Women in auto sales | Smashing the testosterone barrier

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A smiling female auto salesperson.

Women in auto sales are a more common sight than ever. As Automotive News suggests, who better to serve those who make more auto purchase decisions? (Photo: ThinkStock)

A recent article in Automotive News reports that when it comes to auto dealers, women in auto sales may be just the recipe needed to increase the bottom line. The traditional preponderance of male salespeople in the auto sales industry created a “testosterone barrier” that may have been appropriate when purchasing decisions in American households were made mostly by the husband. However, today’s sales figures suggest an almost complete shift toward women making more household purchasing decisions. This holds true when it comes to auto buying, hence more auto dealers have welcomed women in auto sales in order to best serve today’s market.

Women in auto sales equal a friendlier sales environment

Automotive News uses the example of Cindy Monson of White Bear Lake, Minn., in its analysis of women in auto sales. Monson had a successful sales career in consumer electronics, but wanted a new challenge with the potential for greater reward. She pursued auto sales. Her husband Vince initially discouraged Cindy from the high-pressure, male-dominated world of cutthroat sales. However, the dealership eventually shifted to a no-haggle, one-price sales model. Cindy had been prepared to take on the competition before, even if the constant sales crush was less than desirable. But she found the new no-haggle environment to be appealing.

Low pressure – High on fun and repeat business

Cindy found that the world of back room pressure and bait-and-switch that previously characterized automotive sales as a whole has gradually faded away. “I pride myself on repeats,” she told Automotive News. And Monson has had 400 of them over her successful 12-year- career at Polar Honda Mazda in White Bear Lake. That is indicative of the new atmosphere in auto showrooms across America, although much change still needs to occur.

If it is true that women buy more than half of all new cars and that at least 80 percent of all automotive purchasing decisions are made by women, then auto dealers should take notice. Some dealerships, like Leona Kenney’s 2nd Chance Auto Sales in Ottawa, Ontario, have gone so far as to credit a “Women Certified” brand of auto sales, and it makes a great deal of sense. Consumers who hold the buying power should be well-served.

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On a dealership being “Women Certified”:



  1. franrose on

    Women are generally better listeners, and they use that listening skill very well to their advantage. Just ask any married men and they will tell you who runs the money in the house. Most men go to work to ensure the flow of money going into the household. However, it's usually the women who take care of that money coming in. They do all the saving, budgeting and planning. They will bargain to the bone to save money. More than ever before, woman have greater purchasing power and are becoming more and more involved in decision-making. So when dealers don't make the effort to listen to what women want and need, it can damage their revenue severely.

  2. suestuben on

    I’ve been to 4 dealerships in my quest for a new car, and have yet to see a woman on the floor. If I had, I would have sought her out to work with. I’ve decided to be more assertive and advise dealerships that I will only work with their female staff. I last bought a new car in 2001 and always found women on the salesfloor; what has happened since then?