Developing a department or team to acquire private party seller vehicles within a dealership is a valuable and, at times, challenging pursuit. There are huge benefits to becoming a seller advocate. Having this service provides a steady stream of clean, fast turning and high return on investment vehicles delivered to the dealership doors.
It also provides a tremendous opportunity to get in touch with consumers in the market the dealership would have otherwise never connected with.
We often say - today’s sellers become tomorrow's buyers.
Putting the consumer at ease
One of the challenges is that consumers selling their vehicles are often skeptical that the dealership has the intention to sell them a car, not just acquire the vehicle they have for sale.
For good reason, the sellers know that the primary business of a dealership is to sell vehicles. In the interest of full disclosure, we certainly won’t turn down the opportunity to trade the vehicle in for a more suitable or newer vehicle if the seller is interested.
For the majority of consumers selling their vehicles, they want a fair market value and a straightforward transaction without the hassle of selling their vehicles on their own.
Our top performing VAN dealers recognize this seller concern and make it their goal to put them at ease very early in the acquisition process. They provide value to the consumer in the form of seller advocacy.
A successful example of becoming a seller’s advocate
A great example of becoming a seller’s advocate is the process that Mitch French, from Quebedeaux Buick GMC has instituted at their dealership.
Mitch explains in the initial conversation he assures sellers that he is interested in acquiring their vehicle. At the same time, he commits to being an advocate for them in the form of providing an expert consultation for their classified listing.
He explains some of the factors that make a listing appealing to buyers and offers pointers on the vehicle description. Photo staging and other areas where the seller can improve their potential outcome.
Once a seller realizes that a dealer is genuinely interested in helping them sell their vehicle, Mitch French says that he becomes more a consulting source than a dealer interested in selling them a vehicle.
In many cases, the seller winds up bringing their vehicle in for an inspection and history report and winds up selling it to him on the spot. - Mitch French
Providing value for vehicle sellers
In addition to providing advice and guidance with regard to selling a vehicle, dealerships have a number of other ways to provide value to a seller in their market including,
- Vehicle history report that usually costs the seller to obtain.
- Mechanical inspection by a professional mechanic.
- Estimates on repairs that may be needed to sell the vehicle.
Using this type of consultative approach has helped Mitch and Quebedeaux Buick GMC reach a high level of acquisitions in his department. It has also helped solidify positive consumer relationships in his market which, in many cases, have resulted in additional sales because he became a trusted source of his consumers.