Well I know the stats say that women out sell men by about 22 units a year yet only 8% of the salesforce is female. In very general terms I have seen that women salespeople appear to have the clients need and wants at the top of their priority list.I have also seen that because it is such a "Man's World" they seem to strive harder to achieve and outwork many male salespeople.
JoAnna Weber said:"People like to buy from people who are consistently sensitive and attentive to their
needs. Women are by nature more intuitive and they pick up subtle signals from others. Such
observation and awareness are skills that can be learned, and are powerful sales tools."
Why Do Women Make the
Is it time that men learned
I agree that women have some incredible natural abilities that make them more in tune to their client's needs. These are ingrained skills that we have so we can take care of our children even before they can speak. But through my years of training I have found that often men who were raised in a household of females have learned many of these skills. I know these skills can be taught but as a trainer, I find that the biggest challenge is getting men to understand how important these skills truly are so they will be open to learning.
(with tongue-in-cheek) I’d like to take a little different perspective by Broad-ening (sorry, I couldn’t resist) the scope of the discussion into an area that I’ve had experience in: Women in sales to the “Corporate World”…i.e.; business-to-business sales. I had spent over 30 years helping to grow a company from 850 to over 35,000 clients to become both international and the largest service company of its type in the country.
During that time I saw thousands of Account Executives, both men and women, come…and go…away!! (Commission sales can quickly separate those who do and those who talk) Maturity, honesty, organizational skills, due diligence, tenacity, and professionalism are just a few of the basic necessary traits that make a salesperson successful, man or woman.
However, women (most of the ones I’ve had the honor to work with over the years) have a tendency to capitalized on 2 more traits better than men do…first….
LIKEABLILITY: (I don’t care how good your product is, if they don’t like you, they won’t buy from YOU) Women have a way of relaxing the customer by reducing the "Threat of them being sold SOMETHNG” resulting in their being LIKED…. better than men do. Second…
CONSISTANCY:, I can’t remember any woman I knew in sales who got a “Big Deal” (I mean a commission check larger than $20,000 for a single sale) and suddenly become “Salesman Rich”. Oh Yea, you all know what that means…. they got the “Big Check” on Wednesday…. took off Thurs…Fri…Sat….
That consistent work ethic, meaning a 40 or 50 hour week was just that…. week in and week out for those professionals women. If they got a big deal Wednesday morning, they were at their afternoon appointments looking to increase their numbers, as opposed to having a couple at Happy Hour to celebrate.
Now, Jerry played the “Looks” card, which definitely makes an impact for both men and women…. for about 90 seconds. You don't get a second chance at a first impression. (although, I’d bet you guys would give at least an extra 30 seconds to most of the lovely and professional women gracing the pages of DE before you would me!)
Across the board women, after 1 year in the field, outsold the men in our company by an additonal 18-22% in earned commissions and I attribute that to their being better than men in the two area I highlighted.
In a sales cycle, whether you’re in the executive boardroom, the TO cubical or at the kitchen table …after that first 90 seconds, man or woman…the successful ones had better bring a lot more to the party than just a few well rehearsed closes.
Women are far more effective sales people; everything else being equal. Women are more mature, smarter, and in-tune with the needs of a consumer. The problem is women are WAY TOO SMART to suffer the culture and working envrionmnent offered by most car dealerships. Is there a more motivated individual that a single Mother? No, but because they refuse to work the ludicrous hours demanded by most moronic management teams they take their talents and motivation to other industry's. Women are far more trustworthy and trusting - both critical elements in the sales equation. How do I know this? I'm maturing.
There are great women salespeople and great men salespeople. Myself, I learned much from amazing salesmen and saleswomen. In some cases I learned what to do and in other cases I learned what I didn't want to do.
I agree with the comments made throughout this discussion - JoAnna - CraIg - Mark - Steve & Jack, you're all right on. From a woman who has been in the trenches selling cars and observed my male and female peers close sale after sale, I've noticed two prominent values in women that help them succeed in sales:
1/ they are nurturers at heart and because of that, they put others before themselves - customers can sense that - who would you rather buy from...someone who's interested in their paycheque or someone who's interested in satisfying your needs first? As nurturers, women are great listeners and customers respond to that above all!
2/ they are receptive to training. In my world, way more women participate in training than men do - they are open to learn from others to do better and to be better.
Men typically make decisions from a logical perspective (what they think), women make decisions typically from an emotional perspective (what we feel). In sales, this is critical because as statistics prove, the majority of decisions made in any home are women (somewhere between 65% and 80%, depending on which report you read). If you want to close sales, your customer must be able to relate to you. Women relate more to women because they think alike and make decisions alike.
The good news is...men can appeal to the female buyer better...without too much trouble. I've said this before in an online discussion, maybe even here on dealerELITE. Men, if you are married or live with your significant other, ask yourself what your home would be like when guests come to visit if your wife's presence didn't exude throughout your home. Again this is general...my guess is...there wouldn't be: flowers on the table; delicious smells permeating every room; bathrooms sparkling and freshly cleaned hand towels hanging; spotless floors; the list could go on. You can create an environment that is more friendly to women by doing a few simple things. Start with flowers in the showroom, flowers in the ladies washroom are a must, ask your women staff what they suggest would make your store more inviting to women. Once your female decision makers are at your store, you want them to be comfortable to stick around for the entire process. Pamper them with a terrific cappuccino or latte - this is a rare opportunity for women to have any length of time without interuptions from their family or friends - capitalize on that. Make your dealership an environment women want to stay at and you have accomplished something the majority of other dealerships haven't. Incorporate spa services into your store - a fresh bakery - you may think I'm cookoo but I'm telling you, if you want the attention of the majority of the decision makers, give those ladies a reason to enjoy their experience at your store. I could probably write a book about the endless possibilites. For those who want to be different and be exceptional, once you've created a welcome environment for the ladies, LISTEN to what they want and need. The only reason people exchange money for your product or service, is because they believe your product or service will solve a problem that they have. You can only solve problems if you LISTEN to what they are.
I started selling cars in 1999 and after 1-1/2 years became a business manager. I was a single mom with 4 teenagers to raise and support on my own - I had a burning desire to succeed! There's no better industry or career that I know of where I could make great earnings without a major university degree. Women don't stick it out in the auto industry because of unprofessional behaviours from their male peers - they'll make the hours work if they feel their efforts are appreciated (remember, we base our decisions on how we feel). If you know a woman in this business who is struggling and needs some support, I'll gladly speak to them. If it wasn't for my father who was in this biz for over 30 years, I probably wouldn't have lasted either.