Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Test Drive Paradox

Does a test drive help, selling a car?

Let's take a look at what could be called the 'test drive paradox'!

Test drive paradox
  • E-factor :
    The longer the test drive, the higher the closing rate

    This is the Emotional factor. The longer you sit in the driver's seat, touch the car's interior, the more you're subconsciously convincing yourself that this car is yours. This is effect is called "taking mental ownership".

  • R-factor :
    The longer the test drive, the lower the closing rate
  • This is the Rational factor. The longer the test drive, the more chance you'll discover vehicle problems or things you don't like.

    Of course also the opposite is also possible: You discover more positive things and the closing rates increases. But because car buyers, on average, tend to be very critical and focussed on finding shortfalls, negativity wins on the long term.

In practice it's the initial state of a potential buyer that determines the change of the closing ratio during a test drive.

Let's distinguish two types of buyers:

  • Buyer type: Enthusiastic
    This type is superenthusiastic. He loves the car, no matter what. In fact he doesn't need a test drive at all.
    During a test ride he might become even more enthusiastic. The E-factor certainly applies here, but has done his work before the test drive. Only with extreme long test drives there's a risk (R-Factor) of lower closing rates concerning 'this' car..

  • Buyer type:Neutral
    For this buyer type a test drive makes sense. A well trained car seller or a free 24 hour test car could do miracles. In any case it's the art of right timing to end the test drive and close the deal.
    After this moment, closing rates dramatically go down.

Although perhaps tempting, don't apply 'car test driving' and closing rates on relationships or marriage. Don't take your partner for a test drive.

Just keep in mind that in every situation, something that is a mild distraction on a short test drive, it is likely to be infuriating on a long-distance trip.

No comments: