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Navigating trade-in objections: why slow and steady win the race — Sean Gardner | Joe Verde Group

Trade-in negotiations can be tricky for salespeople to navigate, as a disappointing appraisal can quickly sour the client relationship. How can dealership teams set realistic expectations during this process without losing their customer’s business?

On this episode of CBT Now, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Sean Gardner, instructor and sales trainer at Joe Verde Group. Now, Gardner shares the key tactics successful salespeople leverage to overcome objections during the trade-in process and identify deals that work best for the consumer and the dealership.

Key Takeaways

1. Instead of immediately addressing trade-in value questions as objections, salespeople should focus on building rapport with customers, understanding their needs, and highlighting the value of the new car.

2. While there may be pressure to speed up the sales process, taking the time to thoroughly engage with customers, understand their preferences, and provide a world-class presentation can lead to higher closing ratios and customer satisfaction.

3. When customers bring up trade-in value early in the process, it’s important to answer their questions confidently but then redirect the conversation to the features and benefits of the new car. Avoid getting stuck in a trade-in negotiation too early.

4. Emphasize that trade-in values depend on market conditions, the specific vehicle’s characteristics, and other factors. This helps set realistic expectations and focuses the conversation on the overall value proposition.

5. Ultimately, while trade-in negotiations are part of the process, the goal should be to make the customer happy overall. Prioritize building a positive relationship, understanding their needs, and delivering a seamless buying experience.

"If you spend 60 minutes or less with the customer, the chances of delivering the vehicle today is only 6%...If you spend 72 minutes with that customer, your closing ratio delivery ratio today will jump up to about 37%. If we spend 100 minutes or more with the customer, okay, you're talking 57, 58% closing ratio. So we're trying to speed things up, but in reality, we need to slow down, make friends, find what's in need, pick out that perfect car, and concentrate on giving that customer a world-class demonstration, right?" — Sean Gardner

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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