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Women: Stop Selling Sex & Sell Yourself!

A girl walks into a gas station (no, this isn’t the start of a bad joke).

Let me start again ---

I walk into a gas station wearing my dealership's polo on my way to work. Girl working behind the counter asks, “Where is your dealership?” so I tell her. She then asks the dreaded question - “Are you the receptionist?”

::: Sigh ::: “No, no - I’m not. I’m the Marketing Director.” (Former Sales Professional, Former Internet Director)

How often have you heard/been a participant in this conversation?  Why do people think the only thing us females can do at a car dealership is answer phones/pay bills? (No offense to Nancy Simmons, who ROCKS!) 

We can do (& do so much more).  We’re Sales Professionals, Desk Managers, General Managers, F & I Professionals, Technicians (yes, at my store, we have a female tech!), Dealer Principals and everything in between. 

Sure - females have a few :::ahem::: ways to win the male population over. But why? Why not wow people with your knowledge.  I remember when I was doing a walk-around on a Honda S2000 (puuurrrr) for a customer. He asked me all kinds of technical questions “What’s the compression ratio?” he asked - without skipping a beat, I answered “11.1:1” - he didn’t ask any more “Try-and-stump-the-female-Sales-Professional" questions after that. 

You don’t need to play the part of “Just another cute blonde, or brunette, or red-head” - show them that you have personality, show them you have knowledge. They know you have god-given assets - but they don’t know all you have to offer up in your brain. 

Learn your product, learn about people. Learn how to make people laugh. We’ve heard it time & time again - People Buy From People (Thanks, Grant Cardone!). 

We’ve all tried so hard to change people’s minds about our industry.   It’s an injustice to rely on anything but your brains and your personality.  

Make a Vine, snap an Instagram, throw something on YouTube, but show your personality, let how hard you’ve worked to know what you know & be who you are in this industry shine through.  Do that, and you won’t have any problem selling cars, or attracting customers for the right reasons. 

Views: 1031

Tags: car sales, sales process, women

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Comment by Cherie Price on July 22, 2013 at 11:13am

Very well written, Megan.  It's easy to see that you ROCK as a sales.........PRO!!!!!! 

Continued success to you and keep those articles flowing to ADM.

Comment by Holly Kramer on July 21, 2013 at 7:23pm

Megan, thank you for writing this article and reminding women how powerful they are.

Comment by Ashley Lopez on July 2, 2013 at 6:14pm

I couldn't agree more with you! Coming from a dealership in South Texas where women were in the back office and answering the phones to a top 15 Mazda dealer in Minneapolis---I was shocked and PROUD when I saw our New Car Sales Manager was a woman!  It gave me hope that the automotive business isn't just a man's world and women are just as good at it!  And I agree---we shouldn't be focused on how tight our dress is but on wooing our customers by our knowledge and personality. Great article!

Comment by Sair Buckle on June 28, 2013 at 6:56pm

Great article, unfortunately I still think there is way to go, well at least in Australia.
I hear at least twice a month the comments, "we are hiring another female? We'll be surrounded by them" or to a male colleague "you work up in that office, lucky thing, you're surrounded by females." You wouldn't hear those comments reversed because hiring males is nothing to comment on, it's the norm. 
I found even if I am or was the hardest working in a position, I had a ceiling and lack of training. I paid for myself to be further educated and even though I accomplished dealership launches, streamlined lead management and improved our CSI, I still never got the accolades or the investment my male colleagues received.

I find females do have to prove themselves, and show them we have knowledge, however why should we have to? Why are we presumed dumb until proven intelligent? How does that work for gender equality?

Comment by Trish Rowsell on June 28, 2013 at 4:03pm

I agree with the point of "show your personality", not everyone wants to be sold to in the same way. I know for a fact that I "shop" for a salesperson when making a big purchase  and car buyers are no different. If you are comfortable buying from them, you will come back. 

Comment by Cherie Price on June 28, 2013 at 10:02am

BUSTED!!!!!  You inserted the word SEX to attract readers!!  Why can't I sell both SEX and MYSELF?  Just kidding and being a smart aleck this morning.....don't take it personally.  Don't have time to read your article, but will pour myself a glass of whatever this evening and be back  :)  THANKS for the commentary......even though I haven't read it.........YET!!  It sounds interesting/informative.            Cher

Comment by JB Floyd on June 28, 2013 at 9:40am

Really great article, enjoyed your insight and guidance. I have worked for women and have had women work for me. I have had great experiences and some not so great, but no different than they men either. If we could all just look at ourselves and see the good and the bad, work on the bad and hone the good it would be a lot better world. Can't wait for your next post Megan Barto

Comment by William Phillips on June 28, 2013 at 9:35am

Interesting article in which the author cant help seductive directions to even write the article.  "puuurrr" ?????  Lest someone jump up in a fit of anger it was just an observation.  Well written and well said point.  Any talentless female can sell her goods to sell goods. Takes a pro with self esteem to not use it.  Women dont often choose this industry because the work is hard when you dont use the sex appeal approach. Knowing the product, knowing when there is a deal and knowing how to get there would be frustrating for someone who can only win one way. 

Comment by Lisa Bundy on June 28, 2013 at 9:24am

By the way, thanks Megan for reminding us of the strides we have made.

Comment by Lisa Bundy on June 28, 2013 at 9:23am

I am very proud to be a "car girl". The dealers that value women as employees are getting the business. The ones that don't "get it" will be the dinosaurs of the industry. But the industry needs to look at why women do not choose automotive as a career. When other industries are recruiting women, the auto industry just waits for the ones that are gutsy enough to walk past all the men to apply. Maybe they should read Riane Eisler's book, "The Power of Partnership". It's about how societies that value women flourished and those that did not, stayed in conflict.

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