As I visit dealerships across the country every month and ask the question, “what’s your biggest frustration,” nine times out of 10 it’s about “how do I win more trades and get customers to be more realistic in what they want?”

With sources like RedBook, Carsales and Gumtree available at every customer’s fingertips, today’s buyers are a lot more educated when it comes to a fair deal on their trade, which can make it harder for a deal to take place on the showroom floor.

So how do we win more trade-ins, stop losing rapport with our customers when we deliver the trade price and make both the customer and us as Dealers happy?

Firstly, no trade-in technique will work unless you have a customer who is emotionally interested in buying the car you are selling.

If their desire to have your car doesn’t far outweigh their desire to keep their current car, it will always be a numbers game – a game you will more than often lose.

So here are three out of many techniques you can implement today!

1. Take the Customer With You

This is often common knowledge but rarely common practice.

When a salesperson writes up the valuation they must take the customer with them, having them walk around the car with the salesperson.

This does three things. It:

  • stops the customer going cold on the idea of buying a car when they are left at the desk by themselves
  • stops the customer shopping prices on their phone right from your desk, and
  • gives you an opportunity to make a customer realistic on the trade-in via a ‘silent walk around’, noting down all the imperfections of their vehicle, thus helping everyone get on the same page when it comes to price.

2. Drive the Trade-In

This is something I’ve never seen done but is often talked about in dealerships.

If you truly want customers to be realistic on the vehicle in mind, you need to drive the vehicle, preferably with the customer in the passenger seat. The reason many customers are trading their vehicle in is because it’s starting to get a little long in the tooth and has some bumps and squeaks. The only way to reinforce those and show that we have seen or heard them is to take the vehicle for a drive. It doesn’t have to be long; in fact 60 seconds in your car park, or left, left and left around the block, is enough – just enough to find something. This also gives you a reason to get together in person rather than providing pricing over the phone, as you need to drive the vehicle in order to value it.

3. Talk the ‘Market Valuation’

Regardless of what the customer wants for their car we must show empathy and understanding, all the while reiterating to the customer that “It’s not me telling you or you telling me; it’s the market telling us,” or “let me go and take this to the manager so they can achieve the market valuation”. It’s never the best price or let’s see what WE can do; it’s always a market valuation based on what the market (the buyers out there) are paying for a car like yours right now.

Give these three things a go and look forward to happy customers and happy Dealers!

Leave your feedback on how they work by emailing me at visiting my website:

Dave Benson  
CEO/Sales Expert
Reaching Your Potential

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