As a buyer's consultant, I talk with salespeople everyday and I can tell you there is a difference between dealing with a male or female, not better or worse...just different. So I can understand why car-buyers might be more comfortable with women when haggling for a deal. Victory Auto Smart in Victoria Texas, is seeing the benefits of an all-female staff.
Jessica Peinkofer, the 23-year-old sales manager from Port Lavaca assembled an all female team and does her best to make sure her staff does not fit the "used-car dealer" stereotype.
"We chit-chat, we laugh, and we giggle," she said. "We always try to make sure they're having a good time while they're here."
Building a relationship is just as important as making a sale, Peinkofer said. There's a lot of talk about dogs, babies and families, she said, which is what helps their customers relax and also helps the team find out what the customer is looking for. It's a long process to buy a car and can take more than one visit to the dealership, she said.
"We don't want to be pushy"
According to a 2012 study, women make 80% of the car-buying decisions, and too often women car-buyers feel that they are seen as "easy targets" rather than valued customers. In my experience, not only to female salespeople tend to listen better to customers, but they also tend to minimize the "adversarial relationship" often associated with buyers and sales staff. While Pienkofer's operation is a small one, it is nice to see it bringing some balance to such a testosterone dominated industry.
Have you ever purchased a car from a female salesperson? Was it the same or different than buying from a male?
(image credit Victoria Advocate)