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Car Advice from a Peddler
Shana Haines, Ralph Schomp Automotive

Hello, and welcome to what I will refer to as "Car Advice from a Peddler". Yes, I am a car salesperson. But unlike many, I realize that most women would rather have their teeth pulled (the front ones) without any pain medication than deal with a car salesman.

What most people don’t realize is that it doesn’t need to be this way. In this and future articles, I will help you in many areas of dealing with cars, including buying, lease versus finance, trading in your current car, what type of car is best for you, choosing a dealership or a broker, servicing, careers in the automotive field, and anything else you or I can think of. Now, you might ask what makes me an expert in the automotive world. I was asking myself this when I was approached about writing this article. So I sat down and gave it some thought. After a somewhat brief career in the bookkeeping world, I knew that a desk job just wasn’t for me. I loved dealing with people and had worked retail in the past. I decided to try my hand at sales. I was working for a consumer electronics store, making a decent living, but wanting more. It was my father who actually suggested that I try selling cars. Since then, I have spent 8 years working in the male-dominated automotive world. I have survived many management changes, seen some crazy trends come and go, and worked my way up to management from the bottom of the chain of command. I currently manage the largest BMW dealership in the Rocky Mountain Region. I am on top of the car salesperson’s world, but it wasn’t always this way. I have personally bought (and sold) many vehicles from dealerships, and I remember how rough these experiences were. Even with my professional experience, I was usually not treated as a serious, knowledgeable, or capable buyer. Many salespeople don’t realize that over 80% of all car purchase decisions are made by, guess who? A Woman! So why is it that most women report the same rotten treatment by car salespeople? Don’t they know that we are interested in more than how many bags of groceries the trunk will hold? Don’t they understand that many of today’s female buyers are educated, professional busy people who do have a mind and opinion of their own? Would you agree that it is only fair to say; Some car salespeople do, and Most Don’t! By writing these articles, I hope to help make the women of today more car savvy. Please keep in mind that my background is in the sales side of the industry, so asking me to diagnose that funny noise you hear when the car goes 56 MPH, in the rain, on Tuesdays only, may not be my cup of tea. However, I can help you feel comfortable that you are receiving a fair and honest assessment of the problem from your repair shop. I will address different areas of the car purchasing experience. I will also address things that I see in everyday life that make women more susceptible to "getting taken," not only in the purchase of a car, but in the industry. Maybe you would be interested in hearing about a day in the life of a female repair technician. Love cars and looking for a new career? An interview with other women in the business might help you decide. I encourage you to give me feedback on things you like or dislike or topics you’d like to hear more about. You can look for these articles here on the www.WomenOf.com web site in the near future. Shana Haines can be reached by e-mail at shanahaines@schomp.com.