Tips for Using Live Video Walkarounds to Sell Cars

Apr 17, 2020
The Autotrader Team

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

In a time when car buyers are less likely to visit multiple lots and more likely to get the sales process started virtually,* are you using one-on-one video vehicle walkarounds to jumpstart your sales process?

First, why offer live video walkarounds to your car shoppers?

After you’ve gotten the conversation started via phone, email or chat/text, a first-hand video tour can help build a more personal connection between the salesperson, the customer and the vehicle.

According to the latest edition of Cox Automotive’s Car Buyer Journey Study, car buyers are visiting few dealerships than they have in the past,* so a live video walkaround could be the extra personalized step that wins you the lot visit or the remote sale.

This live show-and-tell and question-and-answer session offers a lot of value to both you and your potential buyer, at little to no cost. It will help reveal what the customer’s looking for, show off their vehicle of interest and build trust.

Also, if your dealership offers test drives at home, a video walkaround is a great tool for vetting customers before that more costly step in the sales process. (Looking for more tips for effective test drives from home?) If you don’t offer at-home test drives, the walkaround is an opportunity to convince the consumer that this is a vehicle worth leaving the house for!*

Now, let’s dive into some tips for an effective virtual vehicle walkaround.

Tip #1: Set it up! Be sure to establish a specific date, time and most importantly, a video chat app that works for the shopper. There are many chat apps out there, but some the most popular are FaceTime, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp Messenger, Google Duo, Google Hangouts and Marco Polo.

PRO TIP:  If you’re not very familiar with the shopper’s chat app of choice, download it and do a test run with a colleague. That way, you’ll ensure a smooth virtual walkaround.

Tip #2: Next, do your homework. Before the call, review notes from the shopper’s lead record and your past conversations to ensure that you’re prepared to thoroughly address his or her interests and concerns.

Tip #3: This one’s easy. Be sure to hold the phone in a vertical position during the walkthrough. Most chat platforms are vertical friendly and more often than not, your shopper is already holding the phone that way.

Tip #4: Keep it concise, if possible. Aim for 3-4 minutes and be sure to leave a few minutes for questions afterwards.

Tip #5: Start the vehicle to allow the shopper to listen to the engine, see that the lights and blinkers all work, wipers are functioning, and any other feature is operative. Conversely, if any issues need to be addressed, ensure you’re transparent with the shopper – remember, they’re sitting at home!

Tip #6: As you’re wrapping up, make sure you have a reason to follow up. You can offer a test drive from home or share other options for the next step in the sales process.

Show off your video walkarounds and other virtual-buying services to connect with car shoppers.

You can use video walkaround by itself to strengthen your virtual sales strategy, or you can combine it with our other virtual buying services to provide a robust experience for your shoppers.

A dealership salesperson doing a video chat while he is in the back of a car

To help you get the word out about how your dealership helps shoppers find the perfect vehicle virtually, we’ve rolled out brand-new Dealer Home Services tools for advertising virtual-buying services – all at no cost to Autotrader dealers. If you offer virtual walkarounds, at-home test drives and/or local vehicle home delivery, be sure to activate Dealer Home Services for your listings. And don’t forget to let shoppers know about your virtual buying capabilities.

We’re here for you.

Providing the tools, products and support to maximize your sales is always Autotrader’s #1 priority.

Your local Autotrader Dealer Success Consultant is ready to help strategize and execute plans to drive business for your store. If you’re not sure how to get in touch, give us a call at 877-627-9585.

*2020 Car Buyer Journey Study, Pandemic Edition, released Feb. 1, 2021