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Jody DeVere

Jody DeVere

Author's details

Name: Jody DeVere
Date registered: March 5, 2014


Jody DeVere is an internationally recognized speaker, trainer, often quoted industry pundit and spokesperson for the automotive industry on the women's market. She has been featured by the New York Times, NPR, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fox Business, Forbes Women, Oprah Magazine and Parenting Magazine to name a few. As CEO of, she provides automotive education to women consumers and an interactive online Certified Female Friendly® certification training program for automotive retailers on how to attract, sell, retain and market to women. Jody DeVere is a champion for women in the automotive industry, and her company, Inc. serves as the first point of contact for many women who are seeking the very best experience to buy a car and service by visiting Certified Female Friendly® automotive retail locations across the United States and Canada.

Latest posts

  1. Now it is a must. How Can We Do A Better Job Retaining Women In Sales? — April 19, 2016
  2. Socially Conscious Brands Win with Women — November 10, 2015
  3. Three Quick Tips for Marketing to Women — September 8, 2015
  4. Surprising Facts About Selling Luxury Vehicles to Women — August 4, 2015
  5. 5 Tips On Communicating More Effectively With Women — May 19, 2015

Most commented posts

  1. Three Quick Tips for Marketing to Women — 2 comments
  2. 5 Tips On Communicating More Effectively With Women — 1 comment
  3. Surprising Facts About Selling Luxury Vehicles to Women — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Jody DeVere

Now it is a must. How Can We Do A Better Job Retaining Women In Sales?

woman in front of cars

Dealerships currently report that women represent just 25% of face-to-face positions. But that small number is powerful: Within four months of reaching that percentage, dealerships typically experience as much as 35% gain in overall vehicle sales, new and used, and a substantially increased used car turnover. 

Less numbers driven, but just as importantly, those dealerships also see an increase in desirable employee statements regarding company loyalty and goals toward longevity. How did they do it? Simple. They brought women into their sales, service, and management positions AND found ways of retaining them.

It’s simple: Attracting women yields high results

Considering that 85% of all automotive purchases are either directly made by women buyers or directly influenced by them, if we are not responding to this statistic, then our dealerships are missing the boat. Totally.

ROI is a key driver in how we consider the physical programs and offerings we put forth to the consumer in our efforts to entice them to visit our facilities. We do recognize that internet information access has affected profit margins, margins that were inflated by consumer ignorance as to how much flexibility in costs existed. 

The fact is that we just cannot make the margins we used to, and have to find ways of addressing our concerns as survival efforts. Playing the numbers game of total sales for a month will eventually be passed with the money lost in potential profits. The bottom line is that we must place our investment monies into areas of concentration that will bring us returns that will not only keep us in business but by their very nature helps us grow in our financial viability, viability that is attractive to women that may be considering this industry as a workplace.

Roadblocks to attracting women 

Here are some reasons why we are not attracting women at this point:

  1. Traditional resistance. Many organizations still are thematically male-dominant and have programs in place that do not have interest to the new women-driven market. “What was good for my dad is good enough for me” is the motto above the entrance of many empty and abandoned dealerships.
  2. Reluctance to trying new programs. Management and owners may not have the desire or courage to try new programs. Or they may be lazy.
  3. Equitable pay and work programs. Considerations for family needs and even part or adjusted time participations. Traditional long hour work periods do not work.
  4. Knowledge and expertise.  Existing dealership management may simply not have either or both of these to design and implement marketing to attract and hire women, or initialize training and financial or equitable incentive programs to make this happen.
  5. Necessary minimal monetary investments. Many management personnel simply may not want to make these investments.
  6. Difficult economy conditions.”  Many organizations lean on this often-perceived statement as an excuse. This is not an excuse.
  7. Negative reputation. Previous poor treatment and lack of respect. The dealerships experience has left a bad taste in many women’s mouths. Women are still greeted on the sales lot with detestable statements such as, “Is your husband with you today?”  With such disrespect, it’s not surprising that women don’t consider dealership work as a viable option.
  8. Failure to address the needs of the women Millennials. Times are different. Women in this largest group of consumers want to be in organizations that “feel good” to their basic drives, other than just to climb through positions or achieve high income solely. They want to have better communication with their administrators and are most often prefer working “with” them, as opposed to “for” them.

So, how do we fix this, and not only bring talented women into our organizations but keep them there as well?

With sales consultant turnover figures ranging from 72% to 80%, the highest turnover rate  is women at a shocking 90%. Turnover among Millennials is presently at 54%. It is obvious we are doing a lot of things wrong.

Here are some realistic solutions to retain women

  1. Get off our butts and try new methods. Explore new technology. Employ marketing specialists comfortable with womens’ needs. Eliminate procedures that we have utilized just because we have always done so.
  2. Re-examine possible positions that can effectively interest and challenge women.  Conduct non-traditional interviews that ask what these interests might be.
  3. Re-evaluate compensation incentives and adjust them.  Consider not just the primary needs of full and part-time women, but their family and personal needs as well.
  4. Take a new look at our models. We must address the elimination of restrictive traditional procedures we may have in place.
  5. Encourage our educational systems to step up to the plate, and support local and regional programs.  We need realistic training at design, management, service, finance, and especially sales: This must happen at ALL levels of the industry.

Today’s women are time-constrained, pragmatic, comfort-conscious, and heavy into efficient and consistent communication with their employers. They are extremely effective at communicating within their own social groups and pay little attention to advertising. They are direct with their customers, and women are especially effective at establishing a meaningful rapport that translates into return business transactions built upon trust.

If we wish to survive, let alone prosper, we cannot wait any longer. Let’s do everything we can to attract these valuable women employees, and provide them with the incentives to keep them with us.

The time is now, not tomorrow.


Statistics in this article derived from the 2015 NADA Dealership Workforce Study.

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Jody DeVere

Socially Conscious Brands Win with Women

Optimistic Female In Car

Auto dealers continue to increase their level of giving to charitable causes, according to a recent survey data from the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and Ally Financial.

More than 70 percent of new-car dealers surveyed in September 2014 said they increased their charitable giving in 2014, up from 65 percent last year. About 43 percent of dealers said they expect to increase their contributions again in 2015.

The bulk of this giving is staying in dealer’s local communities, as nearly 90 percent of dealers said their contributions go to supporting community service and local organizations. More than 65 percent of dealers surveyed said they organize staff volunteerism opportunities in their community.

Women consumers view their role in creating social and environmental change as extending well beyond the cash register. Companies can serve as a catalyst for sparking donations, volunteerism and advocacy by giving consumers a spectrum of ways to get involved.

Partnering with women consumers in this way can serve as both a reputation and bottom-line builder.

Cause Marketing Wins with Moms:

    95% find cause marketing acceptable.

    92% want to buy a product supporting a cause.

    93% are likely to switch brands.

    61% of purchased more cause-related products in the past year.

Source: Cone Cause Evolution Study, 2010

According to a study by Research International Ltd., 86% of consumers are more likely to buy a product associated with a cause or issue. About two thirds of Americans have a greater degree of trust in companies aligned with social issues. 64% of consumers feel companies should make cause-related marketing a part of their standard business practices.

Women are more likely than men to believe that supporting causes creates a sense of purpose and meaning in one’s life, makes them feel good about themselves and enhances the feeling of belonging to a community. Men and women are generally in agreement when it comes to which particular causes they choose to support.  For both, feeding the hungry and supporting our troops are among those that rank the highest, and as expected, gender-related health issues like breast cancer and prostate cancer are significantly more likely to be supported by women and men, respectively. 

Women Are Strongest Believers in the Power of Supporting Causes

8 in 10 American women believe that supporting causes creates a sense of purpose and meaning in life; and feel everyone can make a difference through their support.

Women Support Companies that Support Causes

Cause marketers often target the female demographic with campaigns, and with good reason

survey results confirm that American women are significantly more likely than men to show their support of a cause by purchasing products or services from companies who support the cause.

*Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact

Communication findings are part of the larger Dynamics of Cause Engagement study.

Millennials: A Critical Cause Demographic

Millennials, more than Non-Millennials, prefer active engagement in cause campaigns, such as volunteering their time (31% versus 26%), cause-support purchasing (37% versus 30%), encouraging others to support a cause (30% versus 22%), and participating in fund-raising events (27% versus 16%). Thirty-seven percent of Millennials report being drawn to products co-branding with cause campaigns where their purchase is a form of support. 

American Millennials: Deciphering the Enigma Generation.

Top areas women support most as volunteers and with charitable donations:

1. Health care charities related to women, children or family support.

2. Local youth & family services

3. Education

4. Preserving the environment

5. Arts, culture, or ethnic awareness

6. Help people in need of food, shelter, or other basic necessities

7. Improving neighborhoods and communities

Who you partner with as a charity makes a difference with women on her purchase decisions,  your reputation, positive word of mouth and your local market reach.

Tip: Visit Charity Navigator to review charities before you partner with them to determine the charity reputation and how funds are being utilized.

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Jody DeVere

Three Quick Tips for Marketing to Women

In automobile center

One of the basics of marketing to women is that marketing (in the traditional sense), is just one step. You can create a fantastic advertisement or marketing promotion, even incorporate compelling features based on feedback and input from women, but if the experience at the dealership is uncomfortable or stressful, you won’t get the sale.

In their book, Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?, co-authors Brian & Jeffrey Eisenberg help marketers understand how to deal with the reality that the customer is in control. They suggest becoming your own customer and going through your own dealership buy process. Pretend that you’re a prospect just at the beginning of a purchase, searching for information. What search terms would you use? What stores would you visit? What questions would you ask the salesperson? Then, how does your business line up to this?

Dealerships that want to succeed must take every interaction into account and understand that for today’s consumers, it’s action not words that motivate. (Especially when it comes to women, who make 80% of the purchasing decisions.)

“The experience becomes the brand,” say the authors, “…it’s about experience… theirs”, and I couldn’t agree more.

According to the authors, like cats, today’s consumers are independent, unpredictable and finicky but many marketers are still approaching them as if, like Pavlov’s dog, all they have to do is create a compelling message. However delivering an outstanding experience for women is the best marketing of all.

Three Quick Tips:

1. Be Patient:

Women consider how a vehicle is going to fit into their long-term lifestyle before making a purchase. They’re a lot more cautious and careful than men are and usually take longer to make their decision. They’re going to buy a car they’re happy with for years. Refrain from high pressure closing tactics, be patient and don’t rush her process.

2. Listen:

Women buyers like to tell “their whole story” to sales people. Having outstanding listening skills help build a relationship, understand her lifestyle car buying needs and create a friendly, enjoyable experience.

3. Trust:

Women have become nearly every family’s chief purchasing officer. She looks for a salesperson who wants to be a part of her buying process, who shares her values regarding honesty, respect and trust.

According to a study called “Elevated Expectations: The New Female Value Equation,” 97 percent of women expect good customer service everywhere they shop. Eighty-three percent buy more when in a store with good customer service. The study also found that 89 percent of women choose one store over another, with similar merchandise and prices, if it offers better customer service.

When women have bad customer service experiences, 80 percent say they will not go back to that store, even if it was just one bad encounter. And 94 percent say they will tell other people about the bad experience. Women expect “Nordstrom-quality” service everywhere they shop, but they rarely find it.

There is great opportunity for dealerships to raise the bar by focusing on how to improve the experience of women customers and increase their dealership’s positive “brand image,” grow market-share and increase positive word-of-mouth, both on and offline.

Jody DeVere is the CEO of and a new guest contributor to the Up To Speed blog.  Through, Jody provides automotive education to women consumers and certification and training for automotive retailers on how to attract, sell, retain and market to women. She is also a featured subject matter expert on NCM OnDemand, NCM Associates’ new virtual training and communications platform.

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Jody DeVere

Surprising Facts About Selling Luxury Vehicles to Women

Young Woman on Phone

Luxury car dealers, do you know your audience? If you’re like most that I’ve spoken to, you may be selling cars with the wool over your eyes, assuming that the affluent male is your crème de la crème, and some wealthy widows, female executives, and women entrepreneurs rounds out your market. But a recent study seems to show that just isn’t the case, and as the CEO of, a website dedicated to providing automotive resources to women and helping auto dealers like yourself attract and retain more women customers, it surprised me, too!

The Shullman Luxury, Affluence and Wealth Pulse, Autumn 2014, has revealed some very intriguing findings on who is actually buying in the luxury market. First of all, it’s not all affluent people. In fact, 61% of buyers with a household income of $250,000 or more don’t own a luxury car! Interestingly, it seems that the Millennial generation of women are driving more luxury vehicles than one might assume. While most of us are targeting the older crowd, it seems that millennials are more interested in a luxury lifestyle than boomers or generation X members!

According to the study:

“The $75,000-249,999 affluent segment is the primary buyer of all the luxuries consumer spending , including luxury vehicles. The second-largest buying segment for all luxuries was mass-market America (those with less than $75,000 in household income). The very high-income buyers (those with $250,000+ incomes), although fewer in number, typically spend the most on average for each luxury bought and tend to buy more luxuries per adult than the other two income segment. … The number one luxury buying generation today, according to this survey, is the Millennial generation (18-34 years of age in 2014) who constitute 45% of luxury buyers.”

So, let’s take a moment to consider our target – the new target: the millennial woman!

Facts About the 18-34 Segment of Women Today

So, if we’re going to be selling to millennial women, we need to understand how they operate. They’re not baby boomers, and they’re not Generation X, so those approaches are going to ring false with this group. It’s also worth noting that in my experience at least, these are women who are actively working in advertising much of the time, so the trite marketing methods are going to fall flat. They know all those tricks!

Today’s millennial women are a technologically connected, diverse, and educated. They prefer the speed and convenience of smart phones and email to telephone conversations or walk-in business. In terms of work, they tend to have more job market equality than previous generations, and are earning four year degrees at a higher rate than male counterparts. This higher income translates to higher overall household income for their families, and it also means a new kind of family – one where the mother is the sole breadwinner.

Millennial women share some things in common with boomers and Gen-X-ers. They are also brand influencers who quick to share their opinions with friends, family and their online communities. A majority of social media outlets are predominantly female users, and they use them to speak their minds! Millennial women want to be included in the conversation, rather than being told what to do or what to purchase. They value inspirational messages, important causes, and most of all, they support brands who support them.

Marketing to the Meme Generation

When it comes to advertising to millennials, remember that this is the generation of the “meme.” That means that iconic, engaging visual marketing plays an important role in what resonates with them. Don’t shy away from humor, and focus on making your messaging instantly accessible and simple. Ever looked at Pinterest? It’s just a wall of photos, but to the millennial women, it’s a wall of ideas, conversations, and opportunities to do something amazing. Consider this: 58% look to Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration for everything from meals to makeup to home décor. Most of all, these women are “social shoppers,” social media users who value the opinions of their social media peers more than anonymous reviews or snappy slogans.

Cause-related marketing also works with millennial women, as long as you take care to ensure that your cause means something. They’re quick to spot practices like “pink-washing” (that is, coloring a product pink for breast cancer awareness month but not actually providing any meaningful support for the cause), so choose your charities wisely and remember that transparency is key! When you commit to a cause, it should embrace your entire company. For example, consider TOMS Shoes. Their message is clear, simple, cause-driven, and instantly accessible: for every pair of TOMS Shoes you buy, they will donate a pair to a child in need. This clear, concise message, coupled with transparency and accountability, has made the company absolutely huge with millennial women. To date, they have provided shoes to over 10 million children.

So let me ask you again, luxury car dealers: do you know your audience? Are you shifting your practices away from the older executives and widows to encompass the generation of Pinterest projects and Tumblr blogs? If you’re not approaching your marketing plans with the goal of making instant accessibility the core of your brand, then you could be missing out on the number one buying segment of luxury vehicles today.

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Jody DeVere

5 Tips On Communicating More Effectively With Women

In automobile center

It’s just a fact of life in the automotive world: listening is essential! One of the key things we stress when training our Certified Female Friendly clients is developing great communication skills. Too often, when a woman visits a car dealer, tire dealer, service center or other automotive retail location, she is interrupted, talked over, or simply not being heard. Well, I’m here to tell everyone in the auto world the same thing I tell every one of our Certified Female Friendly locations: women speak, learn to listen!

1. Verbal Skills

When it comes to speaking to your women customers, the three C’s are clear, concise, and correct. Don’t try to wow her with jargon, and don’t deny her an explanation because you don’t think she’ll understand. Women really appreciate it when you take the time to explain the whole process. Make sure your answers are correct, of course (we don’t want to be giving inaccurate explanations after all), and you want to explain yourself as clearly as possible while still remaining concise. If you can master the art of the three C’s, you’re well on your way to winning with women already.

2. Non-Verbal skills improve Body Language

When talking to women customers, what you don’t say can be just as important as what you say. Women are storytellers. If you’re helping a woman customer, listen to her as she tells you what she needs. She’ll likely tell you about her entire car history, family, her kids, how many trips to school and tae-kwon-do and soccer practice she makes every week, how many snacks have spilled, and how many hours she spends in her car. These are important clues for you! This is a customer who cares about safety, reliability, and easy cleaning. While listening, signify your interest by nodding, smiling, and expressing (without speaking) that you’re following along. Repeat back the key points to her before you offer the solution she needs. This signals that you heard every word, and that goes a long way with women!

3. Marketing and Advertising that resonates with her

Just painting something pink doesn’t make it female friendly. Similarly, covering your marketing and advertising with flowers and hearts isn’t going to go very far either. Women don’t care about the colors you use in your advertising, they care about honesty and reliability. Use the same 3 C’s in your advertising that you use when speaking, and you’ll earn the trust of women – and men, too.

4. Look and feel of your store

When a woman customer arrives, curb appeal is important. Your location should look clean and professional from the outside, or she’ll be nervous about coming in. Similarly, make sure the inside is comfortable and clean, from the waiting areas to the restrooms. Giving her a nice place with a pleasant smell and casual atmosphere to sit and wait, with extras like complimentary coffee, wifi internet, and perhaps a safe play area for the kids will speak volumes about your commitment to women.

5. Dress for success with women…what you wear reflects who you are.

Finally, as long as you’re dressing your shop or dealership up, dress up your staff as well! You don’t have to wear uniforms (but if you do, that’s fine), but make sure all staff are well groomed and dressed well. All of these key points will paint a picture for your women customers that you’re a business who takes everyone seriously – and as long as you follow through and provide great work on top of all these excellent tips, you will earn her trust very quickly!

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Jody DeVere

Is Buying a Car a Battle of the Sexes?

business team

Is Buying a Car a Battle of the Sexes?

Shopping for a new car is still a hassle for many women. Women purchase more than 50% of all new cars or influence the purchasing of about 85% of all new cars sold in the US and 48% in Canada. Many women don’t even look to a man for opinions on what to purchase because they are single or run the house.

Topping the list of gripes: Time. 21% say buying a car is not quick and effortless.

Of the women surveyed, 15% said they didn’t like or trust their salesperson.

When women decide to go out to a local car dealership to buy a car, they are most often ignored as if invisible. If they do bring a man (just to get noticed!) but try to dominate the sale (because it’s their car, after all), they are treated like a mouthy kid, or worse yet, expected to allow the man to do all the talking.

In today’s competitive auto industry, I can’t understand how salespeople can discriminate based on gender. If anything, they should cater to women or risk missing a sale and the opportunity to recruit a loyal customer. With so much information available to women to conduct research before they buy a new car, women are becoming much more car savvy and they deserve the respect of car dealerships.

Here are some facts about women car buyers:

  • Women spend approximately 17 weeks on the new car buying process (3 weeks longer than men.)
  • Women are more inclined to purchase cars that they consider fun to drive and that are well made. In contrast, men prefer vehicles that are a good value for the money, are comfortable, have nice exterior styling, good fuel economy, and display a certain image.
  • Women, more than men, place a high value on a vehicle’s reliability, durability, passenger seating capacity, safety features, and availability of four-wheel drive.
    Women rate safety as the most important aspect when shopping for new vehicles.
  • Female buyers seek advice from automotive authorities (57%) before buying a new car.
  • Female auto buyers will shop an average of 3 dealerships for best price and best treatment.
  • 1/3 of female buyers read an average of 4 automotive magazines for 12 months before purchase.
  • Females place the most importance on dependability, functionality, and economic factors when buying.

With these facts in mind, what is your dealership doing to attract, sell, retain and, create loyalty with women car buyers?

Being properly armed with the right tools and training your dealership can increase its share of the largest and fastest growing demographic of new vehicle buyers in the US – Women Consumers. The Ask Patty Certified Dealer program was designed specifically for car dealerships to attract, sell, retain and, keep loyal women consumers.

What Is An Ask Patty Certified Female Friendly Dealer?

An Ask Patty certified dealer is a dealer that creates a safe and comfortable environment where women feel welcome, while making the experience of purchasing and maintaining her vehicle a pleasant one. Ask Patty trained and certified dealers are held to a high level of customer satisfaction for women consumers. To find out how to become an Ask, Inc. certified dealer, email us or contact us at: or phone 888-745-1928.

Jody DeVere – CEO
Ask, Inc.

Data Sources:, Road and Travel Magazine, Detroit News, CARMAX Survey 2013, LipSticking – Marketing to Women Online



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Jody DeVere

Marketing to Women in the Dealer World: She Loves Her Mobile Device


Diamonds may have been a girl’s best friend, but today’s women prefer ringtones to rings.

In a recent study, Time, Inc. and Nuance Digital Marketing discovered that women are increasingly attached to their mobile devices. In fact, the study called “Women + Mobile: The Unbreakable Bond,” found that 60% of women say their smartphone is the most important device they own, and 88% of women say their phones give them something to do during their “empty” time every day. What does that mean for you and your dealership? Well, if you’re not fully engaging the mobile space in your marketing to women efforts, you’re missing out.

Text Reminders and Alerts

If you’re not taking steps to go paperless at your dealership, you’re in danger of being left behind by dealers who are. Not only is paper becoming increasingly cost-prohibitive (if you don’t believe us, just take a look at how much you spend each year on printing alone), but women are very responsive to auto dealers who have green practices – and going paperless is a major step in that direction.

Using paperless agreements, email, web, and mobile advertising, online appointment scheduling and finance qualification, and even utilizing text messaging to keep in touch with your customers after the sale are great ways to make sure your dealership remains front-of-mind for your women customers.  Service reminders, 30k, 60k, and 90k maintenance notices, recall information and more can all be transmitted wirelessly straight to the conduit via which she gets all her other important updates: her mobile phone.

The Mobile Web

Of course, you also want to use the mobile space to reach women who aren’t already your customers, and the mobile web is where you do that.  Smartphone and tablet users are threatening to overtake the population of desktop PC users on the web, so if your dealership is still using a website designed for desktop viewing, it’s time to give that site a face-lift and retrofit to fit inside the mobile space. It’ll make your site cleaner, simpler, and easier to navigate from a smaller screen, with some added benefits on the back-end as well: mobile SEO.

Giving your website a mobile makeover is a great time to revisit your SEO practices, ensure your entire website is “crawlable,” that you’re still targeting the right keywords, and most importantly, that you’re capitalizing on SEO geared at the mobile user. Mobile searchers are on the go, which means she’s actively looking for a business like yours if they’re searching for a car dealer on her phone – so if you’re not taking steps to make sure she finds you first, you’re going to miss out on important sales opportunities.

The Pitfalls

When it comes to advertising on the web, mobile or otherwise, most women don’t mind ads as long as they can control the experience. Location-based offers are very effective right now, as 41% of women saying they prefer ads that are relevant to where they’re searching from. While 52% say they prefer ads that are relevant to what they’re currently doing on the web. And the number one negative? Intrusive ads – 91% of women say they hate ads that pop up, take over, or otherwise distract from her browsing experience, so stay away from that! Simply make yourself visible, mobile friendly, and allow your business to become part of her mobile web space, and when she finds herself ready to shop for a new car, she’ll find you!

Jody Devere is the CEO of and a new guest contributor to the Up To Speed blog.  Through, Jody provides automotive education to women consumers and certification and training for automotive retailers on how to attract, sell, retain and market to women. She is also a featured subject matter expert on NCM OnDemand, NCM Associates’ new virtual training and communications platform.


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