25 Jun Your Best Used Car Sales Tool – Photos First
Get Cars Imaged and Frontline-Ready Faster to Boost Used Car Sales
Talk about disruptive – it turns out the best selling tool you can give your used car sales team is faster reconditioning!
Not a new ad campaign. Not a new CRM. Not even better lead conversion rates.
The most productive sales tool is image-first reconditioning – a tactic that gets incoming used car inventory marketed and merchandised online within an hour or two of acquisition.
Eyeballs cannot land on vehicles they can’t see, but dealers using a photos-first rapid reconditioning strategy are selling 15 to 40
percent of trades and auction cars before those vehicles complete their three-to-day time-to-line (T2L) cycle.
A recon department able to get cars temporarily photographed right off the transport – and then in and out of the photo booth puts a quite disruptive closing tool in your sales team’s hands, in real time every day!
YOUR BEST SALES TOOL
1. Prompts Quick Leads
With vehicle images and VINs uploaded online as soon as cars arrive, interested buyers start inquiring before recon begins. To support the sales team, assign a portion of your BDC team to find buyers for these just-arrived cars, trucks, and SUVs.
2. Eliminates Competition
With your sales team notified immediately when new inventory arrives, they’re ahead of the close. They’ll observe recon status in real time on their mobile device or desktop and be informed when cars complete necessary safety recon steps.
3. Prompts Closings
Give buyers the option to opt out of nonessential mechanical and cosmetic reconditioning at a price reflecting their preference for a less comprehensive level of recon.
4. Increases Gross
Retain gross as faster recon reduces holding cost depreciation on these cars –an average $40 per day per car from the time you buy the vehicle until you retail it.
5. Builds Trust
Rapid reconditioning reports are big guns in sales’ hands – when shared with prospects, these before/after recon details strengthen buyer confidence in the safety and performance of your used vehicles.
Selling cars off transports or still in recon is not new. What is new, however, are the controls, tracking mechanics, communications tools, and vehicle-locate features that keep recon workflow on schedule.
When recon works like a clock it accounts for the movement of every car regardless of recon status. Management can push or pull cars through the recon workflow to meet a photos-first buyer closing requests without disruption to the overall recon flow.
Your sales people love fresh metal. Insist they join you on every trade walk and every auction-transport delivery. Get them familiarized and excited about these new sales opportunities. Encourage them to image these vehicles on their smartphones and start texting prospects they know might be interested.
Then, give these cars a quick detail touch up to replace those images taken of them right off the truck, so final online photos are clean, crisp and reflective of these great cars you have for sale.
A Dealer’s Perspective
Bob Rombs is vice president and director of operations for the Tysinger Motor Company. His photos-first strategy gets buyer eyeballs on his cars within 1.5 days of their acquisition.
When the potential to sell 40 percent of your used car inventory before they’re entirely reconditioned, these early marketing ideas cannot be ignored.
“Your maximum gross profit is within the first 15 days you own that car,” Rombs said, “and after that, the gross starts downward and holding costs go up. Part of velocity is to get cars online with photographs and then sale-ready quickly.”
When Rombs installed Rapid Recon software, his T2L dropped to 5 days.
“But you need to note,” he said, “that many dealers don’t measure their recon process from trade to the frontline as we do. We look and measure every step.”
If you hope to increase turn and improve (or hold) gross, you must get cars to the sales lot quicker than ever before:
- Increase inventory turn by one by reducing recon cycle time by 2.5 days
- Get cars sale-ready faster – strive for three to five days; fresh inventory sells faster at higher margins
- Fine-tune appraisal practices and train appraisers to improve appraisal effectiveness
This photos-first/rapid reconditioning strategy demands that the dealership has in place the right transitional processes to flow digital shoppers through their online engagement with you, including their visit to the showroom.
Real-world practice also confirms that daily use of digital marketing fundamentals and rapid reconditioning reinforce:
- You must get incoming cars online and to the front line fast – almost immediately digitally and physically within three-to-five days
- You must discipline sales personnel to use recon workflow tools to be hyper-committed to immediate response to sales opportunities, by whatever channel opportunity knocks
By implementing a photos-first/T2L recon strategy, you will get all cars sale-ready faster than you ever thought – on average for most dealerships this cycle time drops from eight to 21 days to three-to-five days!
TIME IS MONEY
Recon today is a time-sensitive tool. Properly managed, T2L will increase inventory turn, so you sell more cars yet stock fewer of them. You’ll also reduce holding cost depreciation that erodes gross from your bottom line.
Test for yourself what your current T2L workflow speed might be costing you. Visit rapidrecon.com and enter your data into this Holding Cost calculator.
NCM Associates informs us the average holding cost charge against inventory is $40 per day per car. A 10-day T2L adds a $400 burden against gross margin. Reduce that T2L by half and this burden drops by half.
DO THE MATH
Using T2L, dealers typically shave five days from their ADR. A five-day reduction equates to two additional inventory turns a year. Two extra turns on 100 cars X $1,500 gross equals $300,000 a year or $25,000 a month – a remarkable Return on Investment for a monthly T2L workflow software investment of $500.
Still not sure?
Reserve your copy of the seminal study on reconditioning department economics and workflow best practices – a complimentary $59 value gift with a helpful demo. Schedule yours here at www.rapidrecon.com