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How dealers can increase profits from their used car operations

Sell the car first and the deal second

Specsavers allows an average of 48 minutes for customers to try on spectacles. Franchised dealers’ test drives last an average of 11 minutes, said Symco Training owner Simon Bowkett.


This means the opportunity to present the car and to get the customer excited about its features is being missed.

While it is often said that customers today know what they want by the time they enter the dealership, Bowkett said salespeople still need to sell the car and the experience rather than jump straight into the deal.

“Raise the desire for the car, then you can raise the profit,” he added.

He suggested sales executives can use the knowledge and research that the customer has already gathered.

Rather than going through all the features and risking patronising the customer, salespeople could get the customers to sell it to themselves by asking what it was about the car that attracted them most. It’s a useful qualification device, he said. When it comes to negotiating the deal, salespeople should emphasise the value on offer and the other interest being shown in the car.

Next page: Taking a more scientific approach to pricing used car stock

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