vehicle acquisition on the service drive?

Denim Simkins
Who is doing a good job with it and what process works the best?
Brandon McNett
We're trying to get a successful program going here, I think we have a couple of building blocks in place....we just have to make sure it is successful. We've struggled with this in the past and would really like to turn 3-5 vehicles/mo over.
JD Demott
First off get an equity mining tool for the service lane...the investment is worth it. Start with the customers in the service drive that have the best position of equity/credit score coupled with the highest service bill. Learn to cherry pick your drive and talk to those customers first. If you find that guy with $3000 equity, 680 credit and a 3000k engine job, he will be begging you to sell him a car. The idea is to not hint at him what you're doing when you approach him. Worder track: John Doe, that's your 2009 Toyota Tacoma with the leather interior and sunroof outside, isn't it? That thing is gorgeous and my used car manager has been hounding me to find one the past week. Walk outside with me and let's take a look at it..... you have now achieved the hardest part. Getting the service customer off the couch from watching judge Judy and turned him into a sales customer. After you do the walk around telling him how great of a condition the vehicle is in walk him straight to the used car managers office where you have the comparison paperwork waiting on the desk showing the money he would save with this new Tacoma. Take your greenest salesmen and put him in the service lane doing this everyday. Easy 15 cars a month on a low RO count.
Alex Neville
Joined the DrvingSales Forum for this exact reason. To find more information on how others are making a Vehicle Exchange department work. Here at my store we have a very low RO count but are trying to implement a process with the benefit of Auto Alert to gain an extra 15-20 cars a month. Commenting to subscribe to this thread. Thanks!
Bill Wittenmyer
Great question! I think first you have to have a data mining tool to build your process around so you can create a good foundation for your strategy. Find an effective data mining tool that ties into your CRM -- you don't want a tool that makes your staff have to log into another application. Keeping everything in one place will simplify the process for your team and increase the chances of adopting and executing the new process. Secondly, develop a process that establishes measurable goals. For example -- how many appraisals do you expect to complete in the service lane each month? Attach a specific number to reach. Having a dedicated person or team that does nothing but handle the vehicle acquisition data mining in the service lane will increase your success as well. If you really want to take your strategy to the next level, move your Used Car Appraiser's office to the Service Department. These are just a few of the big things that will have a quick impact on your overall goal.
Roger Conant
My take, and I have great respect for vehicle sales personnel...don't stick an existing person from the sales team in this position. Because sales sells the first vehicle and service (long term relationships) sells the rest...pick someone who thinks service first. You don't want to disrupt the "retention" hub of the store..and that's what the service center is. And go to school big time on all of the "perceptions" and "fears" the public has about walking into a showroom(not a service center where they feel comfortable)....especially women's perceptions (2 out of 3 of the service customers). It's nice to sell vehicles, but in the long run, I'd rather have a long term, high "customer pay" customer than a bunch of low margin sales. And most of the sales coming from equity mining will be new vehicle. Just check out the latest news from the consolidators about their reduced new car margins. I have other thoughts...but that's it for now!

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