Road to a Sale Step 5

The road to a sale step 5 is about evaluating a customer's trade-in. Before we go any further make certain you understand that evaluating the trade-in is not placing a value on it. That responsbility is left for a member of management.

We are going to deal with evaluating as it relates to physical and mechanical condition. Do a good job here and you can assure your customer the allowance they receive for their trade is a good one based on market conditions and comparison.

Your customer has, in spite of what they may say, a preconceived idea as to what they think their vehicle is worth. There is some information here that will show how some of your customers find that figure.

During the road to a sale step 5 you have certain things you need to do. Here is a list to help you get started on making sure you do this correctly.

  • Fill out the appraisal slip accurately
    There is a reason your dealership uses a particular form. Accurate and complete information will make the process quicker and smoother. Pay particular attention to year model and mileage. Do not take your customer's word for what year model their vehicle is. Some people, believe it or not, do not know. Look at the vehicle identification number. The 8th digit from the right will tell you. Familiarize yourself with reading year model codes from the VIN.

  • Do not leave your customer for any longer than is necessary
    Many salespeople make the mistake of taking the trade-in to be appraised and waiting for the manager to complete his appraisal. This is a mistake. There may be several vehicles awaiting an appraisal. You may arrive at your used car department and find the manager is out appraising another vehicle. Take the appraisal slip and keys to a manager and return to your customer as quickly as possible. Why?
    Because the more time you spend away from your customer the more you allow them to question whether they are "done shopping", wonder if "they are doing the right thing", etc.

  • Have your customer help you with the information you need
    Again reminding you to spend the least amount of time away from your customer. Have them help you by getting the mileage for you. Why? Because when they read the mileage as 72,837 miles it will remind them that it's not 70,000 miles and also reinforce the principle that mileage plays a large part in valuing a trade.
    Have the customer walk around their trade-in with you. If you will touch a dent or scratch they will tell you what happened. Physical condition is a part of value. Ask them what major mechanical repair was last done or suggested.
Here is a simple statement that will help you get your customer involved in the trade evaluation...

"Mr. Customer, I want to present your trade-in to my used car buyer in the best possible light. Would you mind trading places with me for a few moments and sell me your car?"

Your customer will, at some point, ask you what YOU think their vehicle is worth. Do not put yourself in the trick bag. Road to a sale step 5 is about evaluation, not value.

YOUR JOB IS NOT TO PLACE A DOLLAR FIGURE ON THE TRADE. DO NOT FALL INTO THIS TRAP. IF YOU GIVE THEM A FIGURE THAT IS TOO HIGH OR TOO LOW YOU HAVE CREATED THE CONDITIONS FOR MISTRUST AND LOSS OF CREDIBILITY

Try this instead...

“Mr. Customer, our used car buyers look at thousands of vehicles each month both here at the dealership and at auctions. They stay current on market values and I know they will have a much better figure in mind than I would. I would hate to cost you money or miss your business by giving you inaccurate information, wouldn’t you agree?”

Make sure you never miss an update to the StayOnTarget training series. All you need to do is let me know where to send it.

Road to a sale step 5 of 12

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