How Women Have an Edge in Car Sales

The auto industry is predominately male, yet when dealerships prioritize recruiting women, revenues rise and customers are happier.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up only around 21.4% of all employees in car dealerships. However, these figures do not correspond to other driving and shopping trends.


For instance, according to a Frost & Sullivan report, 51% of all licensed drivers in the United States are female. Even more astonishing? Women have an influence on 80% of car purchase decisions. According to Road & Travel Magazine, women are in charge of 95% of all auto purchases; therefore, this figure may perhaps be significantly higher.


According to a press statement from Frost & Sullivan regarding the company’s survey, “Women are practical, but they also tend to associate the purchase with aspirations of freedom and independence.”


Therefore, why aren’t more car dealerships making a more female-friendly experience if more women are driving than men, and if they also have a significant influence on purchasing decisions?


Do customers at car dealerships want women to sell cars?

When it comes to buying cars, women play a significant role in the decision-making process, but do consumers actually want to buy from them?


According to CNW Marketing Research,


39% of women prefer to deal with other women when shopping for cars.

10% of males prefer to make purchases from other men.

Among women, 13% prefer dealing with men.

11% of men desire interaction with women.

The remaining clients don’t care about the salesperson’s sexual orientation.

Women prefer to buy cars from other women because they trust them and because they speak the same language, according to a Wards Auto article. The article also recommends, along with other industry experts, that a dealership sales force should be about 30% women; there should also be women in the finance and insurance departments as well.


The benefits of women selling cars are shown by the success of their all-female dealership staff.

Due to its unusual, all-female staff, the Victoria Auto Smart car dealership in Victoria, Texas, has garnered media attention. Although the dealership had never intended to hire just women, they soon realized that the accident was actually working out rather well.


In an interview with the Victoria Advocate, sales manager Jessica Peinkofer noted, “People are always surprised when they see it’s all women here.” “We encounter that frequently.”


Because they can relate to female consumers and comprehend their demands, the dealership believes that they are well-liked. In order to determine what the consumer is actually searching for, they place a high value on relationship-building by asking about things like pets, children, and families. A Fiat 500 cannot accommodate both a Great Dane and a car seat. The women aren’t pushy and are aware that selecting a car can take some time.


Women selling cars result in higher profits overall.

The fact that 74% of women say they feel misunderstood by vehicle marketers and salesmen demonstrates how poorly auto dealerships communicate with women.


“The auto industry today is in trouble, and automakers are struggling so hard,” said Jody DeVere, president, and CEO of Ask Patty, a site staffed by women car experts who advise other women on car purchases and service. “Yet when it comes to marketing and selling, they merely pay lip service to women. When what they really need to do is alter the situation and create a setting where women do not compare getting their cars serviced or purchased with seeing the dentist.


The following realities cannot be avoided: The 20,000 car dealers in the United States who are members of the National Automobile Dealers Association are overwhelmingly male—about 95%. The customers, however, are not predominantly male.


When auto dealerships prioritize hiring women to sell cars, they may finally realize that the old “boys club” model is just that—old. The realization will come in the form of more happy customers who appreciate relationship-driven service and feel like their voices are being heard. And, in this social media age, when customers feel valued, they let everyone know, which means more profit for dealers and a better overall reputation in the community.


Breaking the Mold by Hiring More Women in Dealerships

It’s interesting to note that the problem of female underrepresentation in car sales is not because of a lack of interest from women. Women are not just interested in buying cars; they are interested in selling them too. According to Deloitte’s Women in the Automotive Industry report, 88% of women would be interested in a career in the auto industry if it were more inclusive.


The auto industry and dealerships, in particular, should focus on hiring more women, given the rising trend of women becoming primary consumers. Women have the potential to bring a refreshing change to the auto sales floor, transforming the current, more traditional ‘boys club’ model into a new, diverse, and progressive space.


Why is there a need for more women in car sales?

The industry requires women in sales roles because they bring a different approach to sales and have a greater understanding of the desires of female customers. Women are often more empathetic, intuitive, and less aggressive in their sales techniques, and these qualities can contribute to a more comfortable buying experience for many customers, particularly women, who often feel alienated by the current male-dominated sales environment.


Addressing women’s needs in car sales

When women are present in the dealership, they often create an environment that allows customers to feel less pressure and more at ease. They encourage buyers to take their time, understand their needs, and make the best decision for them without feeling rushed or pressured.


Women salespeople also have a better understanding of the features that appeal to women. From safety features to in-car technology, seating configuration to storage capacity, they have a unique understanding of these needs, leading to a better overall buying experience.


Creating a More Inclusive Dealership Environment

Building a more female-friendly environment is not just about hiring more women. It’s also about promoting inclusivity in terms of dealership design, marketing approach, and customer engagement.


Dealerships should be more focused on creating a relaxing, friendly, and non-intimidating environment. There should be a play area for children, a comfortable waiting area, and a more welcoming atmosphere overall.


Marketing strategies also need to be geared toward women. Instead of the usual adrenaline-fueled commercials, they should focus more on the practical aspects of car ownership. They should highlight safety, reliability, and fuel efficiency—aspects that are more important to women.


Lastly, the engagement approach should be altered to meet the preferences of women. Women prefer to deal with salespeople who take time to explain things to them, who are respectful and considerate, and who don’t undermine their knowledge or decision-making abilities.


Forging Ahead: Shifting Perception and Empowering Women

The auto industry has to recognize the crucial role of women, not only as consumers but as leaders in sales and service roles. It’s time to shift the perception and show that women can excel in these roles as much as their male counterparts, if not more.


It is essential for the auto industry to eliminate the gender stereotypes that have traditionally been attached to car sales. Selling cars is not only about mechanical knowledge or negotiation skills but also about communication, empathy, and understanding customer needs—all areas where women tend to excel.


Furthermore, women who work in dealerships can bring unique insights that can enhance the business model. They can help foster an environment that caters to all customers by pushing for more family-friendly policies and facilities, advocating for greater transparency in pricing and negotiations, and promoting a customer-centric sales approach.


The Importance of Mentorship and Training

One key strategy for attracting more women to car sales is to offer mentorship and training opportunities. Mentorship programs, for example, pair women with experienced professionals who can guide them, offer advice, and help them navigate the challenges of working in a male-dominated industry.


Similarly, training programs can equip women with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in auto sales. These programs should cover everything from the technical aspects of vehicles to sales techniques, negotiation tactics, and customer service skills.


Increasing visibility of successful women in car sales

One of the ways to encourage more women to consider a career in car sales is to increase the visibility of successful women in this field. Celebrating the success stories of women in the industry can inspire others to follow in their footsteps.


Companies should make a conscious effort to showcase successful women, not just in car sales but in leadership positions across the auto industry. Showcasing the stories of these successful women in car sales can serve as a beacon of possibility for aspiring female professionals in the industry.


Taking Proactive Measures

However, increasing the number of women in car sales is not just about hiring more women. It involves taking proactive measures to ensure that women are supported and given the opportunity to grow within the company.


This includes implementing policies that promote work-life balance, such as flexible working hours and maternity leave, offering competitive pay and benefits, and creating a positive and inclusive company culture that values diversity and treats all employees fairly.


Auto dealerships should also make an effort to combat sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. They should have strict policies in place and ensure that all employees are aware of these policies and the consequences of violating them.


Driving Forward

As the auto industry continues to evolve, it is crucial that it reflect the changing demographics of its customer base. The outdated “boys club” model is no longer sustainable in today’s market.


The industry must make a concerted effort to recruit, retain, and promote women in sales roles. The benefits are clear: increased profits, happier customers, and a more diverse, inclusive industry.


Ultimately, the auto industry’s future success depends on its ability to adapt and evolve. This means breaking down the barriers that prevent women from entering car sales and making the necessary changes to ensure that they not only succeed but excel in this industry. By doing so, the auto industry will not only survive but thrive in the years to come.

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