Car dealerships have been experiencing a different sales market for the last few years. New car sales have been increasing, but demand is still outpacing supply. At the same time, used car sales have become almost stagnant. This is happening across the industry.
Dealerships do well with used inventory when sales reps push these sales. So how do you increase used car sales? There are a few ways that you can improve used car sales at your dealership without impacting new car sales.
Have a Good Inventory of Used Vehicles
A good selection of used vehicles is one of the primary keys to selling more used cars. If you only have a small choice of vehicles available, it will be hard to appeal to a larger market of potential buyers. You want to have a good variety of vehicles and ensure they all look great when they are on your lot.
Certify Your Used Vehicles
If you want a good reputation for selling used vehicles, you need to sell used cars that provide the customer with value. Having certified pre-owned vehicles means that you are guaranteeing the vehicle is not going to fall apart 30 minutes after the customer leaves the lot. Customers will feel secure knowing that the car has been inspected and repaired for any flaws before purchasing. Providing a report on the vehicle’s history is also a great way to instill customer confidence.
Educate Your Sales Staff on the Used Inventory
It is impossible to actively sell your used car inventory if your sales staff is not familiar with what is available. You need to make sure that your staff is as familiar with the used stock as it is with the new vehicles on the showroom floor. They do not have to know every detail, but they should be able to make recommendations to customers who may not want a new vehicle or may not find a new vehicle that meets their needs.
Remember That Not All Customers Want New Vehicles
Every customer who walks into the dealership is assumed to want a new car. But the truth is, there are many people that want a used vehicle. Make sure that your sales staff can meet the needs of these clients. Make sure that they are willing to be just as aggressive about finding the right used vehicle for your clients as they are about finding them the right new car.
Remember the Repair Department is a Great Place to Sell Used Vehicles
Sales reps should take advantage of the sales opportunities that are presented in the repair department. A potential buyer is a person who brings in their vehicle for repairs only to discover that the repair is very expensive. You may be able to introduce them to a used vehicle as an alternate instead of investing thousands of dollars into the repair of an older vehicle.
Sales reps can make great sales by encouraging people to invest in a used vehicle that is certified to run great instead of repairing an older vehicle that may break down with another issue in the near future. It is a very powerful selling tool. People are less likely to want to continue to pay for repairs, especially if they have the option of purchasing a different vehicle at an affordable price.
Sell Used as an Option For Hard to Finance Clients
If a client cannot get the financing they need for a new vehicle, they may more easily qualify for a used vehicle with a lower price tag. Have your sales rep work with these clients to find a comparable vehicle in the used lot so that they do not leave your dealership without making a purchase.
It is very important that your sales reps treat these potential buyers with care. Some people may become embarrassed or frustrated about not being able to finance a brand new vehicle. Approaching this situation on a positive note will make the client feel better and will help them make the final decision to purchase a used vehicle.
Showcase Your Used Vehicles at the Front of the Lot With New Vehicles
Of course, you will not want to mix used and new vehicles together, but set aside a portion of the front area of your lot for used car sales. Why is this important? Because of the physchological effects it will have on your clients.
If customers have to walk to the back of your lot to find your used vehicles, it will feel as if the dealership is ashamed of these vehicles or they are somehow less appealing than a new vehicle.
When you have a portion of your used vehicle inventory at the front of your lot, it send a message that these vehicles are as important as the new vehicles. Customers will notice and respond accordingly. If the clients do not feel like they are being ushered to the back of the lot for the less desirable used cars, they will seriously consider the vehicles as part of their car buying choices.
It Is All About the Experience
In the end, if car dealerships want to increase used car sales at their lot, they must make the buying experience good for the clients. Clients need to feel as valued as buying a new vehicle when purchasing a used vehicle. Remember a used vehicle is still new to them. At the end of the day, it comes down to knowing your customer and training your sales team accordingly. You will see your used vehicle sales increase if you can accomplish this.
Always remember to run a VINsmart report on any used vehicle before making a purchase. A VINsmart report runs a complete history on the vehicle including whether it has ever been reported as stolen, involved in a major accident, or listed as a totaled vehicle.
VINsmart reports will also give you a registration history and mileage at registration. It reports any significant incidents related to the vehicle, such as being involved in a fire or flood.
When you are going to purchase a used vehicle, the best way to ensure you are making a good purchase is to know the vehicle’s complete history.