Are you losing deals without enough women sales advisers?

Maybe it should come as no surprise.

Women shoppers – who represent nearly half of car buyers and influence most purchases – would rather deal with women sales people.

What does that mean for your dealership?


040219 IL Are you losing deals without enough women sales advisers


A lot, probably.

You may be losing business if your sales team is typical of the industry, with only about 8 percent of front-line positions held by women, according to

The conclusion was drawn from a national survey based on 3,013 car dealer reviews at the website.

“Almost universally, women rated their satisfaction scores higher when dealing with female sales advisers,” said the survey report. The analysis potentially has identified two major areas of improvement for dealerships in attracting and retaining women shoppers:

  1. Hire and place the right women candidates in an effort to diversify the staff.
  2. Train male employees in the behaviors and outcomes most desired by women shoppers.

“Ultimately, the results gathered by [the survey] illustrate the need for significant culture shifts to address consumer experience concerns that directly impact sales success.”

If perception, indeed, is the shopper’s version of reality, then the gender gap is significant.

“Women consultants were rated higher in each part of creating a successful relationship – trustworthiness, being respectful, likable and understanding,” according to the report. “Price is very important, but women rate that lower, because they believe they can buy the same car elsewhere for within a relatively narrow price margin.”

The ability of a sales adviser to listen and not apply sales pressure also are valued by women shoppers.

“If a woman feels the consultant isn’t listening, she will simply find someone who will,” said the report. And “an approach that is perceived as high-pressure will send most consumers off to another dealership before the deal is done. … A successful sales consultant with a high EQ [Emotional Quotient] understands their job is to assist and guide the shopper, not convince.”

And, yet, one of the simplest behaviors turns out to be one of the biggest problems, with more than four in 10 survey respondents expressing dissatisfaction with the way they were greeted in the first place.

“This is a clear indicator there is tremendous room for improvement and making a more personal connection with guests at the store level and online,” said the report.

It was the one area where women were “slightly more satisfied” with male sales advisers.

But that may be small consolation considering the stakes.

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