Lead follow-up best practices

7 Crucial Days Following a Test Drive

Written By AE Staff

7 days. It’s not just a quote from the terrifying film “The Ring,” or as the Japanese know it “Ringu.” It’s also the crunch time for car buying decisions.

Edmunds.com recently reported that 79% of shoppers buy a car within seven days after a test drive. That means that if you weren’t charming enough to sell the vehicle the day of the test drive, you have 7 days to WOW them into buying from YOU. Not the dealership down the street, not the creepy guy on Craigslist - YOU.

7 Crucial Days Following a Test Drive

Hopefully, you’ve already taken measures to win your shoppers' hearts by offering chat and including WHY BUY statements on your website. If not, here are a few things you need to do in the 7 days following a test drive to ensure you are in the forefront of your shoppers’ minds.

  • Present yourself as a knowledgeable resource available to answer questions. Send them a lead follow-up email asking to see if they have additional questions about their vehicle of interest. Since the vehicle itself is the #1 influencer in a purchasing decision, you want to make sure they know everything about it.


  • Lay down the time expectations. Shoppers more than likely think it’s going to take a looooooong time to finalize all of the paperwork and drive away with their car. That’s why you have to be upfront about how long the process will take (the shorter, the better) and make sure they know all of the materials they will need to bring with them when purchasing the car.


  • Give them an offer they can’t refuse. Everyone loves saving money, and your follow up phone call, if possible, should include an offer for $$$ off the price (if you’re still haggling). Shoppers will feel like it’s a personal offer and that you are working to earn their business.


  • Get them thinking long-term. When you send a lead follow-up email, remind shoppers of the great amenities available at your dealership’s service center. Express Service, free car washes, free WiFi, shuttle service, free loaner vehicles, and fun things like a nail salon or on-site restaurants.


  • Ask shoppers to review their experience at your dealership. Even if they aren’t customers yet, you want to know how the test drive experience was for them. This will get shoppers thinking about the good moments at your dealership while giving you valuable feedback.


  • Alleviate your customers’ fears! Purchasing a car is as much influenced by your emotions as your reasoning. That’s why it’s important to make your shoppers feel comfortable and happy with the decision they are about to make. Go above and beyond, and send them information on the safety ratings of the vehicle they are about to purchase. Or if it’s a pre-owned model, send them the Carfax report. Safety is a big priority when buying a car. If you’re the only dealership to mention it without being asked, you’ll earn big points!


You know that it’s best to sell a car the day of the test drive, however, sometimes that doesn’t happen. Use these tips to formulate a plan! Make sure the next time shoppers come to your lot, they drive away in the vehicle from your dealership!

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