It’s important to slow down when it comes to the appraisal and trade process. This is a pivotal point in retaining gross profits since customers buy when the value of the vehicle exceeds its price. What are you doing at your location to stock your inventory based on the value of a trade? It’s one of the top 3 factors in any car deal, and in most cases, trade-in vehicles are the lifeline to a profitable used car department. Top dealers I work with source more than 50% of their retail inventory from trades and the profitable ones have taken the process to another level.
- Be consistent: From start to finish, each appraisal and trade experience should be the same for every customer and vehicle. Skipping steps leads to lost gross and a missed opportunity.
- Slow down and inspect your potential investment: “Buyers are liars” and they are certainly not going to tell you about the bad transmission or the repair work they had to the entire side of their vehicle. There’s a reason they are trading in. Don’t miss the bad transmission or the high repair bill in the glove box.
- Listen: You’d be amazed at what a customer will tell you about their car if you ask them. This level of engagement builds trust and value in your process and in the trade in offer.
- Sell the offer: Customers need to know you are aware of the nuggets that make their car special. Have a process in place that explains how you determine a trade in offer and what factors you consider when making that offer.
- Just buy it! Offer to buy a car from the customer whether they buy a car from you or not. Become their local expert. You’d be amazed how many friends that customer will tell about their experience and the traffic it can drive to the dealership.
We talk all the time about how 79% of customers buy on value. The trade in process is no different. Build value in your inspection process and customer offer. Spend the extra time closing more trades and selling more cars than at the auction this fall paying too much for cars that other dealers could not sell.