Let Them Drive, Drive, Drive Let Them Drive

Shawn Clos
As I sit down and read and write these discussions here on drivingsales.com I tend to always reach back to the fundamentals of a solid foundation of selling and sales skills. Let’s face it dealers spend tens of thousands of dollars per year just to drive new traffic to the door. When the client shows up the sales consultant in most cases does the same as every other dealer never setting themselves or their dealership apart from the competition. As I travel all over the country I see a common flaw in most dealerships today, which is what I would like to cover now the DEMO Ride. If I had a dollar for every sales consultant that I have seen put people out in a vehicle and not ride along let’s just say I wouldn’t be writing this discussion I would be in the Bahamas with my wife soaking up the sun. Not riding along on the demo is without a doubt the most damaging part of the sales process. If you read my last discussion “Trade In, The Secret To The Sale” and you are following those guidelines I give you props!! If you have not read it I would suggest that you read it and make it a part of your process for it tends to help with this step of the process the demo ride. Getting into this process, if I am a sales consultant and I have reviewed the trade first and found out what they like and dislike. I can now grab the keys and start demoing. When I say demoing I don’t mean just drive around the block for 5 minutes and tell them to pull up where we park the sold vehicles. I want to deliver the vehicle first. That’s right deliver the vehicle first. Set the memory seats, set their favorite radio stations and make sure that they understand how to adjust the mirrors. Do the Delivery first before the demo ride. Now ask them where they would like to go. If they do not know where they would like to go just tell them that they are in control and you are just along for the ride. I would suggest the demo to be at least 10 minutes or more. Think about this…How many times have you gotten into a rental car and how long did it take you to feel comfortable while driving it? I bet it was over 10 minutes. Do you see where I am going with this? The sales consultant must ride all the time, they must ride along for more than 10 minutes. Also, they must deliver the vehicle before the demo ride to identify any possible aversion with the vehicle. As stated previously without a solid foundation in your sales process you are only hurting yourselves in the long run. Make sure that your staff is well trained and capable of setting themselves and your dealership apart from your competition. Leting the client Drive, Drive, Drive will help you tremendously.
Jeremy Alicandri
Sean, I agree that spending thousands on advertising without the processes to actually close the sale is a weakness. When my sales managers ask me to increase our advertising budget, I ask them for a current closing ratio to justify the cost of additional traffic.
Shawn Clos
Jeremy, Its insane to throw money into advertising with sales and management staff's that are not trained to handle the customers when they get there. The days of endless customers streaming into the doors are over for now. We must learn to take care of every customer everytime!! Thank you for the comment
Chris Costner
Great post Shawn definitely. I am not sure when and where the industry got off track from many of the basics that are vital to "the close." I flew into Detroit last week for the first time and it took me halfway to Auburn Hills for my nerves to calm in the rental. We are in a service industry and should consider it an honor to present our products to our current and future clients. Is there any other mindset we should have? Complacency, shortcuts and attempting to close don't mix ever. If we concentrate on how we can be of service, which includes an engaged presentation and demonstration drive, the sales will follow. Those who consider themselves "industry professionals" need to stop chasing the number and start servicing their current and future clients.
Jim Bell
Great post and I am with you 100% on this, with the exception of the dealers around me. There have been too many times where I saw another make parked right up next to our competitive model, and guess who won? You have no idea what that customer will do while they are gone in your vehicle. Chances are, they may drive by 1, 2, 3 or more dealers on their drive and something may just pull them in. When I was in sales, I loved helping those out that were in another dealers' car. I knew that they were buyers. Those salespeople that don't go with need to stop being lazy, or send a teammate with that customer in the event that they are busy. There are no excuses.
Shawn Clos
Chris, Thank you for your comments. Its amazing just how off track dealerships are and how much money they allow to walk out their doors each and everyday by the lack of building value!! The first lesson of selling is to learn how to SERVE. Thank you again Chris.

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