Test Drive Route Maps

Ron Henson
Does anyone have defined "Test Drive Route Maps" that your staff are required to follow? Is it in place for employee safety, vehicle demonstration, or both?
Lauren Moses
We don't use maps, simply because we are a small town and the dealership sits right on the highway. With us being on the outskirts of town, we just direct customers to take the cars away from town so that they can get up to higher speeds and see how the cars drive. For the most part we just let them go so that it's not a high pressure time for the customers. It also gives them a chance to speak freely (if there is say a married couple) with each other without having a salesman to push them into something that they don't really like.
Evan Brown
Lauren, we make it mandatory for our sales team to go on demo's. And Ron we don't do specific road maps but we also live in a small town and right off a highway so usually we take a trip down the highway and back get the vehicle up to speed. I'm surprised your sales team doesn't go on test drives. It can be the best time to get to know your customer. They are out of the dealership, there guard is down. We suggest going and grabbing a coffee, make conversation less about the car and more about there interests and find some common ground. Sell them on you first.
Lauren Moses
I totally agree on Selling you first. But coming from the customers side, and I can say this with all truth since we have only ever purchased our vehicles from this dealership before I started working here, that it really gives you a chance to talk with whomever you need to, to make the decision if the car is a yes or a no. Too many times you see customers try to have a conversation by themselves and salesman push their way in and try to change the customers way of thinking. Yes, sometimes this is necessary, but it can also go very wrong. Maybe it's just me looking at it with a fresh pair of eyes since I have only been in the automotive industry since March, but I have surprised the boys around here by just giving customers space and helpful hints here and there and most end up purchasing. The ones that don't, either can't get financed, or wait and come back later.
Evan Brown
I get your thinking however, I sold cars before I took over the marketing at my store and I found letting them go away on there own is almost like a be back. It's like the customer is saying "oh yeah we love the car but we just need to go think and talk about it". Don't let that excitement die, keep their spirits high and the buying experience positive. You have to instil the value and relationship on them and remember were still selling, and the customer came to your store because they were already interested in buying the car. I may have more of an aggressive sales tactic but as cliché as it sounds... always be closing.
Ben Kuscsik
Whilst still in retail, we had not 1 but 2 RX8's wrecked at significant cost to the store. 1 accident was by an employee, and the other by a prospective buyer. As you can imagine, the potential buyer found an attorney, sued the store, and settled for a nice sized check as I remember. Posted test drive routes and the lack thereof was a significant reason for the settlement. Thereafter we had to incorporate our test drive route as part of the new hire orientation, and it had to be signed off on by all Sales staff.

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