Think of how much selling vehicles has changed in the last several years. Now think of what is being taught in most dealerships regarding the road to the sale. Considering the education and interaction that occurs before the customer ever gets to the dealership, most sales training is outdated. One key difference maker can be the customer’s trade-in.
I am not referring to the trade value in monetary terms, but in informational and relational terms. Let’s examine a few facts. The majority of purchases involve trade-ins. People spend the majority of their lives in three areas: home, work and vehicle. Therefore, the customer’s current vehicle is a comfort zone. Most salespeople tend to completely ignore the customers trade-in comfort zone. They get the trade-in appraised but rarely, if ever, go to the trade-in with their customers.
Imagine the following scenario: A customer walks in, and after you greet them you begin to communicate by asking a few questions. After you create some initial rapport, you tell them that, before picking out their new vehicle, you would like to walk over to their current vehicle for just a minute for a couple of reasons. First of all, you would like to get all the information and a complete written description of the vehicle so that later, when the management is verifying the market value, they will have all the information necessary, and that will save the customer a bunch of T-I-M-E. Secondly, as you are going over the vehicle, you would like to ask them a few questions about what they like and don’t like about the current vehicle and what they would like to change. “Usually, Mr. Customer,” you can say, “as we are doing this, I come up with a few ideas to save you some M-ON- E-Y. Fair enough?”
As a salesperson, you are now moving in the opposite direction of other salespeople, which is always a good thing. You must differentiate not only yourself but your process and your value. There is not a better place to ask questions, spend time and create a comfortable rapport building buying environment. The trade-in will give you tremendous clues about the customers buying patterns, communication styles, behavior types and what the overriding HFG – Hope for Gain that the customer is seeking.
The information and relationship gained from this step in the process will allow you to potentially create apples-to-oranges selling opportunities. You will have significantly improved your potential to elevate three things in your favor – Money, Me and Machine. If you are presenting other opportunities such as used vs. new, lease vs. buy, cash back for trade equity, and so on, you will be creating opportunities that others have not presented in a way that adds to your value and elevates you and what you do and offer. When all things are equal, money is the final decision maker. Your job is to add so much value to everything that the money is lowered in the pendulum of the decision process.
The trade-in provides opportunities that cannot be found elsewhere. The trade-in and the neglect of the trade-in by other salespeople can be the difference maker for you and the customer.