I must begin by first clarifiying the decision I made to use the word "Genius" in my title referring to women...I know men are very intelligent too; however, in my attempt to use a word that rhymes with "Venus", I thought "Genius" was the best choice...LOL.

Now, the point I am hoping to make here in this discussion is factual.  Speaking in generalities, historically, the male gender was introduced and exposed to automobiles at an early age... While little girls were playing with dolls, boys were collecting Matchbox cars...Right?  Known fact!  Dad would be found under the hood of his family car on a Saturday morning, inviting the curious son to take a look at 'what makes the car go', while the daughter was playing jump rope in the driveway or helping mom bake a cake.  As the child moved on to high school years, boys were encouraged to enroll in an auto mechanics course while girls were steered in the direction of home economics...Fact?

With this history in mind, there is no question as to how the car business evolved into becoming the most male dominated industry!  But "guys"...Times...they are a-changin'...People... are changing faster than I can type these words on my keyboard!  When is the dealership culture going to hurry up and adapt to what today's consumer wants, needs, and demands???  The old SOP, Standard Operating Procedures from the 70's and 80's which are still being practiced in today's dealerships have to cease.  And by "change" I mean a whole lot more than learning to listen and speak to women, or how to properly treat an internet lead, or having a "presence" on facebook, or placing a woman in the Finance Office because she tends to show more empathy and compassion when accomadating a client's requests... This is about top to bottom, changing the environment from the "good ole boys" club in the showroom, to properly utilizing a BDC, to offering split shifts or job-sharing to attract more men and women alike who realize their family life will suffer by choosing a career in the car business!  This means a complete overhaul in our negotiation procedures, word tracks used, advertising venues, means of communication, and a whole lot more!  

The introduction to the BDC's in the 80's invited women to get involved in telemarketing and various reach-out programs within the dealership which led to sales positions.  Women's "genius" minds then gentlely attempted to deter their male leaders away from the SOP, (Standard Operating Procedure) way of doing business, with not a whole lot of success, unfortunately.  My point is, we cannot place crisp, fresh-minded, current men and women into positions at the dealership, without changing the culture and expect our crisp, fresh-minded current consumers to respond in a positive fashion!  Everything needs to change!  Would love to hear all your thoughts on this...Men and Women alike!!!

Views: 334

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I cannot wait to hear it!!!!!!



Cathy Aron said:


Hey Larry!  I found it interesting to learn that according to a prominent F&I vendor in western Canada, there are 50% women F&I Managers here.  I haven't come across too many female SMs, GMs or DPs although I know it's coming (some day).  What I like about Nancy's initial post is that our support network is lean and I can't agree more, reaching out to those gals who have been there and done it is a great idea, can only learn amazing things from them!  Every expert needs a coach, I came across an article about a woman run dealership in western Canada, have it on my desk to call and say hello.  More than anything, if women are going to stick it out in this business, they need support from their peers.    That applies to any gender, particularly women because that's how we do EVERYTHING.  Nancy...I have an idea.  Thanks for your comments Larry, you jolted my thinking into action!

 

Larry Sherstad said:

Nancy, Nancy, Nancy Whoa!!!!! No this is not your typical guy throwing stones. The reason I said Whoa is because this is the only market where a woman even has a chance to be a dealer. My experience here in the United States and Internationally leads me to believe there probably aren't 30 dealerships outside of the United States that are owned and run by women. Even in the thought to be liberal Canada most women in the industry are kept at the sales position and maybe as an F&I Manager (rare).

 

Why am I going there? Because this country is the best chance for a woman to become an owner and to work in upper management. Does it mean there are enough female dealers? No! Does it mean there are enough female managers? No! But, think of it this way; we have a 100 year old business that has always been a good old boys business. Look what you and your peers have done in the last 30, 20, 15 years!! Your movement through the industry has been remarkable and well deserved. Having spent 20 years in the retail business and then 15 years in the manufacturers side it has been an experience to watch the movement of women through the chairs, moving up, in both sides of the business.

 

I'm reminded of a short story I normally tell at the begining of a training session or a speech. "I was sitting on a flight from Atlanta to New York and had a beautiful, young, lady sitting next to me. She had just receive a promotion with a large IT company and was in charge of major accounts. We chatted about the demands of travel and calling on large accounts. She then told me she  had to hire two coaches to help her in her career. One ot those coaches was to teach her to think big!!!! If you knew me you would know that was a pet peeve of mine. Just think back to when we are children, we can do anything, but slowly over time our education, family situation, work environment takes that ability out of us. Moral of this little story is think big, don't let others dictate where you are going in your career or life. You want to be a dealer, figure out what it takes and make it happen. By the way for Cathy Aron, there are many woment dealers here in the United States and you and Nancy should look for them and ask for some coaching too!

 

Good luck with your quest!!

 

Larry

 

Thank you everyone! great stories and feedback. Do we really know what others want?

When will a new found buyers group from generation Y to Females stop attracting all the Coaches flocking to the management and now drilling on sales force? Did we not all know women are powerful ( behind every man...)

Now all these advocates coming out of the woodwork with new programs....same words different names, seals signs and certificates.

I understand personal development; what I am talking about is more training, from other outside Y or F sources.

Besides product, systems now I need to learn how to talk to another female. I am a women if I cannot treat another female ( or any person that needs my assistance) with respect I simply should not work in this profession.

 As a female if you would like to be treated with respect and equal ask for a Female Guide at the Dealer Center in the Internet department. They will certainly not for a second think that you are a different gender or should be treated any other way then they prefer to be treated.

I deal with all this nonsense all day not a second would I hesitate to do my best with all genders and different clients.

Smart females know to ask for a female Sales Guide or Internet/ Fleet Manager. Do they get their will?

Just because we as women think another women wants to be treated a certain way it might not be true. I see it every day. A great deal of female buyers enjoy being romanced by the young sleek good looking car sales men they are bathing in it laughing and smiling, gobbling up the attention.

There are choices.. we all have them. Just ask and allow clients to have preferences.. Boys pass on the request!

Hire the right people from the start. Maybe its time to let go of some of the "Boys Club" friends in place. Promote a female once in a while. Large Corporate Groups are sensitive to this... Because no one is really watching.....or is there?

Christine!  You are so right...This is not a boy vs. girl commentary...This is about recognizing how people want to be treated at inception of the meeting.  This is learned through training anyone dealing with the public to determine through certain qualifying questions, assessing body language, and hot buttons, a personality type of your client...Then you can respond accordingly to their requests with their choice as to how THEY would like to be treated.  There is a real psychology to all of this.  "People" fall all over the spectrum, men and women alike and we really need to be trained and educated how to adapt to their personalities.  It is a skill, developed with listening and observing.  I have a feeling some people looked at this conversation in the wrong light... Like I am here to say.."I am woman, hear me roar!"  That is not the case whatsoever.  
As Larry says, we have come a long way through the years.  When I started in the business in the 70's, the managers wanted to hire female salespeople and chose those who they felt might sell a few vehicles in the "back seat" of the car, and sadly, it happened.  Because I love this business with all my heart, is why I stuck with it and persevered!!! I was told to wear tighter skirts, to unbutton an extra button, to be a little "friendlier" to the male clients, to step aside if the customer wanted to speak with a male salesperson, etc... I was told once I wasn't strong enough for a management position because my voice was so soft, the guys would walk all over me!  I laugh at it all now and have swept the memories under the rug!

I close with saying, Where there is a need, there lies opportunity!  There certainly are infinite possibilities for women in this wonderful industry of ours!!! Go for it ladies...Like I said before...Hang on to the steering wheel and hold your stilettos to the metal..You are in for an amazing ride!
Christine M. Nolden said:

 

Thank you everyone! great stories and feedback. Do we really know what others want?

When will a new found buyers group from generation Y to Females stop attracting all the Coaches flocking to the management and now drilling on sales force? Did we not all know women are powerful ( behind every man...)

Now all these advocates coming out of the woodwork with new programs....same words different names, seals signs and certificates.

I understand personal development; what I am talking about is more training, from other outside Y or F sources.

Besides product, systems now I need to learn how to talk to another female. I am a women if I cannot treat another female ( or any person that needs my assistance) with respect I simply should not work in this profession.

 As a female if you would like to be treated with respect and equal ask for a Female Guide at the Dealer Center in the Internet department. They will certainly not for a second think that you are a different gender or should be treated any other way then they prefer to be treated.

I deal with all this nonsense all day not a second would I hesitate to do my best with all genders and different clients.

Smart females know to ask for a female Sales Guide or Internet/ Fleet Manager. Do they get their will?

Just because we as women think another women wants to be treated a certain way it might not be true. I see it every day. A great deal of female buyers enjoy being romanced by the young sleek good looking car sales men they are bathing in it laughing and smiling, gobbling up the attention.

There are choices.. we all have them. Just ask and allow clients to have preferences.. Boys pass on the request!

Hire the right people from the start. Maybe its time to let go of some of the "Boys Club" friends in place. Promote a female once in a while. Large Corporate Groups are sensitive to this... Because no one is really watching.....or is there?

Great blog!!!!
Thanks Lisa...Glad you enjoyed it!

Nancy,

 

You are right on point here, thanks for sharing this great article.

 

Jody DeVere

Thanks so much Jody...From someone who has studied the dynamics of the industry and I consider to be an "expert" on Women in the Industry, this is a grande compliment!!!

Jody DeVere said:

Nancy,

 

You are right on point here, thanks for sharing this great article.

 

Jody DeVere

Yes, Times the are a changin'...Happy Birthday Bob Dylan!

Right on Nancy and Keith.

RSS

Latest Activity

Walter McNulty posted a status
"We will be heading up North for 9 days making a long road trip. I hope to stop in and see some new clients."
19 hours ago
Dave Anderson's blog post was featured

How to Play a Poor Hand Well w/ Thomas Bryant

We can all get dealt a poor hand from time to time, but how you respond and choose to play it will…See More
yesterday
Walter McNulty posted a video

DigniFi

If you have a Automobile, RV or Motorcycle dealership you should have DigniFi. Call for more information.
yesterday
Dave Anderson posted a blog post

We're there!

Wherever you listen to podcasts, The Game Changer Life is there for you. Subscribe today and get…See More
yesterday
Bill Wittenmyer posted a video

Freebie Friday: Nurturing vs Closing

Bill Wittenmyer shares the difference between nurturing and closing in this episode of Freebie Friday.
yesterday
Cory Mosley posted videos
yesterday
Scot Eisenfelder posted a video

Why People Defect in Service

CEO & Executive Chairman Scot Eisenfelder explains why customers defect in service in this video blog.
yesterday
Jim Flint posted a blog post

Now Part of a Now Business

Jim Flint explains how Local Search Group got its start in terms of being the "Now" Part of the…See More
yesterday
Mike theCarGuy Correra posted a blog post

Why I work for DealerBuilt...

When I am asked why I work for DealerBuilt the first thing that usually comes to mind is the review…See More
Thursday
Michael Trasatti posted a video

Don't Let Customers Get Lost

DealerBuilt CEO Mike Trasatti explains why dealers need to ensure that customers aren't in the dark when things go wrong. DealerBuilt’s mission is to make a ...
Thursday
Stephen Coambes posted a blog post
Thursday
Damian Boudreaux posted a blog post

Carlos Huerta’s First Week

Welcome back to our new video series,…See More
Thursday
Sally Whitesell's blog post was featured
Wednesday
Cory Mosley posted a video

Jeff Clark of SOCIALDEALER

One of the first guys to raise his hand and support me back in 2005 when we started our 1-day workshop The Online Sales Success Workshop was Jeffery Clark, s...
Wednesday
Walter McNulty posted videos
Wednesday
Walter McNulty posted a status
"More work for Flawless Auto Mall"
Wednesday
Dave Anderson posted a blog post

How to Play a Poor Hand Well w/ Thomas Bryant

We can all get dealt a poor hand from time to time, but how you respond and choose to play it will…See More
Tuesday
Jim Flint posted a blog post
Tuesday
Terrel Watkins posted a blog post
Tuesday
Harris Scott posted a blog post
Tuesday

Get Newsletter

© 2019   Created by DealerELITE.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service