Article

Appraisal Guesswork Gone, Transformed with Proven Results

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Randy Barone - Also by this author

Buying and selling pre-owned vehicles has never been an exact science. There are lots of gray areas. For instance, how much is a trade in really worth? If you offer too little, the dealer across the street will get the deal. If you bid too high, you may lose precious time and money trying to sell the vehicle – especially if it just doesn’t appeal to your market.
Most dealers realize that the more you take the guesswork out of transactions such as appraisals and trade ins, the more efficient, successful and profitable your dealership can be. Turning ambiguity into a solid technology-based process that has proven results is the strategy of choice for dealers who are ready to take their business to the next level. New software products help dealers do just that.
 
These new systems serve as real-time, vehicle-trading networks and high-speed inventory management tools. They also have a special affinity to the lead generation process because they help you identify customers with vehicles that turn fast and earn better-than-average profits during the sales process.
 
Strong Customer Relationships = Stronger Customer Retention

As part of the lead generation function, specially-designed software can provide a history of prior sales on a particular model, which helps make the consumer more confident about purchasing the vehicle – and the transaction process overall. In fact, these systems can help build strong customer relationships in many other ways. For instance, you get more accurate appraisals, which allow the customer to feel more confident about his or her decision at point of sale.

In terms of compliance, these packages have repeatable appraisal processes that ensure a consistent presentation to all customers. For example, “appraised vehicle sheets” reflect professionalism and knowledge, further enhancing your reputation for expertise and integrity. Plus, the market data provided on similar vehicles enables you to present fact-based appraisals to all customers should they decide to “private sell.”
 
Giving You the Competitive Edge = Impacting Your Bottom Line
 
Many new versions of software also offer integrated CARFAX® reports that not only appeal to customers, but protect you from unmentioned vehicle damage. There’s no question that such tools can enhance your customer service and retention goals. They give you the inside knowledge of which vehicles are most desirable, so you can help the manager of pre-owned vehicles facilitate better investment decisions.
 
Remember, dealerships that use appraisal tools are less likely to lose sales to a competitor because they didn’t offer enough on trade in value. By making the most of these options, you can have an ideal inventory model that is customized for your dealership and that indicates the best inventory to stock on the lot. More specifically, you can have at your fingertips information regarding which vehicles turn faster and make the dealership the most profit – taking inventory management a step further. Such software helps the manager of pre-owned vehicles recognize what trades to keep and which to sell on the Internet, as well as what vehicles to trade and which to send to auction.
 
Powerful Real-Time Trading Tool = Empowerment to Dealer Groups
 
Empowerment for dealer groups with inventory sharing and multi-store supervision is only a click away. If a customer comes to a dealership looking for a specific car, instead of saying “No, we don’t have that model,” you can scan inventory at a different locations.
 
You also can exchange vehicles that are not likely to sell on your lot for ones that are. Still another advantage is the ability to reduce wholesale losses significantly, while increasing retail unit sales and profit. That’s an effective strategy when conforming inventory to your dealership’s ideal model.
 
The Big Picture = Greater Success
 
Looking at the big picture, knowledge of vehicles that turn faster and generate better profits can help you develop highly effective marketing campaigns that target customers who own such vehicles. Additionally, advertising the most in-demand vehicles online clearly positions your dealership as a knowledgeable market leader. It all boils down to this: Having the most popular pre-owned vehicles in your market generates more customers. Revolutionary software systems can enhance your inventory and convert shoppers into buyers.
 
Vol 2, Issue 8

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