In our recently published post about enhancing your process to include price ranges and offers, VAN Co-Founder Tom Gregg emphasizes the importance of setting some level of expectation with private party sellers who have a vehicle you are interested in acquiring.
By giving a price range or even making an exact offer, it communicates a “level of respect,” he says, for both your time and the seller’s. But that can seem risky in some instances, and put your dealership in a difficult spot if not done effectively.
So what must dealers consider when giving a range or offer to consumers up front for their vehicle before coming in?
In the video below, VAN Director of Learning and Development Mark Curcio explains why this is an important part of the acquisition process and how dealers can give price ranges and exact offers safely.
Many of the numerous third-party providers today already have the ability to make offers on vehicles that consumers can count on. “Dealers have this ability too,” says Curcio, referring to tools and resources available to dealers to confidently know the market value of used vehicles.
Provide More Quotes, Buy More Cars
Giving price ranges and making exact offers also naturally lead to more acquisitions.
As Tom shares in the video below a story about working with contractors on a rental property where the ones who did not provide a quote or estimate made it impossible for him to make a decision. “They excluded themselves from the opportunity,” states Tom.
“Dealers that provide more quotes, buy more cars,” Tom explains. “If you have in your process putting numbers in front of individual sellers you are going to buy more vehicles.”
The Growing Interest for Remote Buying
The idea of making offers on vehicles remotely, meaning without seeing the vehicle in person might seem counterintuitive, but this is a trend more likely to increase rather than fade away. Therefore it’s imperative to go into taking this approach prepared.
“We saw this trending even before the pandemic began with some of the service offerings at dealerships, says Curcio in a recent conversation. “And since the pandemic it has only increased customers’ hesitance to spend time in the dealership.”
Many dealers are now providing either a remote appraisal where someone can come out and verify the condition of the vehicle or actually have the entire process handled remotely where they'll have the check cut and pick up the vehicle without any inconvenience to the customer. “I’ve seen this trending in most of the major metro markets in the last six months,” Mark proclaims.
In the same conversation, Mr. Gregg talks about how AutoTrader.com has a selection on their website for dealerships that have adopted a full remote selling atmosphere where they will deliver the vehicle to the consumer.
“It’s clear in many aspects,” says Tom, “that a remote and contact-free environment is important.”
Tom also shares a story of recent experience with Target where he ordered the merchandise on his phone and when he arrived there was a person (team member) there with his order.
“Very convenient, great experience, and I still had interaction with a person,” Tom says, emphasizing that remote buying doesn’t mean removing person-to-person interaction.
The biggest disruptors in the used car business today, Curcio points out, have grown their businesses by focusing on this type of customer experience and removing those friction points.
“We know that Carvana has done it and even companies like Vroom can handle the majority of the transaction online,” Curcio says.