The pandemic forced many dealers to reconsider the way they buy used vehicles. With auctions out of commission, private vehicle sales have proven to be a stronger acquisition method, helping dealers make more money and turn cars faster. So how can you develop a strategy now that works for your team?
In this post we break down some of our top tips for private vehicle sales during the Covid pandemic and chip shortage.
How Has the Chip Shortage Affected Your Dealership?
The chip shortage has affected everyone and, to quote Wholesale Director Danny Moreno, has put the auto industry “in a real pickle.”
Danny laid out the problem simply. “One person sees one dealer selling at 5 - 10% more and so they figure their car is worth 5 - 10% more.” It can make acquisition difficult - but not impossible.
"Having a solid team makes all the difference," Moreno says.
When is the best time to reach out to a private seller?
While it may seem like jumping on a listing the second it’s live is the best way to beat the competition, we recommend waiting a few days to let the seller experience the marketplace. Why? Your offer may be solid, but sellers will most likely feel like they need to “see what else is out there,” waiting for the highest possible price.
Giving sellers a few days to deal with low-ball offers, flaky buyers, and frustrated communication may help them appreciate the experience your dealership can provide. With your professional demeanor and ease of transactions, you’ll be the answer they didn’t know they were looking for!
Is texting, emailing, or calling customers better?
Every customer has different communication preferences, but overall, our experts have seen that while texting often sees the faster response time, talking to someone on the phone usually nets a better result. Unfortunately, many private sellers have to wade through a slew of scammers trying to lure them into undesirable situations, and texting maintains a level of anonymity that makes it harder to close the deal.
Many times, sending out a text will inspire sellers to pick up the phone and call back to ensure there’s a real person on the other side. Calling customers may be the best way to establish trust and a more efficient conversation.
How often should I follow up with customers?
No matter where a seller is in their journey, it’s important to keep yourself top of mind as they consider their options. Even if a seller has turned you down, it doesn’t hurt to follow up several days later to see whether or not they’ve had luck or if they’re willing to reconsider. We recommend following up every 4-5 days to see where they’re at, offering industry advice when appropriate. Gently letting a seller know that they’re asking price is way too high may help them understand why they’re not getting the offer they want and make them more willing to work with you.
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