Time to eliminate pink and blue from the sales patter?

  19 February 2018 - 7:23am |    Tristan Young

Many young people today say gender matters less. While they may not be buyers today, should this be something retailers take on board and incorporate into their sales strategies?

That could be somewhat difficult for retailers charged with selling the new DS 3 Black Lézard [pictured], which comes, on delivery, with a free ‘clutch’ handbag in the same reptile pattern as the roof.

But, away from this, sexism has never been so high profile in the business world and unsurprisingly, car retailers come in for their fair share of stick. For example, there was fury when a Mumsnetter was asked during a visit to a dealership: “When will your husband be coming in to look at the car?”

Not all women want small cars that lack power or a model ideally suited to transporting children. Equally, there are more than a few macho men who love their Minis. It is easy to make assumptions, but it could be also worth exploring how open-minded and non-judgemental sales teams are and if they have preconceptions, to explain why these should be parked at home.

It was interesting to read that an American car salesman called Ali Reda from Les Stanford Chevrolet Cadillac in Dearborn, Michigan, is poised to enter the Guinness Book of Records for selling most cars in the US in one year.

In 2017, he sold a record 1, 582 cars, beating a record from 1973 record held by a famed salesman called Joe Girard back in 1973, when he sold 1, 425 cars.

Ali must sell shedloads of cars to men and women, but he says the secrets to his success are acting as an ‘adviser’ rather than as a salesman, sorry, that should be salesperson. He adds he works in a small community, where everyone knows each other and so if you are doing a good job, word spreads and you’re trusted. He also goes to as many social and charity events as possible and believes “zero pressure” equals more sales. Finally, he sees customers as friends who have a problem – i.e. what car to buy – and it is his task to fix it.

This may sound ridiculously simple and even old fashioned, but it is clearly working – and such tactics also tick the gender-neutral box that seems to fit with the business requirements of tomorrow.

 

Rachel Gordon

Editor

Auto Retail Agenda

imageTags: sales, sexism

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