Are You Taking Automotive Sales Training? "Virtual Test Drives While You Wait" Are Almost Here
April 3, 2018
Sitting in a car and testing it out is one of the more fun parts of the buying experience. Sitting or walking around the dealership is not, even when the magazines on hand aren’t outdated and there are good refreshments to be had.
A few companies are looking to change that. Harnessing the power of high-quality video and virtual reality, they hope to transform the auto sales waiting experience into something that is fun, informative, and a nice asset to the sales team.
Want to learn more? Here’s a quick look at the concept of “virtual test drives while you wait.”
How These Virtual Test Drives Will Work at First
The idea behind these virtual test drives is generally to make it easy for drivers to get an idea of a car’s features from the comfort of the lobby. To convey the experience, a team would first put together a 360-degree video experience taking place within a car. This would allow the customer to get some experience of being in the vehicle, able to look around at the console, seats, and of course the road ahead at their leisure.
Obvious limitations exist to this type of concept, such as the inability of this type of experience to convey tactile experiences relating to the feel and performance of a car. Instead, this type of virtual test drive could show off advanced safety features like automatic braking or parking assistance. The content of this test drive could prove a good conversation-starter for your sales team, and be a good way to get customers excited about features they didn’t even know they wanted.
More Complex Experiences Could Soon Arrive to Dealerships, Too
As VR gains greater adoption in the auto sales space, more complex experiences could come. Special replica vehicles outfitted with rumble motors and controls connected to the VR experience could be used to make a real virtual driving experience. This wouldn’t quite be the same thing as a real test drive, but it would get pretty close.
The primary obstacle to delivering this type of virtual experience, of course, will be cost. To do a proper interactive simulation would require different simulations for different vehicles—sitting in a simulator for a smart car shouldn’t feel the same as sitting in one for an SUV—and each rig will cost several thousand dollars to buy and operate over the course of a year. While it’s possible you might see this kind of product at some point after automotive sales training, it may not be for a few years yet.
Pros in Automotive Sales Careers Will Know These Won’t Replace Real Test Drives
When thinking about virtual test drives for customers waiting to be seen by a sales representative, it’s important to remember that they are not meant to be a replacement for a real driving test. Even the best simulators aren’t going to capture the feel of driving a real car on the roads, and what could be more important than that for a customer trying to decide if a car is right for them?
Instead, professionals in automotive sales careers might suggest these kinds of experiences as a way to show off advanced safety features early in the process, or maybe try to tempt buyers to consider a higher-end model with a virtual ride. Always, though, the goal of sales professionals should be to get customers to take a real spin in a car, where features can be pointed out in real time for the customer to see and feel for themselves.
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