Handshake over car keys

5 Tweaks To Your Used Car Sales Pitch To Try Today

As a used car salesperson, you have an even greater responsibility than dealers who are selling factory-new vehicles with full warranties. You have to entice buyers to purchase a car that had an unknown past life before ending up on your dealership lot. 

No matter how much (or little) experience you may have selling cars, there are a few universal techniques that can make you be the best-used car salesperson at your dealership. After all, the sale is only part of the equation. Creating an enjoyable and memorable customer experience is something entirely different, which is what you want to achieve. 

Below are five compelling ways you can be the best used car salesperson: 

  • Treat customers equally: There are two significant examples when it comes to treating your customers equally. The first is when a couple is coming in to purchase a car. Don’t alienate one customer, just because the other appears to be the one with money or the decision-maker. Ask them questions to get to know them on a real level.

    Another example is when it comes to the vehicle(s) they are looking at. Each customer has their wants and needs in a car, and it’s your job to help fulfill those needs. Don’t give any special attention to the customer who is interested in the big-ticket vehicle if you don’t provide that same service to someone looking at a more humble purchase. 
  • Remember names: Simply put, remembering a customer’s name creates a more personal car buying process rather than a transaction. Whether you have to write down their name or recite it to yourself a few times, remembering names is a prominent attribute of a successful salesperson. It also shows the customer that you were listening and weren’t just reciting a line when they walked inside. 
  • Ask questions: 60% of customers are unsure of what car to buy, which is why asking questions is a critical part of the car buying process. Find out who would be driving the car, what it would be used for, what are the must-haves for the car, and what are the dealbreakers. Make sure you know your inventory. Otherwise, you won’t be able to assist customers in choosing their next vehicle adequately. Based on their answers, it’ll allow you to cross-sell or upsell on a car they never thought of but ends up being what they need. 
  • Don’t bash other dealerships: Although it’s tempting to want to talk negatively about your competition, it’s better to listen and explain how you’re different. What are exclusive warranties or deals available only at your dealership? Where do you acquire your inventory? By focusing on the unique benefits that your dealership offers, it eliminates any negative impressions you might leave on your potential buyers. Bashing a competitor can backfire, making your confidence in your own dealership seem diminished in the eyes of your customers.
  • Follow up with your customers: A lot of dealers make a mistake thinking as soon as a customer drives off the lot in their new car, they don’t need to follow up with them. One short call a week or so after the purchase to see how a customer likes their new car shows customer appreciation beyond the sale. This can also be achieved in a thank-you note sent via email, with a little blurb asking them to keep you in mind for any future purchases or referrals. 

    Be sure to also follow up with your customers who weren’t quite ready to make a purchase. Get their contact information and let them know you’ll be following up with them. Perhaps find out what their preferred method of communication is, so you know the best way to get ahold of them. A great opportunity to reach out is when you have new inventory that matches what they were looking for. Now your call is thoughtful and informative, not just a follow-up to see if they’re still in the market. Don’t be pushy when you do call them. Offer to answer any questions they might have so they know you’re here to assist them in finding their new car, not just someone making a commission off their sale.

Whether you try one or all of these methods for your used car sales pitch, they are guaranteed to help you improve your interaction with customers to be on a deeper level and increase dealership sales.

Dealership happy customers

3 Areas In Your Dealership That Could Use Immediate Improvement

No matter how well your dealership is doing in sales and against the competition, there is always room for growth. There’s no such thing as a dealership that is doing everything right all day, every day. If you think your dealership is good to go and doesn’t have any areas for improvement, then it’s only a matter of time before the overall dealership performance dips. 

Finding ways to improve does not mean failure. If anything, it’s a way to enhance your business by taking it to the next level and maintain a competitive edge. It’s as simple as asking yourself a few questions that explore how your dealership performance can improve. 

Three of the most significant areas in your dealership that will always require improvement revolve around your customers and your staff. Top-performing dealerships know that working on these areas is honing their competitive edge. The advice offered below isn’t revolutionary and probably isn’t something you haven’t already heard. But it is frequently overlooked or deferred, so we pulled together the following ways you can immediately improve three areas in your dealership. Check them out below: 

Dealership happy customers
  • Customer retention: Currently, are there any customer retention strategies in place at your dealership? Popular methods at dealerships include reward programs, loyalty incentives, and extra perks that can be used at the service department. These can consist of free car washes, oil changes, and even manicures or other personal services for the vehicle owner. The best part is, the free incentives will bring even more sales and service revenue to your dealership, and maintain your brand awareness.
  • Staff retention: When you manage a large dealership staff, it can be difficult to keep everybody motivated in the workplace. Employee engagement at dealerships is lower than most other industries, and that engagement is even lower amongst Sales and Customer Service workers – the face of your dealership! Are you currently doing anything to show support for your staff? There are several different ways you can show your appreciation for your employees if you aren’t already. Learn about their interests, congratulate them on a job well done or meeting a sales goal, and celebrating job anniversaries are just a few ways to show employee appreciation. If they feel valued in the workplace, they’ll work harder, and as a result, your entire dealership will benefit. 
  • Customer care: What kind of atmosphere does your customer waiting room currently have? When a customer comes in for their scheduled service, they should enter a welcoming environment and not a room full of uncomfortable chairs with cold coffee. Small additions to your waiting area can be those necessary touches that create a welcoming environment for your customers. Healthy snacks, free Wi-Fi, a variety of beverages, and a comfortable seating area go a long way in making your customers feel valued. When that happens, you create customer loyalty. You might need to spend some money to add these improvements, but can you ever put a price on earning a customer’s loyalty? You never know what can come from it or who they’ll refer to your dealership. 

No matter where you discover your dealership can improve, it’s important to remember that change doesn’t happen overnight. Small changes can add up to significant results, and before you know it, your dealership will have a reputation as the best in town. 

Amazon fleet van

Common Problems and Solutions Facing Amazon DSP Fleet Managers

  • Fuel Costs
  • Vehicle Condition
  • Driver Breaks
  • Driver Location

Every day, fleet management handles all sorts of responsibilities to improve overall productivity in the business. Their functions can be anything from vehicle maintenance, telematics, driver management, speed and fuel management, and of course, satisfied customers and clients. Not to mention, it’s no easy task being responsible for every driver across a large area. That’s why companies must implement various fleet management systems and technologies such as telematics. Telematics technology can accurately monitor vehicle health, optimize the best routes based on your driver’s location, among other things such as driver safety. 

However, even the most influential companies, like Amazon, face different problems that no  independent fleet manager wants to deal with. Below are the common problems seen in fleet management that can easily be solved through management systems, such as telematics:

Fuel Costs: Without monitoring driving behaviors and where your vehicles are, the cost of fuel might be significantly more than it needs to be. Amazon may be a global franchise, but fuel is still an incurred expense. Speeding, driving in traffic, and going off the route for longer breaks are all contributing factors for increased fuel costs. Thankfully, telematics technology has made it possible for fleet management to monitor any contributing factors to excess fuel usage. Downsizing to smaller vehicles, such as sprinter vans, are also much more fuel-efficient than driving a 16-wheeler semi. Using sprinters are especially popular during the winter months, as they are much safer and can get to locations faster while keeping fuel costs down. 

Poor Vehicle Condition: Your drivers might be putting additional wear and tear on the vehicles that are unnecessary to accomplish the job. Steps get ripped off, bulkhead doors get knocked off their track. Excess braking and speeding, idling for long periods, and neglecting necessary vehicle maintenance like oil changes, can cause your vehicles to suffer more than they need to. Telematics allows you to monitor the health of your cars based on how your drivers are treating the vehicles. It can also serve as a teaching tool to help educate drivers where they can improve their driving that will also extend the life of the fleet. Amazon DSP fleet owners know just how vital the vehicle’s health is to the business, which is why they encourage their drivers to get any necessary maintenance as part of their job requirements. 

Longer breaks: When your drivers take longer breaks than they should, especially when en route for a delivery, it can cause significant disruption in the business. Companies like Amazon rely on their drivers, making customer deliveries within a specific window of time. Taking unscheduled or longer breaks can create new problems that weren’t there in the first place. Since Amazon is a powerhouse company, their drivers must be dependable, especially when it comes to not taking advantage of breaks. The most reliable and highest performing drivers know that even taking a longer break can jeopardize the business in more ways than an unhappy customer. 

Unknown driver location: Any driver can tell you they are traveling southbound on the freeway or stopped at a red light 10 minutes from the delivery site. But if you notice your drivers aren’t arriving at a location when they should, or they ignore the schedule, then it’s time to implement a fleet management system that gives you the exact location of your drivers in real-time. It’ll eliminate any guessing game and also will allow you to see who your trustworthy drivers are. 

If you haven’t already, do what the big companies are doing and implement telematics technology to improve your fleet management system. There may be a solution to every problem, but telematics also allows you to take your business to the next level and give you that desired competitive edge.

Sword oops

4 Big Management Mistakes For Used Car Sales Managers To Avoid

Being a sales manager at a used car dealership is no easy task. It can be even more of a demanding role than a new car sales manager because you have to deal with acquiring the best vehicles from the auction and oversee the reconditioning process. Although management training exists, seldom do we see people beginning their careers as managers. Those who start on the front lines and are management material may discover they quickly move up the ranks into management roles (and management problems). Even seasoned managers can make mistakes. Some are simply out of your control, while others can be more easily avoided.

Here are four management problem areas to avoid at your dealership along with simple solutions: 

Problem 1: You want people to like you instead of respect you. Many used car managers who are just beginning want everyone to be on their side, so they’ll be overly friendly instead of realizing boundaries that are there for a reason. 

Solution: There is a fine line between being friendly and being friends with everyone. As the manager, you help create a balance between departments, team members, and yourself. It’s important to remember what you have to do, to ensure that the dealership generates revenue. That can be easier with a bit of professional distance between you and those you manage.


Problem 2: You have a sense of entitlement. Just as much as some used car managers make the mistake of being overly friendly, some can be aloof and condescending to their sales team. 

Solution: Every part of a dealership, new or used, relies on one another for success. If you interact with them with a know-it-all attitude instead of one of collaborative problem-solving, they aren’t going to want to work hard to be part of the dealership’s goals, including speeding up the reconditioning process, selling your used inventory, acquiring the best cars from auction, etc.


Problem 3: You avoid conflict. Nobody likes conflict, but part of your job description as a sales manager is the ability to resolve disputes, not hide from them. 

Solution: The solution here is to identify what may be causing the conflict and how it can be resolved. Also, don’t fix the conflict without coaching your team members on how it can be avoided next time there’s a conflict. Let any conflict be an opportunity to grow as an organization, not for you to clean up the mess and slide it under the carpet.

 

Problem 4: Poor asset management bottlenecks the reconditioning process. vAuto found that some of the best-performing dealers can recondition their vehicles in 24 hours or less, whereas other dealerships take a week or longer. These high-performance dealerships can typically sell a car within 21 days of being on the lot. Anything more, and your lot gets full of depreciating assets, among other problems. 

Solution: Use readily available and easy to deploy software solutions to manage the recon workflow, vehicles, communication, and record-keeping better. Good software, such as ReconMonitor, is designed to optimize your reconditioning process to save you time and money.


Mistakes are normal in any business, no matter what role a person may have. It’s how you find the solutions and work together as a team that will determine the success of your dealership.

Hiring handshake

4 Hiring Practices That Can Hurt Your Dealership’s Success

  • Job Descriptions
  • One-sided Interviews
  • Desperation
  • Fact-Checking

Your dealership employees are a reflection of your brand. They are who your customer interacts with, purchases from, and need to build trust with before they make their vehicle purchase. Each new hire costs a dealership an average of $10,000, which can add up if you have a high turnover rate.

According to a 2019 Cox Automotive Dealership Staffing Study, the average annualized turnover rate at a dealership is roughly 80% for sales consultants and 46% for dealership employees overall. You probably have a team consisting of entry-level salespeople eager to help people find their dream car. You may also have non-sales staff such as service writers who pull long hours but feel they don’t make enough money and should be compensated for overtime. 

Rather than discussing the specifics you should look for in the hiring process (every company has its own cultural and skill requirements), we’ve pulled together some hiring practices you may not realize can hurt your dealership’s success. Check them out: 

  • Minimal job descriptions: If you want to attract the best, you have to write a job description that has a bit more information than just the minimum requirements. Be clear with who and what you want out of that position, their required job experience, and what their job requirements would be. A short blurb will come off vague and will get a lot of applications from people who don’t have the necessary qualifications. 
  • One-sided interviews: Job interviews are not just one-sided. You want to present a workplace that would make someone want to work at your dealership. An interview is not just about you checking out candidates for a position. It’s also a first impression of what it would be like working at your dealership. If you instill a desire to work for you right from the interview process, they’ll be more enthusiastic about coming to work. 
  • Making an offer on the spot: When you make an offer on the spot, it comes off as desperate. You need to establish a comprehensive hiring process that includes different interviews, checking out references, and perhaps a trial project at the dealership to show them what a typical day would be. Something freely given has little value, so even if you are desperate to hire, don’t appear to be in a rush.
  • Not doing a background or reference check: Just as bad as it is to offer a job right on the spot, so is not performing a background or reference check. You may feel the pressure to hire someone right away and that verifying someone is who they say they are is a waste of time. In actuality, it keeps your dealership team and customers safe. Not to mention, it’ll save you money by hiring a quality, truthful employee instead of someone who lied about their work experience. After all, a survey conducted by CareerBuilder discovered that over half of hiring managers report they’ve caught prospects lying in their resumes. A simple reference or background check will save you that stress.

There you have it, four different hiring practices that can actually hurt your dealership’s success. Simply rearranging a few areas in the hiring process will not only save you time and future aggravation, but it’ll also save money from hiring people that aren’t in it for the long run. Make your hiring process a priority at your dealership by developing a system that guarantees any new hires you bring on will be the right hires. 

surveying used cars

4 Essential Rules To Nail Reconditioning Every Time

Your dealership’s recon operation is a profit center, but the amount of that profit depends on the choices you make and the process you administer.

Detail wash

5 Tips To Improve Your Reconditioning Process

Parking board

Running a used car dealership can be incredibly rewarding for both you, your team and customers. But one of the most significant processes involved in the used car business is reconditioning. Most dealers have an average reconditioning turnaround time of 7 days. However, the best-performing dealers can complete the reconditioning process in 24 hours or less. These are the dealers who know that “time is money” and are determined to get their vehicles ready as soon as possible to get the sales rolling in. 

So how can you improve the reconditioning process at your dealership? The following are five proven ways that you can improve:  

1) Post descriptions, photos, videos, and prices ASAP

Before you begin any reconditioning work,  photos, videos, and your asking prices should be available on your dealership’s website. If your vehicles aren’t photo-ready, then use good quality online stock images as a placeholder until the actual vehicle is ready to be photographed. This allows potential buyers to get a look at the cars you have available and can speed up the purchase process. 

2) Have A Reconditioning Team Ready 

Having a designated team of individuals specifically for reconditioning will significantly speed up the process. Your service team is already busy enough taking care of repairs and other service operations. Send your acquired auction vehicles directly to a team whose only focus is to recondition cars and make them front line ready.

3) Buy Better Cars 

Let’s face it: a used vehicle that is in excellent condition will require less work than a car that is just shy of being a fixer-upper. That’s not to say don’t purchase vehicles that need a thorough reconditioning. If the profit potential is justified, you should acquire the vehicle. However, mix it up with vehicles in better condition to make up for the time it takes to perform longer restorations. The goal is to have a steady stream of sellable inventory hitting the front line.

4) Give Proof 

Even if you’re not able to have a separate reconditioning team and the responsibility lies in the hands of your service department, it’s important to give proof of how much additional gross can flow into these departments if they reduce reconditioning cycle-time. When there are delays, everyone loses, including the customers. On the other hand, busy dealerships can make hundreds of thousands of dollars in gross profit annually by shaving off a couple of days in the detailing/reconditioning process. Encourage your used vehicle and service departments by showing them just how much additional gross can be made if they speed up the process, and reward their improvement. This will give them the incentive to work towards that goal where everyone can benefit. 

5) Automatic Approval 

Dealers who establish an automatic approval process for reconditioning work will see a significantly faster turnaround time. Set up a baseline cost for pre-approved repairs (the average is between $600 and $800) so that the work can be completed in a timely matter. If the estimated repairs are going to cost more than your range, have managers commit to giving a decision within a couple of hours to expedite the process. You’ll not only save a lot of time, but you’ll also save money and sell your vehicles faster. 

Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also recommend using dealership reconditioning software like ReconMonitor to manage the entire process. Using software to shepherd the process allows you and your team to have all the information at your fingertips. You know the status of each vehicle and the techs know what to do now, what to do next, and any changes to the plans in real-time. Information is power, and ReconMonitor gives you the power to speed up recon and get your cars frontline-ready at maximum speed.

4 Benefits Of Giving Back To Your Community

4 Benefits Of Giving Back To Your Community

Giving is its own reward, but your business benefits from community involvement are manyfold.

Children viewing monitor

5 Ways To Give Your Dealership Website A Virtual Facelift

Your website is your first impression for folks looking at dealerships online. Not only is it a representation of your brand, but it’s also a way to attract new customers. In only a matter of moments, a visitor to your website can determine if they want to do business with you. They may not have driven by your dealership or seen your commercials. Therefore, your site is as much of a representation of your dealership as the location itself. 

Poor website design
Web button error

One of the most important attributes of a website is the ability to communicate what the business does and who it serves. Your website needs to be able to answer questions a customer might have and give an accurate representation of your brand. At the same time, you can’t fill your website with so much content that your message is lost. 

The following are 5 ways you can improve your dealership’s website:

White Space

Although you want your website to pop and grab people’s attention, it’s also important to have white space. This gives the impression of organization and cleanliness in a modern way, focusing the attention on essential aspects within that white space. It can be specific models, categories, new or pre-owned, etc. The possibilities are endless. A recent study by Crazy Egg found that user attention increased by 20% when using white space around images, titles, and text. 

Create Calls To Action 

People are going to venture onto your website at all times: early in the morning, during the business day, and even in the middle of the night. Calls To Actions (CTAs) are an excellent way for someone to begin communication with you based on what they want. Be careful not to bog down the page with too many CTAs. This can cause your message to be lost in the chaos. Less is more when using Call To Action buttons. Sometimes all you need are “View Details” and “Get ePrice” to adequately serve the needs of someone visiting your website. 

Mobile Formatted Website

Not everyone who comes to your website will be on their computer or laptop. This is why your website must also be mobile formatted. Keep it easy to navigate and identical to the desktop version of your website. Many website building software products have built-in responsive design tools that allow your pages to detect the size of the screen being used, and reformat the page for optimal display. Mobile-Friendly websites rank higher in search results done on the phone compared to non-mobile formatted sites. If you want to read more on the statistics of mobile-friendly websites, click here

Put A Face Behind The Business 

When all the focus is on how to drive traffic to your website and improve the overall appearance, many businesses focus on the products and services offered. This can cause them to neglect the actual person-to-person experience. When people go to the dealership, they’re working with a real person. Since a visitor on your website doesn’t have someone greeting them it’s critical to have a page showing pictures of your staff on your website to give the visitor a welcoming vibe. Don’t limit the collection to just the sales team and service advisors either. Include service and reconditioning staff, finance, back-office, and executives, too.

People want to feel like they’re working with someone who genuinely cares about their business and not just after their money. Having a page with staff profiles “humanizes” your website and allows your staff to introduce themselves before someone comes into the dealership. 

High-Quality Photos 

The photos you use online for the vehicles on sale at your dealership are essential to determine whether or not someone is interested. It’s the product’s first impression, so you want to make sure the cars look their best. Using high-quality images shows your dealership cares about the brand and giving the user the best possible experience online. A study by Cox Automotive found that 90% of customers find photos important when looking for new or used cars online. 

Children viewing monitor

There are plenty of other ways you can improve the online experience for your dealership’s website. These are 5 of the primary techniques that the most successful dealerships use for their sites. Give it a try with yours, and the results may surprise you.

animation-call center agent depiction and hands on a cell phone

Establishing Customer Contact

Smiling woman wearing telephone headset

Communication is one of the most important aspects of running a thriving dealership. Customer service is improved, financial operations are streamlined, departments work together much more effectively, and more. Customer contact is the very core of what keeps business moving at a dealership. Without customers, there would be no business – plain and simple. 

There have been recent significant changes in how dealerships conduct business. More and more dealerships have entered the digital age of technology to serve their customer’s needs better. But how do you create a system of communication amongst your customers that not only shows your location is “current,” but is also capable of meeting their ever-growing demands? Within moments of a customer landing on your website, they know if they want to do business with you. Let’s take a more in-depth look. 

Old Meets New 

When you look at the customers that come to your dealership, you probably have a wide range of “old meets new.” The “old” would refer to your customers who have been with you since the beginning. They know the quality of service they will be getting and have referred their friends and family to your shop. You know them on a first-name basis and probably did the first oil change on their kid’s car. The “new” refers to the customers who are used to technology being at their fingertips. It’s a way of life for them, and they’d expect the facility caring for their car to be up to those same standards. 

What Happens Next

Today, communication is so much more than an email and a phone call. It’s all about taking the standard methods to the next level with tools such as IVM, text messaging, and ringless voicemail technology. These tools will allow you to connect with thousands of customers all at once without the time consuming manual outreach. For example, interactive voice messaging (IVM) can be an automated call to customers that gives them different responsive scheduling options for their appointment. 

Texting has also become a primary form of communication and is a great way to communicate with your customers. Customers never want to feel like they aren’t getting the same level of service they can get elsewhere. Without evidence that your dealership is using current technology, some customers could question if their car is being repaired following the latest repair procedures. They could voice their opinion in an online review, letting other customers know of your outdated methods. And that’s when the negative online reviews can start to affect your business.

Communication Is Key

There are several dealers out there who make the same mistake of not keeping in communication with their customers as soon as they drive off the lot. However, communication is critical in all aspects of dealership operations, from sales to service and beyond. 

When it comes to the service department, your customers want to feel informed and not left in the dark. They want to know what’s happening throughout their car’s repair and if something comes up. Just waiting for a call from the shop saying, “your car is ready” isn’t going to cut it anymore. Ask your customers how they prefer to be contacted and make it part of their record. Whenever possible, stay connected with your service customers by sending them text messages throughout the process of their repair. If something bigger comes up that didn’t appear in the estimate, call them and follow it up with an urgent text. 

To run a successful dealership is to have multiple communication methods to your customers. It may just surprise you what can happen just by discovering which communication method works best for your customers.