The Bad News About Customer Greetings at Dealerships

How do your consultants greet women customers when they come in the door? Does the content, context and tone of a greeting make a difference in the interaction? How about from your BDC with internet leads?

Dealerships spend so much time working toward showcasing a positive resumè of reviews – usually on several platforms. However, a new national report from shows that less than 6 in 10 women are satisfied with the initial greeting and do not have a favorable first contact at car dealerships. Said another way, over 40% of the 3,013 respondents question their dealership’s practices on engaging them when they first enter a store. The real-time impact of this is loss of brand credibility and concern on the part of the customer.

Create Trust

We know that women rank trust as the #1 reason why they buy from their consultant. The initial greeting can make or break this impression. Fears can come up or be validated when the initial greeting goes off-center or doesn’t meet her expectation. Frankly, it can send your guest to another dealership. Statistics show that 60% of women who leave without buying that day won’t return. Given that women are the decision-makers for themselves and their family, simple calculations equate to a greeting that doesn’t engage, but also doesn’t improve the bottom line.

As a solution-provider to help dealers build a culture of engagement, inclusiveness and a welcoming environment, we have created tips to improve the initial customer greeting and interaction. Today’s Women’s Wednesday focuses on the face-to-face interaction from the front-line consultants and our next Women’s Wednesday will provide tips for the BDC and Internet teams.

Face-to-face Greetings | 7 Tips to Make them Count

Women walking into a store have strong ideas about what they want. A savvy consultant understands that the goal is to answer her questions; questions which can only become obvious if asked. Below are 7 tips to enhance the initial face-to-face conversation:

1. No Assumptions. Okay, it is safe to assume a guest has interests related to cars, but beyond that, NO assumptions. After a polite greeting, engage in a non-assuming way. Clear any ideas from your mind about what type of car she wants, if the car is for herself, if she is buying alone or with a partner, etc. Those questions need be answered by her.

2. Don’t Hover. Initial interactions require finesse and the ability to read subtle cues from a customer. If she wants to engage and has questions, provide the time she needs. If she says she is “just looking,” respect her response, and invite her to look around. Be attentive at a distance and available to respond when she wants to engage with you.

3. Ask Questions. The old greeting, “How may I help you?” will typically result in a response of, “Just looking.” Use openings like, “What may I help you find today?” or “What are some of the features you are looking for in your next car?” which encourage more specific responses. Be aware of questions that stop conversation. If your guest is with another person or in a group, be sure to determine the involvement of each of them. Whatever you do, assume that your female customer is important to the deal – don’t dismiss her as irrelevant.

4. Answer Questions that are Asked. This may seem simple, but often consultants will answer the question they want a customer to ask. This creates a disjointed dialogue. Listen carefully and answer truthfully. If you don’t know the answer, find someone who does.

5. Be Truthful. Truthful responses were alluded to in the previous tip, but it bears repeating – women respond best when they trust their sales advisor. Telling the truth is the best way to foster trust, even if it isn’t the answer you want to give.

6. Let the Customer Lead. You might have a good sale in process, or have special financing, but don’t lead your prospect where she doesn’t want to go. Instead, follow her lead and ask questions to dive deeper into what she needs and is looking for.

7. Listen, Listen, Listen. Women know when someone isn’t listening, and they have several choices for buying a car if they feel unheard. Remember 2 out of 3 women who leave your dealership without buying will not return.

The above tips will help frontline folks engage at a more effective level with their female guests. Practice these greetings in role-playing situations so they become second nature. Next time: Tips on Greetings for Digital Communication.


Views: 18


You need to be a member of to add comments!


Latest Activity

Reynalda Lor posted a discussion

TriboTEX Oil Additive is right to increase engine life?

Greetings!I recently bought a few vehicles from the dealer-only car auction and flipping them to…See More
17 hours ago
Walter McNulty posted a status
"Wow what a week we did so well in Hickory they extended our contract for additional time. We still have Charlotte starting tomorrow."
22 hours ago
Sally Whitesell posted a blog post
Eric Damiani posted a blog post


Cargurus, I have notice that because Carvana will provide free delivery to many area, they now show…See More
Bill Wittenmyer posted a video

Freebie Friday: How Do You Stay Motivated?

Bill Wittenmyer shares tips on how dealership personnel can stay motivated in this edition of Freebie Friday.
Andy Church posted a video

Profit By Action Quick Tip: Importance of Up To Date Warranties & Recalls

Andy Church shares why keeping up with warranties and recalls can increase profitability in this Quick Tip.
Scot Eisenfelder posted a video

Razor & Razor Blade Models for Dealerships: Part 1

Affinitiv CEO & Executive Chairman Scot Eisenfelder shares why dealerships should pay attention to the razor and razor blade models for their stores.
Jim Flint posted a blog post
Yogesh Sashi posted blog posts
Asad Shoaib posted a blog post

The Importance of Vehicle Electrical System Repair

The severity of the issue with your vehicle electrical system is dependent on the root causes and…See More
Ryan Holman posted a blog post

Let’s Know The Benefit Of Window Tint Films For Cars

Global warming has become a matter of concern nowadays. It has been showing its impact on the…See More
Profile Icon via Twitter
RT @womendrivers: Wow! 76% of women nationally rated their dealership's website '3 out of 5' stars. How can your website be improved to rep…
TwitterFriday · Reply · Retweet
Walter McNulty posted a video


Big Event North Carolina
Walter McNulty posted a status
"Having a great event in North Carolina."
Veronica Dunford posted a blog post
Chris Miller posted a blog post
Erik S. Nachbahr posted a video

Is Your Computer Software Costing You Millions Due to Your Employees?

Erik Nachbahr explains why employees could be endangering dealerships through improper use of computer software.
Profile Icon via Twitter
TwitterThursday · Reply · Retweet
Dave Anderson's 2 blog posts were featured
Profile Icon via Twitter
Checking out "How Did We Do?" on @dealerELITE:
TwitterWednesday · Reply · Retweet

Get Newsletter

© 2019   Created by DealerELITE.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service