Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
Back in the bad old days of car sales, if someone planned to buy a car, the first thing he or she’d do is… put off the process for three months to a year! Finally, when the old beater started costing far more to fix than the monthly payments on a new car, they’d pick up a copy of the Consumer Reports annual new car issue, grab the Autos section of the Sunday newspaper and start doing some homework.
Usually, they’d start with the model. “Hmmm, it needs to fit me, the wife and three kids, so it has to be a full-size sedan, SUV or mini-van.” With that in mind, they’d narrow your search down to about a ten makes. Then, of course, they’d procrastinate until old Betsy started acting up again. Finally, over the next five weekends, they (and the kids if you couldn’t find a babysitter) would traipse off to the various dealerships.
At each dealership they’d wait in line for an hour or two to finally meet a busy sales associate who would extoll the virtues of their vehicles, get then to take a test drive and then attempt to make the sale. Of course, the car shoppers would tell him or her that they weren’t ready to buy, needed to do their homework and would “be back.”
Eventually, they’d return to one or two dealers out of the ten they visited and spend another afternoon negotiating, selecting options and ultimately purchasing a new car.
Flash forward to today’s era of TV everywhere. This is an actual example of how every car salesperson in America can sell more cars, more easily and add at least eight leisurely weekend days to their lives:
Recently, Michael L. and his wife were planning to buy a new mommy mobile to be used primarily to transport their three boys back and forth to school, hockey practice, camp and friends’ houses. Michael had negotiated the lease for our offices and production studios here in Acton, Massachusetts, so he knew that we create test drive videos for a living. He and his wife initially had put ten vehicles on their hit list. Being professionals, they understood the need to do their homework but also realized that visiting ten dealerships with three boys would ruin many family weekends and take forever to accomplish.
So instead, Michael and his wife sat down one night, after the kids were asleep and watched ten virtual test drive videos. They noted the various key attributes shown in the videos such as fuel economy, interior features, safety and performance. Within an hour they had narrowed down their choices to just two vehicles. They also became well versed in each vehicle’s best features. The following Saturday, the grandparents watched the boys while they visited two dealerships. That afternoon they purchased a nice minivan that met their needs at a fair price.
This is just one example of how one family of five was able to add eight leisurely days to their lives. That’s forty person days! But, more than time-saving for the car buyers, virtual test drives saved tremendous amounts of time for the sales associates, eliminating hours spent with car shoppers who were not yet ready to buy and giving them time to either relax with the family or sell more cars.
Virtual test drives educate the buyer, help the buyer do the homework he or she needs to do, “Two hours of research in just two minutes” and reduce a purchase process that can go on for months to just days. Using today’s video technology saves time for everyone involved, freeing time up for leisure activities and for selling more cars to smart customers who have done their homework and are ready to buy.
Jim Barisano is the CEO of WheelsTV, a video technology company that creates interactive virtual test drives now in use by leading auto dealerships across America. He can be reached at jimbar@wheelsTV.net or by calling 978-264-4333... Or take a virtual test drive at wheelstvnetwork.com.