Yesterday we discovered that a recent study found that women feel less comfortable than men when buying cars at dealerships. The survey by AutoTrader.com found that almost one in four women find shopping for a vehicle stressful. This compares to just 15 percent of men. The study also reveals that almost twice as many men feel “certain and confident” when they visit a car dealer compared to women.
When I was Internet Manager for a major car dealer, I heard many discouraging stories of how women were treated when buying cars. I could never understand why such “old school” methods were brought into major automobile dealerships, which spend large sums of money on staying current with technology, social trends, and training staff in the advanced art of salesmanship.
According to the website AskPatty.com, women influence 80 percent of all vehicle purchases in the United States and Canada. And women buy 62 percent of all new and used cars, and 48 percent of all trucks. With statistics like that, why would any car dealer want to go out of their way to mistreat women? It’s like shooting yourself in the foot.
It turns out that a growing number of car dealers across North America are going out of their way to become female friendly. One way they are going about it is to work with AskPatty.com, a website devoted to finding and cultivating female friendly businesses. Once a dealership's entire sales staff goes through certification training with AskPatty.com, they can become a Certified Female Friendly business.
What does it mean to be female friendly? It’s simple: sales staff are taught to give women the respect that they deserve. It’s an easy antidote for the “old school” attitude that plagues some dealerships. It can also help increase business. And during this economic downturn that has hit the auto industry so hard, anything that helps support a car dealer’s bottom-line can only be a good thing.