How To Increase Trade-In Lead Conversions

How To Increase Trade-In Lead Conversions

Like any type of lead, the hottest lead can still fall short if the person at the dealership receiving the lead doesn’t handle it promptly, properly, and professionally. (Or even worse, doesn’t respond at all) 

Trade-in leads are unique leads, as it involves a prospect who is looking to SELL YOU something. Whether they want to trade it in on something you have in stock, or are just looking to sell you their car outright. If they came through in the form of a trade-in lead, it means they are looking to get this information FIRST and know what you are willing to pay them for their vehicle, before they want to take a look at something you have to offer. 

Here are three strategies dealers can implement to help increase overall conversion on trade in leads.

  1. Assign a dedicated person to receive and respond to the trade in leads. Trade in leads generated off of your website or from paid marketing efforts are not like a VDP specific lead or a credit application. They need to be handled in a different manner, a customer is looking to sell YOU their vehicle. When you filter these leads through your normal internet or BDC department, in most cases they don’t get handled properly. We recommend assigning a dedicated rep, in some cases even the used car manager, to be the dedicated representative to receive these leads. Someone who has knowledge on vehicle values, and the product knowledge to ask proper model / trim questions.   If not a manager, then someone who has a direct line to whoever has authority to put appraisals on trade ins at the dealership. 

  2. Implement an SMS / text strategy. Text messages in North America as of 2018 have a 94% open rate. Today, this IS your customers preferred method on contact. Your dealership needs to have an SMS strategy for the initial reach out to these incoming leads. Customers are usually hesitant to give out their cell phone number, however if you are using a trade in tool the chances are they were able to collect that mobile number for you in the initial lead inquiry. Sales people should not be texting customers directly from their personal cell phones. This won’t give management any supervision or tracking capabilities into how your sales people are responding to the dealership prospects. You need a proper SMS / lead manager to respond to your leads in a centralized location where management can monitor and even jump into the conversations. If you don’t have one in place, ask us for some recommendations for texting software for your dealership.
  3. Start by asking detailed questions about their Vehicle. That’s right, the best way to engage these leads is to immediately jump in about questions regarding THEIR vehicle. Save your “Why buy here” pitch for later. Most untrained sales people make the mistake of jumping right into a pitch, trying to get a selection of their inventory, and focusing on selling their brand and dealership. When a customer has come in from a trade in form, this is where their focus is at this time in the shopping journey and should be yours as well. 
  1. Prepare the right scripts Instead of reaching out to this lead with something like this:


“ Hey Norm, My name is Andrew from ABC Motors. We are a family-owned and operated dealer for 20+ years, and are the #1 Volume dealer of (brand) in your area. We go the distance for our customers, and can guarantee you the best deal. When is a good time for you to make it in? “

Your customer is hearing this same approach at every dealership.  Instead, I would suggest an approach like this:

“ Hey Norm! Andrew here from ABC Motors. Really like your 2017 F150, quick question - would we get the tonneau cover included and does it have the Ford Sync and Back Up Camera ? “

When you ask these detailed questions about their vehicle, you watch the actual response rate skyrocket.  

For more tips and resources for your dealership, check out today. 

- Team Autocorp

See how 500+ dealerships sell and make more money everyday with AVA™.

Get started

Latest news

The latest news, articles, and resources, sent to your inbox weekly.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Based on your internet traffic we will determine the monthly profit for your dealership

Calculate ROI

Ready to get started?

Continue your growth, and  secure your monthly targets with ease.

Get started! 🚀