How to Compete With an Offer While the Customer Is in Your Dealership

Oct 9, 2023

Today’s car shoppers are savvier than ever, armed with knowledge from their own research across multiple sources. In fact, consumers looking to dispose of their vehicles spend over 14 hours in total researching and shopping online according to the latest Cox Automotive Car Buyer Journey Study. Yours might not be the first dealership a customer has researched or visited, but you can still secure their vehicle for your inventory.

Inventory tips for on-the-spot acquisitions

There’s a short but crucial window from when a customer enters your dealership to when they’re ready to leave. In this timeframe, you can acquire a vehicle that fits well into your inventory strategy. But how do you go from greeting a customer to sealing the deal?

Here are some actionable strategies:

Pre-evaluation: Do some homework

Before a customer arrives for an appointment, take a look at preliminary data about their vehicle. Look at your current inventory and market demand to assess how well this vehicle would fit in. You can also refresh your inventory strategy using tools like vAuto.

Effective communication skills: Consult—don’t try to convince

When discussing a potential offer for your customer’s vehicle, make it a two-way conversation. Listen to what the customer is looking for and any reservations they may have. Don’t overlook a customer’s reasons for selling.

Use real-time information to show, not tell

Real-time data showing vehicle-, region-, and market-specific information helps you substantiate your offer.  

However, building a genuine customer relationship and trust is by far the most valuable piece of the puzzle. Walking customers around their trade-in vehicle and thoroughly explaining the offer often pays dividends in the process. This is where Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer comes in. With a transparent offer provided by the number 1 most used third-party automotive site to research and shop online*, you’ll have a built-in level of trust with your customer taking the friction out of the appraisal process.

Don’t just think in numbers: Personalization is essential

Sometimes, a customer’s acceptance of an offer depends on multiple variables—in other words, it’s not just about dollar signs. Consider adding perks, like a free upcoming service for a tune-up or oil change. Take into account other vehicles in the customer’s household and present other incentives that, while they might not result in a higher dollar offer, otherwise add value for the customer.

Be respectful of customers’ time

One of the most time-consuming aspects of dealership transactions is processing time. How can you significantly reduce the time it takes to manage the transaction? Automating certain aspects of a transaction and streamlining processes results in satisfied customers who know you respect their time.

Ease customer concerns and pain points

When customers are considering selling a vehicle, they will likely have questions and concerns. Whether they’re worried about the condition of their trade-in vehicle or concerned about paperwork, address these matters immediately. Ask what questions your customer has, communicate your understanding, and provide honest answers.

Keep in touch: Don’t neglect customers after the transaction

Even if the customer needs to think it through and the deal doesn’t close immediately, a follow-up call or email can swing the decision in your favor. If the customer ultimately chooses not to sell their vehicle or sells to one of your competitors, keeping the lines of communication open and showing genuine interest in how they’re doing goes a long way for potential future transactions.

Enhance your inventory acquisitions with Dealer Boost

Sometimes your shoppers may come into your dealership with another offer, but that doesn’t mean the deal is over. With Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer Dealer Boost you can not only match a competing dealership’s offer but surpass that offer—and exceed customer expectations. Dealer Boost is a newly enhanced, game-changing feature from Kelley Blue Book that empowers your dealership to be more competitive than ever.

What is Dealer Boost?

As a complement to Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer, Dealer Boost gives you the tools to offer even more money and beat a competitors vehicle offer. The objective is simple:

  • Boost consumer confidence
  • Illustrate how they get the best offer at your dealership
  • Convert leads into customers
  • Build relationships
  • Generate loyalty 

How does it work?

Dealers can apply automatic rules to boost offers based on the inventory they need and even provide insight on when to boost offers on-site. When the offer is emailed or printed it  shows the original offer amount with the boost amount highlighted, which can further motivate customers to redeem the offer. Additionally, if a customer’s offer expires, you can bring it back to life with Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer RE-ENGAGE.

Final thoughts

Inventory acquisition can happen while the customer is in your dealership, but it’s an art form. On-the-spot acquisitions require preparation, effective communication, a deep understanding of data, and most importantly trust.

Read our blog for more industry strategies and tips like these.

*source: 2022 Cox Automotive Car Buyer Journey Study