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Richard Holland

Richard Holland Managing Director

Exclusive Blog Posts

Top 6 Things Car Dealers Do To Make Car Buying Difficult

Top 6 Things Car Dealers Do To Make Car Buying Difficult

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R7Y3kZIDVg] Your Turn To Drive discusses Top 6 Things Car Dealers Do To Make Car Buying Difficult.  Jim D…

Choose the correct CRM for your dealership OR pay dearly

Choose the correct CRM for your dealership OR pay dearly

With all the CRMs on the market today, finding the right one for your dealership is becoming more challenging than ever. There have been massive changes in…

5 Benefits of Using Google AdWords Click-to-Message Ad Extensions

5 Benefits of Using Google AdWords Click-to-Message Ad Extensions

Looking for a new way to win over people more likely to send a text message than to call? Set up this free message extension for your text ads on the Googl…

Must-See NADA 100 Expo Displays for Fixed Ops

Must-See NADA 100 Expo Displays for Fixed Ops

New Orleans is ramping up for the 100th anniversary of NADA, and the convention promises to be outstanding. You’ll be entertained at the NADA100 Carn…

Why Social Media Marketers Won’t Replace Your Sales Team

Why Social Media Marketers Won’t Replace Your Sales Team

Social media is changing the marketing profession in remarkable ways. According to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the social media analyti…

For Used Vehicle Acquisition, There’s No Place Like Home

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One of the pain points I frequently hear from dealers is how to acquire frontline pre-owned vehicles for their stores. Having an available solid inventory of used vehicles for customers is imperative. Not everyone will be able to (or even want to) buy a new vehicle. To run smoothly and continuously generate revenue, dealers must continuously acquire vehicles. This provides available alternatives if a customer chooses to switch from new to used. In addition, the front-end gross profit potential from a used vehicle is typically higher than that of a new vehicle. However, competition to acquire these units can be very heavy at physical and online auctions. And dealers frequently fail to purchase as many as they would like because of inflated bidding. Once transportation and reconditioning costs are integrated, used car managers can be forced to pass on some pretty desirable units for their stores. Due to these challenges, dealers are having to be more creative in finding this inventory.

Some highly successful dealers have found a simple way to accomplish this. It involves less effort and presents greater potential than any auction they could attend – and that is from customer vehicles in their own service drive. This is certainly not a new concept. Many a sales manager has directed salespeople to work the service drive.

The service drive offers a wealth of opportunity for dealerships. It is the single most valuable resource for inventory acquisition. The benefits of using the service drive for acquisition are multi-fold. Dealers will typically be familiar with a vehicle in their service drive through service records. Chances are good that they may even have sold the vehicle new to the customer. There are no transportation costs. And there almost certainly won’t be any outbidding by a competitor!

The challenge is developing a system that is not perceived as intrusive by your service customer. Customer experience is imperative. If you bombard your customers with sales messages every time they come in for service, you increase the likelihood that a customer may decide not to return. A blanket approach is also not effective. Dealers can’t play the numbers game on a universal scale in the service drive by approaching every customer and hoping they get lucky.

However, turning your service drive into a sales drive in a non-intrusive way is not as difficult as one would imagine. Chances are good that a service department knows what vehicles are scheduled for service the next day. A daily report of the next day’s appointments can be a valuable resource for a used car manager. They can then identify high interest vehicles and cross-reference those vehicles with book values and DMS data such as payoff, equity positions, credit information, as well as prior purchasing behavior. This then enables the quick identification of any vehicles of interest and customers that are in the best position to be approached to sell their vehicle and acquire a new one.

Service departments see many vehicles on a daily basis. Certainly not every customer is in a position to trade-in their current vehicle. However, by identifying and targeting those customers most likely to be interested, and those vehicles most valuable to acquire for used inventory, dealers will achieve better results. The key is to gather personalized information to approach these customers with, tailored to their specific situations. This transforms the effort from being intrusive, to being informative and potentially beneficial to both the dealership AND the customer.

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