Tire dealers looking for that proverbial home run in tire and auto service sales have a fastball down the middle of the plate staring them in the face. All they need to do is take a committed swing at doing a better job—make that a great job—of catering to the legions of women customers who enter their stores every day looking for reliable and trustworthy tire and auto service work, not to mention advice. Failure to do so means potentially missing out on the purchasing power of this growing, powerful segment of the market. What women customers want is to feel comfortable, confident and listened to when getting their vehicles serviced and repaired. And it all starts with communication. Sounds simple, but after all, men and women have been trying to communicate effectively for eons, and judging by the frustration often experienced by both sides, it's not as easy as it seems. How important are women customers to a tire dealership? Consider these statistics shared by Jody DeVere, CEO of AskPatty-.com, a firm that offers training and certification on working with women customers. She presented the data during a seminar at the recent New England Tire & Service Association's annual convention: c In 30 percent of married couples' homes, the woman earns more than the man; c Women are starting new businesses at five times the rate of men; c Fifty-one percent of women over the age of 18 are single and don't have a man in their life influencing their purchasing decisions; c Women are earning high-level degrees at three times the rate of men; c Women represent the majority of online commerce; c Women today see themselves as “super empowered”; and c American women spend about $5 trillion annually. In connecting with this customer segment, Ms. DeVere said, tire dealers should understand that women process information and make purchasing decisions differently than men. Women are talkers, story tellers, while men are bullet pointers, she explained. Men want you to get to the point, while women want to first tell the history of their vehicle before stating the service needed. Women also operate by “word of mouth,” sharing their experiences with each other—and are loyal to those businesses where they spend money. At one time, tires and auto repair may have been a man's domain, but not anymore. Dealers who successfully learn to market to female customers will gain a leg up in the marketplace.
Women patrons essential to success
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