One of the most common objections that occurs in the automotive buying process has always been: "I'm not happy with what you're giving me for my trade-in." This one is almost automatic with some customers as soon as the figures are presented.
We spend a lot of time training and coaching salespeople on how to resolve this objection.
Salespeople learn how to find out where an unrealistic trade value expectation came from, how to logically show how that might not be realistic, and how to explain how our manager's number can be trusted as the actual market value.These objection-resolving conversations, no matter how good, are reactionary.
Yes, we all have to be good at justifying the trade value when the objection comes up but how many dealership teams actually "sell" their trade appraisal process beforehand? How many educate the customer on the appraisal process before we start the appraisal? How many managers engage the customer in the appraisal walk-around? Although we have been advocating this best practice for decades, in our experience, not enough teams follow through.
One of our core beliefs around leadership within a sales process is the idea that people will follow your lead if they know where you are going and how that's of benefit to them. This applies to pretty much the whole time you are with a customer. When we frame the next step in terms of what they need to make a good decision, they just see that as helpful service - efficiently getting them to where they want to go.
This same leadership applies to building value in the appraisal process, and therefore trust in the trade value. This works well when:
• The manager meets the customer just prior to the appraisal
• The manager explains the 50+ point inspection process and tools she uses
• The manager invites the customer to participate and answer questions about their old vehicle
• The customer gets to see how thorough the inspection is and is reminded (without saying anything) about the deficiencies their car has
Now, when the figures are returned, the customer has more than just "the number". They understood and maybe saw how professional the assessment was. As a result, their trust can only increase and we obtain easier acceptance of the true market value. Will this eliminate all trade value objections? Of course not, but it will help reduce objections and make it easier to justify the trade value when they do occur.
Transparency builds trust. Without trust, it's hard for them to say YES!