February 13, 2012
Education is Key to Getting Female Consumers into Leases and Wear & Tear Products
New vehicle leasing now accounts for 20 percent of U.S. retail sales, according to Manheim and Automotive News. Jody DeVere, CEO of AskPatty.com, says the gap between men and women in car buying and leasing has narrowed as more information and online tools have become available during the research period for a new vehicle. It is crucial to understand the female consumer's needs in a potential leasing situation.
"From an economic point of view, leasing appeals to those who have good credit scores yet lack the large down-payment to make the monthly payments affordable, prefer to drive a newer car every three or four years, or own a business and are going to use it for business as a write off," DeVere said. "Understanding a customer's lifestyle and use for the vehicle is crucial, both for male and female consumers."
It is important to ask customers what they like about leasing or why they are leasing in the interview. This can help you better understand their lifestyles and help set them up with the most appropriate leasing program and protection products.
DeVere stressed that the leasing contract needs to be explained in detail so that there are no surprises at the end of the lease, especially in regards to up-front costs, monthly costs, maintenance and repair costs, penalties and end-of-lease costs. It is important to remember that female customers are much more detail oriented. Two areas where a Finance Manager can be a valuable partner are in thoroughly reviewing the contract and offering products that can cover end-of-lease wear and tear costs.
The easiest way to do this is to be familiar with where the wear and tear definitions are located on your lease contracts. The list usually includes categories of wear and tear items, such as exterior dents and dings, windshield chips, and interior stains or damage. Point out to customers that this signed legal contract is proof of their responsibility to pay the wear and tear charges.
In addition, education on Lease Wear & Tear Protection products is crucial. Many customers may not know that the small dents and dings that happen in parking lots, chipped paint or even worn tires, are their responsibility at the end of the lease. Lease Wear & Tear Protection eliminates the worry of this additional expense.
A great way to present the many wear and tear items a customer may not have thought of as her or his responsibility is to use a diagram instead of a list. Placemats are a great way to offer a visual of all of the areas of a vehicle that can be hit with excess wear and tear charges. While the list in a brochure can help paint the picture, an actual illustration really drives it home.
Combination Products (Tire & Wheel, PDR, Windshield, Key and Roadside) are also appealing for lease consumers. Customers want to keep their vehicles nice throughout entire lease term, and Lease Wear & Tear only takes care of blemishes, chips, etc. at turn-in time. With Combination Products, your customers know that today's most common road hazards will be taken care of throughout the terms of their leases.
Featuring Jody DeVere, CEO of AskPatty.com
Jody DeVere is the CEO and President of AskPatty.com, Inc. AskPatty.com helps automotive retailers attract, sell, retain and increase loyalty with women customers. Certified dealers are held to a high level of customer satisfaction. Visit www.askpatty.com/getcertified to learn more about how to become an AskPatty.com Certified Female Friendly Dealer. Contact Jody via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.