Buckle Up

When closing the deal on an auto sale, the test drive is a good sign. It means that your customer is interested – nearly hooked – on the make and model in front of them! Savor the moment, but not for long. There is still work to be done. The prospective customer has heard what you’ve had to say, and no doubt looked over some of the details on paper; now however, they want to experience some of the features of the vehicle you’ve been selling them on. Whether or not they have a list of questions for you, it’s extremely important for you to be prepared for what happens during the test drive. Use this time to listen to the needs and questions of your customer, without getting too over-zealous to close the deal. You as a salesperson have the great opportunity to really guide a customer through their inqueries and concerns, answering them with not your words, but the vehicle’s features.

Below you will find some helpful talking points to help you make the most out of this key time with your customer, listening much and letting the car do the talking.

Let Horsepower Speak for Itelf 

Once the car doors close and the engine starts, the vehicle has the floor. With every purr under the hood, acceleration under foot, and eye-catching glimpse of interior detail, you don’t have much to say that can speak louder than your product can. The best thing for you to do now is not talk, but observe. Be attentive to what the driver seems to be examining, and prepare to address the issues that may arise. While counter-intuitive, one of the most helpful talking points is not to say anything at all. You’re there to facilitate a discussion between the car and the customer.

Empathy is Everything

Beginning the test drive by giving the car and the customer control is influential, as it demonstrates to them that you don’t see them as a dollars-and-cents bottom line to be won over but a skin-and-bone person to assist. There’s no quicker way to win them over than to actually show them you care. Make your encounter personalized and memorable. Endeavor to learn something new about them, as there is a level of closeness that comes from sitting in the car together – it will build rapport and possibly lead to many future test drives with the same customer! As they begin to trust you, there is potential for the sale to become a reality.

Stay on Task

If a customer asks you about the stain resistance of the upholstered seats, it isn’t necessary to shift conversational gears into a sales pitch about a fabric cleaning kit that can be added on to the car package. Remember, this chance to build a real relationship with the customer can potentially lead to lasting business for you and your sales team. In instances like this, be knowledgeable about a particular feature and insert that aforementioned personal touch (Ex: If you talked about the customer’s kids or pets, make mention of that when you assure them of the upholstery’s resilience and quality). The more you stay on task in the midst of their questions, the more you keep the conversation car – and customer – centric.

The test drive is a unique time for you and your customer, but the loudest voice in the car should never be your own. Get to know them, their needs, and provide sufficient answers to their questions, and your drive will be a smooth one. It really is possible to sell your brand, dealership, and more cars while building your customer relationships simultaneously!