TRADE-INS: Lose the Crystal Ball & Employ Third Party ACV Validation!

Crystal Ball

CONFLICT: When the customer’s perceived value of their current vehicle exceeds the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of that vehicle in the marketplace.

DESIRED OUTCOME: To effectively align our prospect’s perceived value of their trade vehicle with the Actual Cash Value (ACV) based on real marketplace value.

This scenario occurs literally thousands of times every day in our business. Our ability to effectively discuss and negotiate the fair value of trade vehicles can very often be the difference between making and breaking a deal. If you begin this step with the desired outcome in mind, you can immediately increase your chances of successfully helping your prospect to make a smarter decision and deliver the vehicle! The outcome we seek is to simply align the prospect’s perceived value of their current vehicle with the ACV based on condition, seasonal adjustments, marketplace trends and other influence factors.

Let’s look at this conceptually…When a prospect considers buying or leasing a vehicle from us, they take the time to inspect and demonstrate our vehicles for condition and other deciding factors. Well, we are doing the same when considering the acquisition of their current vehicle through the process of trading in. The power of taking the time to simply perform an active trade vehicle walkaround evaluation on their current vehicle with our prospect will help to educate them on what we look at during the actual appraisal and valuation process that our manager performs.

When presented with a trade vehicle (Or more sometimes more appropriately stated, when we discover a trade vehicle will be involved!), gathering quality information about the vehicle is critical to helping us to not only properly value the trade vehicle, but moreover to help us to properly pre-frame the overall negotiation. One of the most effective actions we should take is to engage our prospects in the process of evaluating the trade vehicle condition by having them join us in performing the walkaround. This is not done to embarrass the prospect or malign the trade vehicle; however, we should take the time to complete a detailed Condition Report, noting everything from dings and dents to upholstery, previous maintenance, liens, and other important pieces of information. This simply applies facts and reality to the valuation process for the trade vehicle, so that in the end, we can have a more educated discussion regarding the true value of the vehicle being traded in to you. Remember, we are in essence, writing a check for the acquisition of the trade vehicle, so every time we successfully avoid “stretching” to make the deal, we maintain the integrity of our pre-owned vehicle inventory and make it even more affordable for the next owner!

We can also employ credible third-party websites and resources to validate our dealership valuation of the trade vehicle. All too often, the subjective nature of the transaction leads to frustration and hard feelings during the negotiation. This is not only unnecessary, but moreover it is avoidable. Take the time to walk your prospect through the third-party information that backs up the ACV that your manager has placed on the vehicle. In the event that you run into a significant objection to the figures, seek a manager introduction (TO), so that they can, as a third-party, address the process behind the valuation. In the end, when we transfer the valuation process from us as a Sales Professional, to the market, we are better able to create a collaborative experience with our prospects.

Another Professional Selling Skill that is easy to do, but even easier not to do. So, remember…Amateurs settle for being one of a million, professionals strive to be One-In-A-Million!©

2 thoughts on “TRADE-INS: Lose the Crystal Ball & Employ Third Party ACV Validation!

  1. Bruno

    Agreed Sandy, the desire to move a new car shouldn’t result in a bad trade-in scenario. Establish the cash value ahead of the new car negotiation…why give up all that pre-owned profit?


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