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But the other salesperson said my trade was worth more

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We have all run into the situation where a client has an unrealistic trade value in mind. What is even more frustrating is when they believe that it is reasonable because they got the figure from a competitor salesperson. Let's just ignore the possibility that the interaction with another salesperson is something they just made up. You're never going to accuse them of lying so always proceed as if it were true.
How do we remain professional yet cast doubt on the figure they got from somewhere else? We have often said that people don't argue with their own data - they believe conclusions that they come to themselves. So our job in this case is to help them come to the conclusion that the figure they got is probably not accurate.

Start by asking about the other dealership: "May I ask, where was that and did the other dealership provide you with a complete, written trade appraisal?"  Most of the time an unrealistic trade figure will be a verbal one.

Now educate them on the thoroughness of your process. Tell them how it works here: "Mr. Customer that sure seems like a high trade value. Let me just take a moment to explain how we determine an accurate trade value. We have a very thorough process so that our customers can be sure that the number accurately reflects the value of their trade-in vehicle. We don't just pull a number out of the air because valuating used cars is complicated.

When you have selected your new vehicle, our manager does a complete inspection of your trade-in and itemizes each item for reconditioning. He will drive the vehicle and all of his assessment notes go onto a buyer's report. He also consults industry guides, sold reports, and the very latest auction results. When we complete the appraisal we put it in writing directly on the proposal worksheet so you can see exactly what the difference between your old vehicle and new one is."

"One thing we don't do is give verbal ball-park estimates to our customers. That always results in figures too high or too low... it’s just not accurate. It’s also not fair to the client because values change daily with the market. The only value that matters is the one on the day you agree trade it in."

"We have seen that it is very easy for other dealerships or salespeople to later say that that their verbal estimate was just a guess or wasn't approved by management and then they ask you to take less."

"I'm not sure if this would be the case in your situation, but some salespeople, if they feel that you are still shopping around, might be tempted to give you an unrealistic trade value just so that it would be impossible for any competitor to match it. They think that you'll be forced to come back to them when nobody else can meet that price. Clients like you would find that offensive so we just don’t do it!"

Ask them: "Can you see how a verbal trade value figure might be very inaccurate compared to our thorough evaluation process?  Let’s have another look at the buyers report and I can explain line by line the reconditioning items my manager has listed. Ok?”

"Those who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try nothing and succeed."
Lloyd Jones

Automotivaters is highly recognized and one of the most respected automotive training and consulting companies in Canada. Since 1987, the company has acquired an international client base throughout Canada, the United States, the Philippines, Indonesia, French Polynesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and New Zealand.

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Copyright © 2011 by ISI/PAL Automotivaters Inc.
Copyright © 2017 by ISI/PAL Automotivaters Inc. If you share this, print it out, or reproduce it in any way, please retain this copyright statement.

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