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As we get ready to embark on a new year, we will dedicate the last two issues of Women’s Wednesdays in 2015 to an ultra-sophisticated topic….the Brain. More specifically, the science of how it works, or Neuroscience. Why? Leveraging scientific knowledge about the brain creates a better sales process, drives more dollars to your dealership’s bottom line and creates happy women customers that remain loyal to your dealership. Toning down the Limbic System and firing up your Neocortex will help your sales team avoid “autopilot” and turn potential lost sales into successful deals and new clients.
Lots of times women come into the dealership and may say “just browsing”. But when a genuine buyer or potential successful sale falls through, that is met with real surprise to the staff. There may be questions like “What did we miss? What was going on with her?”
When an expected conversion doesn’t happen, it is human nature to blame or to shrug it off and say someone wasn’t a serious buyer. By employing new ideas, however, your sales team will avoid miscues – and missed sales. Let’s take a closer look.
The Brain’s Autopilot
Any activity that is repeated over and over can become routine. Our brains are built that way for efficiency. The brain’s Limbic System stores these memories and reactions so we can call on them again rather than “recreate the wheel.” This system can be handy when we are doing tasks that don’t require a lot of new thought, such as driving a car.
The Neocortex, on the other hand, is the best part of the brain to use during a car sale. The Neocortex is in charge of language, reason and analysis. This part of the brain needs to be active and supercharged during the sales process in order to take in all of the information necessary to understand interactions with your customers.
Here are some ideas for reducing the natural tendency to let your brain’s autopilot take control:
1. Assume your woman browser is a buyer until she buys a car. This may sound silly, but it is important not to dismiss anyone who is IN A DEALERSHIP looking at a car. On average, women visit two dealerships prior to buying a car. Dismissing any prospect may mean she buys at the “other” store. Stay engaged and find a way to interact with your women prospects.
2. Beware of blind spots. Gender is a powerful filter for the way people look at the world. Bridget Brennan, author of “Why She Buys” and CEO of Female Factor, thinks it is “more significant than age, income, ethnicity or geography” in the way we see the world. It pays to examine if your dealership and sales advisors have preconceived notions about women buyers. Brennan suggests studying women as you would a foreign market, because “cultural differences dictate language, behaviors and perceptions.”
Making assumptions can prevent accurate assessments of the potential success of a sale. Allowing emotions to cloud logic is easy to do – that Limbic System is always ready to turn on and take over! Work to remove any unconscious bias so that the sales engagement doesn’t follow the path of past unsuccessful encounters. Next week we will examine 4 new ways to Interrupt the Brains AutoPilot.