Who Chooses Your Family’s Peanut Butter?
Can’t quite get the hubby or your (male) significant-other-half to choose between JIF or Skippy Peanut Butter? That’s because even if we don’t know the exact national stats and metrics, we certainly know that in our own households, women hold the distinction of making or influencing the majority of household decisions. And not only do we decide, but we spend … A lot.
She’s Got the Power …
So here’s the scoop … While US consumers spend a total of $5.9 trillion (that’s ‘Trillion’ with a cap “T”) dollars every year, women control an estimated $4.3 (about 73%) of all purchase decisions, according to an article in Target Magazine, “The American Woman: Purchasing Powerhouse,” and it’s not because we’re shopping for clothes or buying Manolo Blahniks. It’s because even when we’re working outside the home, women tend to take on the roles of primary caregivers for our children, parents and even extended family. This is called the “multiplier effect,” and our power to influence comes from the fact that we shop for us and so many other people in our lives.
Get in the Driver’s Seat …
So with all of this power, why do women still turn purple, think shrinking violet, when it comes time to buy a car?
Forget the old stereotype of an excuse where a sleazy dude wearing a really bad plaid jacket (and worse toupee), chomps on a cigar as he puts his arm around unsuspecting female prey. Those days are over and scummy dirt-bag sales people aren’t really the problem. Let’s not kid ourselves, when it comes down to it, whether it’s at a dealership, on Craig’s List or through CarMax, all someone who is selling a car really wants is to sell the vehicle at the best price – and for a profit. It is a business, after all, and all parties involved should expect a pleasant business exchange that results in a reasonably fair transaction for all parties involved.
But women can be funny about things, and many of us feel that if we don’t know everything about a subject, we know very little … while guys can send the BS meter flying sky high on just about any topic. Specifically, when it comes to cars, it’s all about the perceptions – and misperceptions – that still prevent a lot of women from confidently coming face-to-face with buying a car, without having to bring “The Guy” into the picture. It starts with determining which car and features work for my lifestyle (What’s BLISS, anyway, and why do I need it?) and moves to the car-buying process and the overwhelming steps involved (Why does it take sooooo long? What insurance coverage will I need? How will I pay for the car? etc.) and even infiltrates the confidence we have in our own negotiation skills (Am I getting a “good” deal or is that dirt bag taking advantage of me?”). The fact that we end up dealing with all this meshuganah under pressure, when emotions are high, often makes us feel like we aren’t in the driver’s seat when it comes to buying our own car. And while guys don’t know or do this any better than us, we continue to think we can’t get over this hurdle.
Take Control of the Wheel … And how you Buy Your Next Car …
Understanding what you want in a car and how to get it is what it’s all about, and that’s why we’re inviting you to unwind with a glass of wine at our next Mustang Sally’s Now: Driving Women’s Leadership event, “If You Can Negotiate for a Car, You Can Negotiate for Anything,” on Wednesday, July 13th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. During this session we’ll talk with people in the know about finance, insurance, car sales and negotiation skills to set women up for success when it comes to driving the car buying process.
The car buying and service experiences have become a metaphor for empowerment and tackling challenges women don’t think they can overcome. Fueled by Maplecrest Ford Lincoln, the Mustang Sally’s Now program is a bi-monthly series of workshops, on-line resourves, discussions and clinics designed to empower generations of Northern NJ women to build confidence and connections.
Mustang Sally’s Now events take place at Maplecrest Ford Lincoln (2800 Springfield Avenue, Vauxhall, NJ) and include a light dinner from Bunny’s Sports Bar and Grill in South Orange, NJ. There is no charge to attend a workshop. Participants are invited to make a voluntary contribution to the United Way Northern New Jersey Women’s Leadership Council.
Contact Marissa DeFeo at email@example.com or 908-964-7700 (ext 5566) to register or for more information about this workshop and Mustang Sally’s Now: Driving Women’s Leadership.