As all of you are aware for 28 years I have been teaching you in class that “every used car has a story, but if you can’t tell it, you can’t sell it.” The importance of having a customer involved in their trade in is vitally important to the sale of that vehicle once you have it reconditioned. You need to involve them in the discussion of when and where they bought it, how long they have had it, obtaining service records, etc. The reason for this is, in building your “storybook” it will give you the ammunition paired with a copy of the internal RO (blanking the figures off, no one needs to see the amount you spent).
At the time of sale you can show these items in your “storybook” and build the confidence and creditability in your store that your competitors absolutely do not have. CarFax was a great innovation. It has helped tremendously, not only in the public sector but also the private sector.
The one thing you need to always remember about selling pre-owned vehicles is your two biggest competitors are the individual and the independent. The credibility you have with an online buyer or walk in buyer is the history of that vehicle.
A new company that we have recently seen, “Auto-Bio,” is probably the best hand and glove “storybook” combination ever. At a local level you can build a premier vehicle with those items at your fingertips, if you take the time to involve the customer in their trade and point of sale of the new car.
One other thing that we strongly recommend you do is, put in the window of your trade-ins a “pedigree” that says simply “My Pedigree” on the top. Below that the vehicle will be talking to the customer on the printed out sheet. Example – “Hello, I was sold new at XYZ Ford in 2004, I lived on the Southside with a family of four, I was traded in on a new Suburban, I was serviced well by my family and I would really like to become part of yours” (whatever you want to put on there that tells the vehicle’s story). The bottom line is, with a “pedigree” you’re putting a personality in that vehicle coupled with your “storybook” or program that you purchase outside, what ever the case may be. The vehicle has a personality.
Remember, if there’s a history there is no mystery.