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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: 1446

Tags: car sales, sales process, women


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Comment by Ketty Colom on June 28, 2013 at 6:50am

Stereotypes are hard to defeat sometimes, but you can start by educating people of the facts and by standing up for yourself. 

Nonetheless, Megan, I'm sure you initiated some sort of change in that cashier's mind. 

Comment by David Sharp on June 28, 2013 at 6:34am

Megan, this is a great article and you have made so many great points. 

Ironically, as I was reading this, one of our superstar ladies at our dealership came in and gave me some paperwork.  I told her about your post and told her how much I appreciated everything that she does.  You know, it doesn't matter what our role in the dealership is, we should strive to be the very best that there is at it.  Ashley, the aforementioned superstar, does exactly that everyday.

Thanks for your post and your insight.

Comment by Tom Gorham on June 28, 2013 at 5:54am

Down to earth common sense.  Thank you Megan!

Comment by Aj Maida on June 28, 2013 at 5:49am

Beauty is just that, beauty but sexy comes from brains...that's why there are so many sexy ladies here on ADM....great post Megan (it makes you very sexy by the way!).

Comment by Angela Stewart on June 28, 2013 at 5:39am

That is so true. I started out as the Customer Service Manager but had a A-type personality that loves a challenge. So now I handle all the techy stuff at the dealership from fixing computers to handling our internet presence, managing leads and data and understanding the digital world so I know when someone is trying to sell us something we already have or find redundancy and remove it to save money. To know what is worth trying and negotiate a contract.  I am always underestimated and have to prove myself, but I'm used to it. 

Comment by Steve Richards on June 28, 2013 at 1:17am

Great stuff and so true. Good on you!

Comment by Ralph Paglia on June 28, 2013 at 12:31am

I laughed when Megan showed this to me on Facebook... Only because it starts with the old stereotype and finishes with strong guidance for everyone in the business, man or woman. The car business has come a long way over the past 30 years I have been in it, but there is one thing that has remained constant... When a dynamic, intelligent and confident woman goes to work in the auto industry, she has far more potential for financial and career success than in many other verticals. I have seen more dealerships than most people realize are out there, with predominantly female run and staffed sales departments.  From Seaside Buick of the 1980's to the Rick Case Organization today (ask who the real boss is and you often get "Rita Case") and my own experience (along with Danny Alkassmi) of managing 100% female staffed showroom sales teams for over two years, there are many examples where women have definitely taken the initiative in the auto industry. 

Is there room for improvement... Most certainly! But in a competitive environment, never discount the competition because it happens to have two X sets of chromosomes! 

Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on June 27, 2013 at 11:39pm

My experience is 50/50 with this, and I have worked in highline stores with a higher percentage of females than most stores. I have utmost respect for professionals of ANY gender. About half the women are overachieving professionals, and the other half  rely on the good looks and - ummm - wiggle that has gotten them favors and exceptional treatment throughout their lives. For ME, there is nothing more irritating than someone who relies on 'learned helplessness' to do their job ("I can't figure out how to program the Bluetooth - can you help me [eyes batting]"). Well put

Comment by Julie Seitz on June 27, 2013 at 8:28pm

Beautiful!  Strong, smart, funny, insightful, personable women in this industry are everywhere...Thank you!

Comment by Jim Radogna on June 27, 2013 at 6:53pm

Great post Megan!

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