Get Smart with Your BDC to Boost Trade-In Operations

October 27, 2019 in Improving Operations

If you’ve got a great BDC, then you know that a strong trade-in value is essential to driving additional floor traffic. However, the most innovative BDCs have found ways to handle the ever-important car appraisal with a new process.

A terrific BDC director once told us that the key to his department’s success wasn’t a single tool, technology, or methodology. Instead, his success was built on great technology coupled with a clear and consistent process to drive sales and keep the lines of communication open with his customers.

Interested in learning how your BDC can combine technology with a solid process to improve your trade-in operations? 

Start by creating a consistent line of communication between yourself and your team and ask yourselves some important questions. 

How does your team handle leads involving trade-ins versus leads from customers who just want to sell their cars? What happens if you lose the deal during the first appointment and the customer walks? How does your BDC follow up with a lead if trade-in value was the primary factor in losing the deal? Does your team use other lead sources, such as lead generation from the service drive, or do they create marketing initiatives designed to target customers who are looking for a car appraisal to sell their vehicles?  

Once you’ve got the answers to these questions, put these three proven strategies to work for your BDC.

After the Car Appraisal, Remarket the Trade and Revive the Lead

Not every trade-in fits your stocking plan, and it’s not uncommon to be conservative with non-core inventory. If your customer left after the car appraisal, don’t be afraid to revisit that lead. 

Cast a net into the wholesale market to further assess the trade-in value. Then, remarket that prospect inside your network, soliciting multiple sources for their input. If you’re able to present a higher trade-in value, you’ll likely win another appointment. 

Offer a Complimentary Car Appraisal in the Service Drive 

Your service drive is a great place to source leads. If a customer is facing hefty repair costs, a replacement vehicle could very well be a great alternative. 

Create harmony between your BDC, your service department, and your used car department by conducting complementary car appraisals in the service drive. Don’t forget to implement an incentive plan for service advisors to provide vehicle valuations. 

Providing trade-in values at the time of service enables customers to seamlessly upgrade into newer vehicles - while helping them avoid costly repairs in the process.    

Market the Right Way to Win Leads and Inventory at the Curb 

Plenty of dealerships tout that they’re looking to buy cars off the street, but few market this message effectively.  

In your marketing messaging, it’s important to consistently tell consumers that you encapsulate the entire vehicle cycle, from buying to servicing to trading and selling cars. 

Technology can help, too. The Appraisal Lane enables people to get a cash offer for their car in minutes, which, in turn, enables your BDC to reach a much wider base of potential customers. 

Most BDCs today employ some level of technology to handle the car appraisal process and trade-in leads. However, combining the latest technology with a targeted approach to handling outright sales is key in helping your BDC drive more leads into your showroom and more used car sales for your dealership.