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Demonstration Part 2

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We have talked about how the demonstration drive is where mental ownership really takes hold. People only become fully and emotionally involved with the vehicle when they are experiencing it. A well led Presentation will link the buyers needs and lifestyle to the vehicle features but the "proof" really only comes after they have seen and felt how the vehicle meets those needs and desires.

The transition from Presentation to Demonstration is where many sales consultants fail to progress with their prospect. If you have a big drop in the percentage of people you lead  through the Presentation and the number who go on to the Demonstration drive, you have a big problem!

A customer can't make an informed buying decision without experiencing the vehicle on a demonstration drive. It is inconceivable to us why a sales consultant would stop leading after the Presentation and a customer would have to "ask" to drive the vehicle. Yet even with less traffic walking in our doors these days we still see many mystery shopper results where the customer had to ask if they could drive it!

What makes a good demo process? It starts back in the Presentation. Put your demo plate on the vehicle during your Presentation. Plan your walk-around so that you end up with the customer in the front passenger seat. Use an effective transition like: "Sue, may I show you what I believe is most impressive about this vehicle? (Most will say 'yes') That's the ride and handling. I'll drive first to show you a few things and get us safely away from the dealership. Then you can try it for yourself. Ok?"

We'll say here that accompanied demonstration drives must be non-negotiable. This crucial stage of the buying process where mental ownership either happens or doesn't is too important to just toss them the keys and say: "try it out - see you in a while". That's crazy! If we are not with them on the drive:

• We can't answer any concerns that come up.
• We can't help them with controls they don't understand.
• We can't make sure they experience how the vehicle meets their needs.
• They may select a route that doesn't show off the best attributes of the vehicle.
• We have no idea where our vehicle is and when it will be back.
• We will miss the fragile moment upon return where a smooth transition back into the dealership is needed.

We want to drive first because the controls may be unfamiliar to the customer and the lot is typically a congested place. When you drive first it is less stressful for the customer, you start away on your pre-planned route, you confirm that the vehicle is running correctly, and you can drive and demonstrate the features that are most meaningful to the client. Here is where you show them how the vehicle meets their Dominant Buying Motivation (DBM).

You must have a few pre-planned routes that will best showcase the typical sets of driving habits and client needs. It seems obvious but we regularly witness a customer who does mostly highway driving receive a demo drive that is just a quick "around the block" route!

Where do we trade places? Make sure it is a "happy spot" where you can safely get out and walk around the vehicle. Some scenic spot like a park is an excellent choice.  You can comment on the styling at that moment because it is easier to appreciate the looks of the vehicle when it is not surrounded by a bunch of other inventory.
Once the customer initially takes over driving we should limit our comments to answering their questions. Let them experience the vehicle without distraction on the way back to the dealership.

What is the relationship between price negotiations and demonstration? Look, everyone wishes that customers wouldn't be so fixated on price. The reality is that price will always be part of the buying decision. However, when the customer becomes emotionally involved with the vehicle and mental ownership builds, then price takes its rightful place as ONE of the considerations BUT not the ONLY consideration.

Increase your percentage of Demonstration drives and we guarantee you will increase your closing ratio. Do it for yourself or do it so the customer can make an informed buying decision. Just do it.

Next Month: How do I transition back into the dealership after the Demonstration drive? What is Building Added Value?

Automotivaters is highly recognized and one of the most respected automotive training and consulting companies in Canada. Since 1987, the company has acquired an international client base throughout Canada, the United States, the Philippines, Indonesia, French Polynesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and New Zealand.

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