Last month we talked about how sales consultants could influence the average trade cycle of their client base and give themselves a pay raise.
Let's dig into how 3 steps can put the concept into practice...
Educate your client at the time of purchase. As Covey would say: "Begin with the end in mind". If we want the vehicle they are purchasing today to return to us as a premium used vehicle then we need to educate our client around how trade values and changeover costs move over time.
We need to show them (ideally visually) how the lowest changeover can be achieved by trading earlier than they might think. At the time of delivery, as you are reviewing the car and its warranty coverage ask: "Ms. Customer would you like me to share with you how you can minimize your cost of vehicle ownership?" Now show them your vehicle value chart or even hand draw one on a blank page. Explain the reality that many people keep their vehicle too long and past the point when it is a really attractive used vehicle. If we make sure that you look at replacing this one before this second phase of depreciation then your change costs are minimized and your overall cost of ownership decreases.
Be active in our periodic follow-up. If we are not planning to be active in our follow-up we can't expect much repeat and referral sales. No contact=no relationship.
Our periodic contacts must bring value to the customer. Just "touching base or keeping in touch" is weak. Contact them with a reason that serves them: some information about their vehicle, a money saving tip, a new accessory that would be good for their activities or interests, or an article that would interest them - something personal. When we make these contacts we always ask how the vehicle is doing and “how many KMs now?”; this is an ideal time to remind them that you want it back when it's worth the most to them and a subsequent owner.
As the vehicle nears the ideal trade time we re-engage them in the discussion. It is always true that the dealership can never find enough low odometer, 2-3-4 year old vehicles that they know the service history on. It is always true that the average age of a trade-in is older than the average age of vehicle the used-car buyer is looking for. When you make this call tell them this and also suggest: “What this means to you is that your vehicle is worth the most right now. You can save money by selling yours when it is worth the most and replacing it when you pay the least. You can also avoid inevitable maintenance and repair costs…. Now would be your lowest cost time to switch vehicles.”
Use these 3 steps to help your customers adopt a better pattern of vehicle ownership. Help yourself to a pay raise with a shorter trade cycle client base or watch the windows and wait. Your choice!