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September 07, 2009

On Buying A Car--Because Every Few Years I Must GO THERE

Kaira_Rouda By Kaira Rouda
Author of "Real You Incorporated: Eight Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs"

When Jody DeVere asked me to write a blog about my car-buying experiences over the years, I chuckled. Is there any woman out there who hasn't had a bad car-buying experience? Unfortunately, I don't know any women who smile when they think about walking into the men's locker room of a dealership. Not one of my friends relishes her trip to the service department. Nobody I know has loved their dealer--unless she's married to one.

My car-buying experiences have been a calculated process of minimizing in-dealer experience and, if I had to GO THERE, making sure I brought a man with me. At varying times in my life, said men have included my dad, my brother, my boyfriend, and my husband. A woman who works for me right now is in the process of looking for her first car. She's online, emailing dealerships. Whenever she asks for a price, they won't provide it. The emails invariably tell her she needs to GO THERE to get the details. Why?
Woman_buying_car Women are busy, but we buy a majority of all consumer products and services, including cars. This antiquated GO THERE and the whole haggling/secret pricing stuff that goes on is a complete and total turnoff. Not to mention the macho decor, the lack of female sales associates, and so on. Don't make me GO THERE anymore. I don't need to until it's transaction time, and I'd rather not even go then. All of the manufacturers have great "build your dream car" tools. And then, when I do build it, I want to just order it. If I have questions, I want to email and discuss. This process of forcing me to a dealer whose rotation it is in your ad co-op, versus a dealer somewhere in the country who actually has the car I've built in stock, is crazy.

Woman-with-keysPlease, car industry. Let us help you, us consumers. We are telling you EXACTLY what we want when we build a car online. When we come in for a test drive, don't hassle us. Don't automatically look at the man I've brought as my buffer as if he is the decision maker. He's not. He's just my buffer. I make the decisions here, even when I must GO THERE, to your domain. Even if he's not just a buffer, if he's my partner in the purchase, I've still done most of the research to get us to this point, and I will make the final decision. That's how it works when couples buy together.

I love the notion that Volvo offers a customer service department that comes to you. This is great, because we don't want to GO THERE either, even Volvo.

I love that Jody trains dealerships and retail locations to be certified by to be female friendly, and I'd actually GO THERE, I think. Lately, my car dealership has been really good about bringing things to me. I like them because they do that, and I don't have to, you guessed it, GO THERE.

E-mail_Signature3 Kaira Rouda is the bestselling author of Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs, a guide to help women discover and love their personal brand and bring it to market as their unique competitive advantage. An award-winning entrepreneur, marketer, consultant and speaker of 20+ years, Kaira is passionate about entrepreneurism, marketing and the power of women in the workforce. Get her weekly dose of inspiration at Follow her on Twitter: @kairarouda. Friend her on Facebook and connect with her on LinkedIn.

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