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When that new customer makes his first visit to a dealership, the “store tour” could be a great way for the sales team to highlight what is offered, as well as an unusual, but comfortable way, to “break the ice.” 

In his book “The Retail Doctor’s Guide to Growing Your Business,” author Bob Phibbs suggests the “store tour” can accomplish a great deal in just two minutes. “Think of it like Disneyland,” Phibbs writes. “Here’s Tomorrowland, here’s Fantasyland, and so on.” He doesn’t suggest it include a lot of details. You’re after only a quick general overview.

You might start with something like: “We’re delighted by your first visit – please allow me to give you our famous two-minute store tour.” You could begin with a couple of facts as you walk, like when your dealership started and who started it, etc.

According to Phibbs, your “store tour” must include the following information:

1. Start at the front of the store and describe a few areas in a general way. For example: “We’re in our boats showroom, which is one of the largest in this area. It features the two major brands we have sold for more than 10 years. Over there is our accessory department in which we stock more than 4,000 items. Down that corridor is our award-winning service department. In there we service more than 600 customer boats every year,” and so on.

2. Phibbs suggests you could consider following a timeline. What he means is describing when you added certain products due to demand. He recommends starting with the lower priced and ending with more expensive models.

3. Always keep any description brief – one or two sentences at the most, Phipps cautions. It’s logical to assume that if the customer wants to know more, he’ll likely ask at the end of the brief tour.

4. It’s very important to end the tour by asking the customer a question. Here’s a good one: “Did a couple of items catch your interest?”

5. Keep your word – limit the tour to the suggested two minutes. After all, that’s what you said at the outset.

The “store tour” doesn’t mean walking the customer to every department or area. Remember: it’s only two minutes. It does mean pointing out and/or describing various areas using a sentence or two with an impressive point. For example: “Located adjacent to our accessory area is our parts counter where we normally have more than 2,500 parts in stock so our customers don’t have to wait.”

Will it be hard to “script’ a two-minute tour of your dealership? Not likely. Try jotting down some major points you could use. What you’re going to see is that you must cut it down – two minutes is an easy, very short time.

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