Running a boutique import and restoration shop takes a lot more time than we thought.

We get a lot of requests for “Test Drives” of the various Defenders we are preparing for adoption. It’s always hard to determine who’s just curious to drive a Defender and who is interested in making one of the Defenders part of the family. Which means it is really difficult and time consuming to respond to all requests. We ask for forgiveness if we either don’t get back to you right away, or if it takes a you a few times to hunt us down.  There are a variety of reasons we don’t, or can’t always respond right away:

  1. It helps us sort out those that are just sending a random “can I stop by and look” message vs. those who may want to spend time to learn about the Defender lifestyle.
  2. We’re usually working on the Defenders. Either repairing rust, cleaning years of mud out of hidden places, repairing rust, ordering parts, repairing rust, or just getting the vehicles ready for adventure.  That means we have little time to respond to all requests.
  3. This is a passion project for us, which has gradually grown into a fully operational business. We’ll be honest, we weren’t ready for that part of it. We haven’t quite figured out how to handle all the requests yet.  We get messages via text, Facebook, email, sky writing, Instagram, and more.  It’s hard to stay on top of it without developing a system (which we’re pretty close to).

Instructions and Rules about test drives and visits

Now that we’re done apologizing, we will spend a little time explaining the best way to get in contact with us and how to make sure you get the attention you’re hoping for.

  1. Feel free to follow up in a consistent way. Text threads are great, email threads are great, Facebook threads are great. This allows us to follow the conversation from start to end, especially if there is a big gap in time between contact points. We recently experienced a very frustrating (on both sides we’re sure) experience dealing with a two party combo that used virtually every means of communication possible, but never in a consistent way. It started with a message on Instagram saying, “I want to drive this.” Followed by an email form sometime later saying, “My _______ tried to reach you with no reply.” We replied. Then various text messages and voice mails flew around, but never tracking back to the original request. To us, it looked like 10 random people just wanted to take a joy ride in a Defender (who doesn’t?). Eventually, the messages got pretty aggressive and scolding. Not cool.
  2. Tell us what you’re looking for. This is an example of a great message, “I saw your Blue Land Rover 90 and I’m interested in talking about it, learning more, seeing it in person, and hopefully bringing it home with me. I’ve talked with my wife/husband/priest/best friends and I’ve got approval. I can be flexible with time.”
  3. Dreaming vs. Adoption. If you just want to drive a Defender, this is the best way to do so: Buy a T-shirt from the Bishop+Rook store and then send us a note to say, “I love Defenders. Would love to drive one sometime. I can wait for one of your driving event days, but just wanted to let you know how much I love these vehicles.”
  4. Tell us where you are in the adoption process. We love talking with people about Defenders. We especially appreciate when people let us know when they’re in early stages or ready to drive away.
  5. Never stop by the showroom shop unannounced. This happens and we really don’t like it. It’s not that we don’t like people, it’s just that it sometimes scares the bejesus out of us when someone comes in and we’re working under a vehicle (likely fixing rust). Also, someone randomly stopping by to say, “I couldn’t get your attention so I just stopped by.” That’s a little bit of an emotional (ex) relationship issue we don’t want to deal with.
  6. Think of us as an adoption agency. While we can source pretty much anything in the world, it helps to have some guidance (and a budget) of what you’re looking for. We generally have 3-5 vehicles in adoption-ready stage at the shop. Sometimes that will fit your needs, other times you may want something more specific. We want to be a matchmaker for you and your family.

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