In 2018, women will spend an estimated $445 billion on new cars at franchised car dealerships. An average-sized dealer sells 819 total new and used vehicles[1] annually to this market segment.

When buying a car, half of women buyers are going to one store. The other half however, report visiting 3.2 dealers[2] – which is almost twice the industry norm. When women are not treated the way they expect, they leave that dealership and do not return. That’s a lot of business walking out the door.

How well women are treated is the most influential factor they report when buying from a dealership. While price is important, the deciding factor of whether to close the deal is more greatly dependent on her interaction with the dealer sales adviser.

Top 6 Reasons Women Report Buying from Their Sales Adviser [3]

  1. Respectful
  2. Trustworthy
  3. Likable
  4. Knowledgeable
  5. Understanding
  6. Can communicate the value of the vehicle

Coach your front-line team to have their highest possible “Emotional Quotient” or EQ and help educate them to read your clients’ emotions. When hiring sales advisers, look for people who are trustworthy, respectful, good listeners and adept problem solvers. Those who easily adapt to new situations and can read non-verbal cues like body language and tone of voice are top candidates.

Where to Find EQ Candidates

Hire sales advisers that have natural high EQ. Look to the hospitality and telecom industries that have highly trained staff that are used to working demanding hours. In these industries there is also an even split between women and men.

6 Ideas to Optimize Engagement

  1. Again, respect and trust are the building blocks to every car sold to women. Begin with greeting her in a timely and friendly manner. Keep eye contact consistent and put away the smart phone.
  2. Invite women with children to use the supervised child play area. Also, get your guest started with a cold or warm beverage.
  3. Allow women to lead the conversation. It’s your job to ask questions. A high degree of shoppers are not settled on the car model prior to arriving at the showroom. Don’t be in a hurry to get her into the car to test drive.
  4. When asking about features she wants, use full sentences. Do not say ‘leather or cloth’, for example. Women do not want to be rushed and are interested in building a sense of a relationship.
  5. The 4-corner-around-the-block test drive doesn’t serve all customers. Let women make their own trail. Bring the car to her work place if she cannot make it in during your work hours. Surprise and delight them.
  6. Remember, you are selling futures. If a woman comes in and says, “just looking,” give her some room. Invite all your guests on a 3-minute tour of your dealership. Keep it to 3 minutes. The entire sales team should have the “why buy here” message down-pat and consistent.

The #1 requested service item from women is an overnight vehicle, so if you offer this concierge service, be sure to communicate it. Also, end the tour by giving your shoppers a FREE Car Wash Coupon, whether they buy that day or not. They will appreciate this and remember your store!


Anne Fleming is the President of, the leading review company amplifying women’s cutting-edge experiences at Certified Trusted Dealers. The company helps dealers by providing solutions that foster trust, engagement and sales. For more information visit or Twitter @Womendrivers


[1] 2017 NADA DATA Report and

[2] How Many Dealerships are Women Buyers Visiting

[3] Top 6 Reasons Women Buy from Sales Advisor – 2017 US Women’s Car Dealership Report