According to dealer management systems provider Pinewood, sales people fail to match customer car needs to existing vehicles they may already have registered on their database.
Neville Briggs, Pinewood managing director, says: "If someone walks into a dealership and says they are looking for a particular three year old model, most sales people will immediately look at their own stock lists, then their group stock list, and finally at their manufacturer's national stock.
"However, one area is often overlooked. In their dealership's data should be a record of whether they sold a car matching that description at new. They could then possibly buy that car from its existing owner, in turn creating demand for a new model from that customer."
Briggs added that any part exchange that came from the first customer could also be handled in a similar fashion, by interrogating the data available to find customers who may be interested in buying a vehicle of that type.
He said: "Instead of selling one used car and having one part-exchange pushed through the auctions at cost price, by using the data properly the sales person has managed to retail a new car and two used ones at forecourt prices while linking all those customers to their dealership. We know of dealerships that use this technique very successfully.”