• Dec 14th 2006 at 12:33PM
  • 8

It's not a new topic in the automotive industry -- women influence and even directly account for around 80 percent of automotive buying decisions, yet dealers still reportedly look over the woman's shoulders for a husband or father. Despite the industry's best efforts to recruit women salespeople to increase the odds of good communication, almost half of the auto dealerships in the country have no women on staff, and women only make up 8 percent of the sales force, according to the NADA. Dealers have also tried to make showrooms more female-friendly, including installing play areas for kids with toys and children's videos, yet complaints persist -- truth or mere stereotype, so what's a car salesman to do?

Enter AskPatty.com, a female-staffed online publication that seeks to educate women on vehicle buying and car ownership, while identifying female-friendly dealerships after showroom staff complete a training course on how to communicate with women. The training, conducted by Maddox Smye, includes an instructional course, a reading of How to Get Rich Selling Cars and Trucks to Women, and an hour-long test. About 225 dealerships have signed up.

AskPatty isn't all about bridging the gap between Mars and Venus, though -- it's a business as well. Training is $225 per person for 12 months, and dealers shell out $795 a month for certification. If it encourages one salesperson to alter his style, however, it might just be worth it in our book.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      "...women influence and even directly account for around 80 percent of automotive buying decisions..."

      Where do they get this figure? I probably run in the wrong circles, but it seems to me that it's about 80 percent men making the car-buying decisions, as well as instigating the idea in the first place. The guys I know want (and buy) more cars, more often. The women I know want a dependable, nice-looking car for transportation, and they would prefer not to buy a car more than once every five or ten years (although I know my wife would prefer a Porsche over her Jeep wagon, and many others would prefer something cute, over the minivan or SUV they're driving).
      • 8 Years Ago
      Some facts for all:

      The following statistics courtesy of 2005 Wow! Quick Facts:

      Women are responsible for 83% of all consumer purchases.

      Women directly purchase or influence the purchase of 91% of all new homes.

      They directly purchase or influence more than 55% of home fix-up.

      And account for 88% of retail customers in the U.S.

      They make more than 50% of all auto purchases and influence 85%. The figure can be upwards to 60% and 90% respectively, depending on the auto company and the source.

      Home furnishings 94%


      Consumer electronics purchases 51%

      Women are involved in 89% of all consumer electronics purchase decisions.

      84% of women believe that new technologies can help improve their lives.

      Women account for 66% of all home-computer purchases.

      Healthcare decisions 80%

      Healthcare spending over 67%

      Beauty and hygiene—more than 90%

      Women plan the meetings and comprise the majority of certified meeting planners.

      Office supplies $44.5 billion

      Women purchase ~81% of riding lawn mowers

      Women carry 76 million credit cards; 8 million more than men (Source: Fast Company 2004)

      Women have become the majority of consumer travel and today ~50% of business travel (Source: Re-Imagine, 2003).

      The prototypical online homebuyer is a 26-35 year-old woman with an annual income between $50-100K looking for a single family home priced between $100-250K in the southern U.S., likely to purchase in three months.
      (Source: American Home Guide)

      92% of women have sole or joint responsibility for long-term care insurance
      (Prudential Financial, 2004)

      91 % of women have sole or joint responsibility for annuities (Source: Prudential Financial, 2004)

      The following statistics courtesy MSmoney.com, 2004

      62% of women vs. 32% men manage the family checking account

      58% women vs. 35% men actually pay the bills

      53% of women vs. 35% men decide where the family banks

      46% of women vs. 42% men head up savings and investment accounts for their family

      53% of women vs. 30% men create the family budget


      Jody DeVere
      AskPatty.com, Inc.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's a great scam if they can pull it off. It just goes to show you anybody with a computer and a couple dollars can set up a website and a blog.

      Best of luck to Patty. How often does someone actually pull off a scam against auto dealerships? As much as they have taken me for over the years, I hope they pull it off. Only form of life lower than a car salesman is someone who can pull off a scam on a car salesman.

      Just what the world needs.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sounds like the only person that's gonna make bank is Patty. I call BS.

      Yes, women 'influence' 80% of the car buying decision, but that statistic is as useless as...

      husbands have 95% influence over the choice of gifts chosen by the wife and given to others.
      • 8 Years Ago
      A friend asked me to go car hunting with her after she felt she was ignored or patronized by the all male sales staff at 3 different dealerships.

      I agreed and the next week we went to a dealership which employs a rarity, a female salesperson. During a brief moment when the salesperson was out of earshot my friend whispered that she wished we could talk to one of the sales guys "who knew what they were talking about".

      My eyes rolled so hard I may never recover.
      • 8 Years Ago
      if you wanted to figure it out I'm sure men influence 80% of buying decisions too or more. Just the fact that you're a couple influences what kind of car you by, therefore the woman in some way is an influence even if she doesn't give a crap what you buy. It's a silly number and I think its used too often and shouldn't matter. A good car is a good car.
      My wife loves the BMW 3 Series. So do I. If we bought one did she influence the decision? Would I have bought it if she kind of liked it? Hated it?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Of course women influence a lot of purchasing. Men just sit back and let them buy what they want or else they know they will never hear the friggin' end of it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Dear Patty.....

      I am a Female of 25 with large jugs, can you help me choose a car that will accommodate my boyfriend, whom I love, but who sometimes I just hate, I mean yeah he is great, but sometimes he can be such a jerk, and now I am on this emotional roller coaster, do I love him, do I not. And then there's Mike, he is this cute guy I met, he is so sensitive, but that slut Mary is all over him. I like him but I already have a guy, GOD he is a jerk, but he is my jerk, I don't know what to do. This Mike guy is so cute and so totally hot, I once heard him say that he wants to get the new Mustang Wagon, so I’m like waiting for this car. But if I’ll get that car it will be like cheating on my boyfriend, and again i'm on that emotional roller coaster...........................................................