Men and women communicate in different ways and have different expectations when buying a car. Therefore, it’s critical to incorporate different contact strategies into your communication methods with your women customers.
1. Know the difference between talking and communicating. There’s a big difference between talking to and communicating with women. Communication builds trust, and trust matters to women. In fact, trust ranks as the #1 reason women choose their dealer. Giving a standard sales pitch is not the least bit engaging to this audience. Communication involves listening and relating to your woman customer’s needs.
2. First impressions happen within 30 seconds – make them count. Human beings are wired to make snap judgments. So, while your sales advisor is making a judgment about a guest, that prospect is making judgments, too. First impressions go way beyond a polite greeting. Six in 10 women who don’t buy at your dealership on a given day won’t return to your store.
3. Body language matters – know what gestures and postures resonate well. Good posture, a genuine smile, eye contact, and a warm handshake all go a long way toward showing engagement. Body language matters in every customer encounter, not just the initial contact. Unless it’s to gather information about a vehicle, put away your phone.
4. Too little or too much – what’s the just-right amount of contact that creates satisfaction? Throughout the course of working with buyers, your team has several opportunities for communication. Over the ownership of the car, follow-up phone calls, emails, and repeat visits will be necessary. How often should you contact your customer? There’s no single formula for each prospect buyer. Ask a customer for their contact comfort level and read their non-verbal signs. Over-communicating is as unhelpful as under-communicating!
5. Choosing the right form of communication can make or break a deal. Today’s social media world has expanded the forms of communication. Customers have contact preferences. Ask women how they prefer to be contacted and honor their wishes. Some may prefer a phone call. Others might want email. Text messages are another option but should be used carefully to avoid overuse. Customers have several activities competing for their attention, so don’t be “that message” that causes annoyance.
6. Customer contact takes many forms – understand the brand message being relayed. Messaging comes in many forms: direct contact with a sales advisor, advertising, online reviews, friends, and competition. Providing a consistent message from your brand to your customers and guests as well as the addressable market is crucial to building trust. This means having an awareness of the total, overall message your customer is receiving. They may not pay detailed attention to all communication, but they will notice inconsistencies, which may create negative questions. Keep your messaging on point and consistent.
Women look for much more than price when shopping for a dealership. Those who recognize what’s important to women will receive the payoff in satisfied, repeat customers and an increased bottom line.