Published on August 21, 2014

ITEC Update: Want to wow women? Listen to them — AskPatty.com founder

Tire Business photo by Sig Mikolajczyk
Jody DeVere, founder of AskPatty.com Inc., told ITEC seminar attendees she simply "loves" her smartphone because she conducts so much business using it.

ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 21, 2014) — OK, so a woman walks up to a tire dealership or service shop counter….

No, it’s not the opening to a joke, though depending on how the counter personnel handle the potential customer could be the beginning of a sweet relationship — or a joke on the shop.

Women speak, on average, 20,000 words a day. Guys? Mmmm…how about 4,000?

“Women are very much story tellers,” according to Jody DeVere, founder of AskPatty.com Inc. in California.

“If your folks are working at the counter and a woman comes in, she needs to get her words out — don’t interrupt her,” she urged attendees during her seminar, “How to Wow Women and Increase Your Marketshare,” presented at the 2014 ITEC Tire Dealers/Auto Service show in Orlando.

Many women need to tell someone at the service counter about their past automotive experiences as well as any current vehicle problems, Ms. DeVere said. The quandary for some personnel is they want to get to the point without spending a lot of time listening.

“Men like to get information in bullet-point style — “get me the information now, quickly, and move on,” she added. “But women need to tell their story. Women want to be heard and acknowledged.”

To reach potential female customers, she said shops need to tailor their marketing approaches to women. If a dealership is running cable TV or radio commercials, Ms. DeVere advised: “Ask a woman other than your wife to look at it…to see how your message resonates with women,” noting that “commercials should run at times that are popular with women.”

While in smaller markets newspapers are still a good place to advertise, Ms. DeVere said tire and auto service shops in larger markets need to realize that “women are online — you have to be aware of your website’s SEO (search engine optimization). Women like to be connected and share their experiences.”

She cited Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and one of her favorite websites, Blogher, as popular places where women especially like to gather to share experiences and keep up on trends. Ms. DeVere admitted she’s “heavy into Facebook” and said it helps a business be a part of its extended family — which includes not only its employees but its customers.

She also told seminar attendees that, in case they hadn’t already noticed, “men are very transactional-oriented” — i.e., they like to get to the heart of the matter and take care of business without a lot of muss and fuss — while “women are very relationship-based. Our feelings are very important to us.”

Price is not the ultimate selling point for women either, Ms. Devere added, unless they’re restricted to a particular price or income bracket.

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To reach this reporter: smikolajczyk@crain.com; 330-865-6130.

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