Who does all of your vehicle appraisals at the dealership?
That is correct, your sales management team does all appraisals of used vehicles. You do not. Why? Because it’s one part of their job description, not yours. That’s why they get paid the big bucks. Here is an example of why you can not tell the customer what you think their vehicle is worth. In this example the actual trade value of the customer’s vehicle is $5000.
Deliberate High Ball
Sales person tells the customer their vehicle is worth around $8000
In this scenario, of course, the customer will still listen to you and follow you all around the dealership. Because you’re the first sales person that has told them what they have been waiting to hear. They love you – for now. When it comes time to negotiate the deal, the deliberate high ball scenario will have a lot of explaining to do too salvage the deal.
Accidental Low Ball
The sales person tells the customer their vehicle is worth around $3000.
In this scenario the potential customer thinks you are rip off artist. They will not want to talk with you and when they leave will and do tell all of their friends what a joke you and your dealership are. When you do the accidental low balled you will not even get to a negotiation. In most cases, the customer will leave the dealership quickly, no deal.
Now that we understand why it is important not to tell the customer what we think their vehicle is worth. Let’s figure out how to handle the following scenarios.
Customers will always feel their trade is worth more than the current market value. Everyone wants retail for their vehicles when trading in, I know I do.
The following are word tracks you can use or modify them to your own style.
” Mr. Salesperson can you tell me what my car is worth”
Tell the customer:
“Yes I certainly can.”
Ask them what kind a vehicle it is and can they provide you with all the maintenance information etc. If it’s a late model (1997) or older vehicle or has high mileage
Tell the customer:
“It sounds like a good vehicle and I bet it’s in good shape, although I don’t know exactly how much it’s worth, right now. Would it be ok if you tell me what you are looking for in a new vehicle first and then I’ll get our vehicle appraiser to do a professional appraisal on your vehicle?
If this works, continue with your selling steps.
“What will you give me for my car?”
“Mr. Customer, we have a vehicle appraiser who will be more than glad to appraise your vehicle, but first let’s find a vehicle you’re interested and then I’ll get your vehicle appraised, ASAP OK?”
Continue with your selling steps.
If the customer is persistent and says A or B:
A - “I want my car appraisal first before I look at any vehicles on your lot!”
B - “I need to know what you are going to give me for my car before I can make a decision on what car I can afford.”
Do not argue with them.
“OK, no problem! Can I have your car key? I’ll also need your ownership, exact mileage, maintenance records and has the vehicle ever been in an accident?”
Also ask them;
“Mr. Customer can you tell me where your car is parked please?”
Your next step is to go to your manager’s office with all of this information and explain what you are doing with the customer. The objective here is to get back to your customer ASAP and continue with the vehicle selection, demo drive etc.... When you get back to your customer tell them:
“Ok Mr. Customer we are getting your vehicle appraised. It is going to take few minutes. So while we wait, what features are you looking for in your NEW vehicle?”
This will give you the opportunity to find a vehicle for the customer and then continue with your selling steps. In most cases, the manager will not do the appraisal immediately but this is not why you brought the appraisal to the manager. You brought the appraisal to your manager because that’s what the customer wanted. We do not want to fight or argue with this type of customer; we want to help them. Work with them not against. When you have found a vehicle, work out the difference number and close the sale.
Now the big question is;
When do we tell the customer what their vehicle is worth?
The answer is when they have picked a vehicle from our stock and want our vehicle rather than their present one. This may sound like old school but it works. I’ve said it before in my sales meetings … Timing and Patience.
What I’ve shown you today is what most of you get told everyday from your sales managers, which is pick a vehicle and then I’ll do your customers trade appraisal. The reason why is because it comes from many years of experience, age and wisdom. Just like the best sales people and businesses have a strategic game plan - well thought out, well oiled, well practiced and rehearsed. Every angle has been covered, even a retreat and reorganize contingency has been put into place.
We learn from experience, it really works.
Today’s sales meeting is hard to put on paper and some other systems do work but at the very least I hope you have received a couple of ideas to work with. I know it will give you something to think about the next time someone ask you “What’s my car worth?”