The appraisal and trade-in process can be a little daunting for some customers. There are two parties involved, each having its own agenda. The dealer wants to secure a piece of inventory that can be sold for a profit. The customer wants to get as much money as possible for their trade-in. Sometimes this leads to a disconnect. The customer doesn’t always understand the true value of their vehicle. At the same time, if there is a lack of transparency, then there won’t be any trust. The key should be to make the trade-in process collaborative.

One such way to accomplish this is by using a walk-around appraisal tool. All too often, the old-school method of appraising a vehicle behind closed doors leaves a poor taste in the customer’s mouth. They won’t understand your valuation, nor will they be likely to happily accept it. You need to provide clarity through transparency while also letting the customer be involved. To achieve this, truly involve your customer in the process. Give them visibility into what you are doing. Put them in the proverbial driver’s seat. Doing so will increase the level of trust and drive up customer comfort.

Trade-ins are a massive part of the customer experience. This is vital for you to note as inventory continues to shrink. You need to be as vigilant as possible in acquiring new vehicles for your lot. But don’t overlook the importance of transparency during this portion of the process. For the appraisal itself, select a mutually agreed upon rating on a 10-point scale for each category. Physically show the customer the defects that impact rating. Explain how reconditioning works and establish the true value of the vehicle.

This doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Simplify appraisals by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. They want the appraisal to be streamlined and painless. Start by collecting all the pertinent information about the vehicle. Take note of trim level, packages, and after-market add ons. Explain to the customer why these are necessary for valuation. Help them understand the worth of their vehicle from a practical standpoint. Next, rate the vehicle with the customer. Don’t do this step in the darkness. Take the time to illustrate the factors affecting the rating of the vehicle alongside the customer.

Finally, deliver the appraisal to the customer. Be open to discuss the finer points of your evaluation. But keep in mind that because you already walked the customer through this process, that there won’t be much disagreement. The final number will reflect the true value of the customer’s trade-in. Doing appraisals and trade-ins in this manner will not only help customers understand the true value of their vehicle, but also builds trust and creates a higher comfort level overall.

On top of the added comfort, you will also be reducing the amount of time the appraisal process takes. You can deliver a number in as little as six minutes. The old manner for appraisals and trade-ins was simply too cumbersome. Step into the future with an expedited approach that saves time, as well as drives higher closing rates. Customers will appreciate the collaboration and enjoy knowing the honest value of their vehicle. 

With so much going on in the world around us, it’s time for automotive retail to buckle down and start working together. There is no longer a divide between customers and salespeople. Turn away from a negotiation-first mindset and transform into a consultative approach. MAX Digital is a leading provider of robust solutions designed to help dealers thrive during the appraisal and trade-in process. Take the guesswork out of acquiring inventory by involving the customer to establish true value. Schedule a meeting with MAX Digital today and discover how a next-generation solution can make an impact on your lot.