Master the Five-Point Walk-Around
By Ted Ings, Executive Director
Both the sales floor and the service drive emphasize a walk-around process.
It takes the customer along for a journey that involves them with the vehicle. On the showroom floor, it’s to explain features and benefits. In the service drive, it’s to point out areas of concern and verify their car’s condition.
No matter what vehicle is involved – car, truck, SUV, minivan, bus, or even motorcycle – there are dozens of points that can be touched on during a walk-around. But there are only five points that matter.
Reduce the Walk-around to Five Points
A sales or service client will give their attention to a walk-around, but only for a short time. As the sales industry is swaying from sales-led to a customer-led process, keeping the customer’s attention is more dependent on their available time and less on the process itself. Respect the customer’s time by reducing the walkaround to five main points, whether it’s a new vehicle walkaround or a service drive walk-around.
The Five-Point Sales Walk-Around:
Create a process that is as impactful as possible, customized for the talent on the sales floor as well as the customer. There’s no must-have’s, and a high-level overview approach is probably best.
As an example, touch on the front end followed by the right side, rear end, left side, then driver’s seat. Keep each walk-around point to a minute or two so the customer’s attention isn’t lost. At each stop along the way, pick two or three items that are unique or set the vehicle apart from the competition.
The Five-Point Service Walk-Around:
Service should be more specific, though, because it focuses on vehicle care. Customize the walk-around based on common items such as underhood fluids, tires, lights, body condition, and wiper blades. The customer should always be invited to join the service advisor on the walk-around and get involved.
The service walk-around is a pain point where shortcuts are taken with astounding regularity. By shortening the walk-around to just five broad points, more service advisors are likely to perform a walk-around routinely.
Cutting corners is such a problem in the industry today that you might find service advisors trying to shorten the walk-around to four points, then three, then two, then do away with it altogether. But five points in a walk-around isn’t the end game – it’s the starting point. From there, expand it by a step every week or month as possible. A full, comprehensive walk-around that encompasses the vehicle writeup - from greeting and handshake to upsells - is what should result.