the showroom. Do your employees greet the woman or the man first? Do they only address the man throughout the conversation? Will the female consumer feel ignored? 

Think of what would happen if the woman was greeted first, Mares suggests. She would feel “instantly welcomed, instantly valued, instantly part of the conversation.”

With women having a controlling vote in the purchasing process, wouldn’t that be a great start to a new car sales interaction?

“If we don’t find ways to make the change happen, customers will find other ways to purchase their cars,” she said. That alone is a great reason to take a look at the way your dealership approaches new customers and looks for new ways to deliver exceptional service.

This industry provides incredible opportunities for men and women alike. We can all be part of its growth. We can each bring our best selves to the table and keep our dealerships relevant and ahead of the competition.

As Michelle Morris, Facebook’s VP of global marketing solutions, one of the keynote speakers, said, “Know your strengths, be proud of them… and be the catalyst for change in our industry.”

After all, we are stronger together.


Click here to view more solutions from Susan Givens.

You May Also Like

Are You a Life Learner?

Everyone has a lesson to teach us, whether they intend to or not. It’s up to us to pull out the best lessons from these interactions.

Others are Always Teaching Us — If We’re Open to Receiving Those Lessons

While we spend most of our childhood and often young adulthood in school, those who are “truly successful” — both in their career and in life — understand that we never graduate. They know there will never be a point where they’ve reached their ultimate potential and no longer have anything to learn. They are students for life and will never graduate until their final day.

Connect to What You Expect

Recon workflow software is designed to bring accountability and organization to this chaotic part of your business.

Are You Ready to ROCK in 2023?

It’s time to meet today’s Vehicle Care RockStars, and we are asking you to help get us backstage.

The End is NOT Nigh

Car buyers abandon digital tools when the process gets too complex — easy-to-use ecommerce capabilities are essential.

If It’s Not Broken, Break It

Recon software provides the data to manage and motivate by the numbers.

Other Posts

J.D. Power Launches Online Ordering for the New-Vehicle Sales Channel  

J.D. Power announced its launch of J.D. Power Online Ordering, a product designed to reduce the friction of completing a new-vehicle transaction online.

Top 10 Reinsurance Mistakes Dealers Make (and How to Avoid Them), Part 2

Reinsurance company ownership will help you and your family build personal wealth outside the dealership.

The Most Powerful Skill in Selling

If you can’t listen to what your customer is saying, how do you really know that you’re solving their needs?

Is the Sky Falling, Chicken Little?

Don’t let anyone fool you into settling for mediocrity in the showroom or online.