Carvana & CarMax’s Ramped-Up Reconditioning Operations Make Efficient & Lean Recon Operations An Imperative For Dealers

Carvana & CarMax’s Ramped-Up Reconditioning Operations Make Efficient & Lean Recon Operations An Imperative For Dealers

Nearly every dealer in the country is feeling the pinch on new and used vehicle inventories, with sellable inventory levels down as much as 70% for some dealers. To offset the inventory supply crunch, both Carvana and CarMax have ramped up their reconditioning operations over the past few months – to get vehicles Retail-Ready Faster and to speed inventory turns. From opening an additional inspection center to adding resources and streamlining reconditioning processes, these used car heavyweights are expanding their recon operations because they understand the relationship of workflow efficiencies to inventory levels and turn.

CarMax’s acquisition of Edmunds in June 2021 and its new appraisal and instant cash-offer tool – further threaten the used car operations of dealers, as it pushes relentlessly toward the goal of becoming the world’s largest online buyer of used vehicles.

It’s never been more important for dealers to scrutinize every aspect of their reconditioning process – from the point of acquisition all the way to the frontline. In recon, every minute counts and equates to profit – either lost or retained. Plugging profit leaks across ineffective recon processes, minimizing holding costs, and controlling recon expenses are essential to survival.

Velocity Automotive Solutions has enabled dealers to redesign antiquated recon tracking practices with ReconVelocity – the industry’s leading reconditioning workflow management software, implemented during in-store training and supported with a dedicated performance manager to ensure buy in from all stakeholders involved in the dealership’s reconditioning process.

With ReconVelocity, dealers learn to embrace eight key principles of a high velocity recon operation:

  1. Use software to manage and measure the efficiency of recon operations
  2. Pre-define time thresholds for each recon step and measure performance daily
  3. Have total transparency across recon workflows, including third-party vendors
  4. Establish individual accountability for each step of recon
  5. Have real-time communications across departments and vendors
  6. Control vehicle value erosion by minimizing the average Time-In-Recon
  7. Start the sales process immediately upon vehicle acquisition
  8. Appoint a Velocity Manager to ensure that reconditioning progresses according to goals

To identify areas of opportunity for process improvements in recon requires having valid measurement tools in place to accurately access the time (down to the minute) that units stay within each step of the recon workflow. It is not possible to accurately measure each step using spreadsheets, paper logs, or whiteboards since manual processes are prone to error – which has been the practice among dealers for decades. Rather, dealers can learn to manage by the numbers… that is, software-tracked seconds, minutes, hours, days, and weeks, so that everyone can be held accountable for their part in achieving performance goals.

ReconVelocity’s advanced reconditioning workflow management software enables dealers to:

  • Improve cross-departmental communications
  • Approve repairs within minutes from any location
  • Reduce vehicle idle time to an absolute minimum
  • Have total visibility of every unit in each step of the recon process
  • Access MPI results in real-time from any device
  • View appraisal notes, inspection photos, and more on- and off-site
  • Hold vendors accountable for achieving targeted time-thresholds for the work they perform
  • Identify bottlenecks in the recon workflow for quick process adjustments
  • Alert responsible individuals as units move from one step to another
  • Using Smart-Step Routing technology, progress vehicles to the next step with one click
  • Define customized steps and sub-steps that accommodate the structure of any recon operation

Some of the largest and best-performing dealers in the country utilize ReconVelocity to ensure that their recon operations are streamlined and efficient, such as Sonic Automotive, Berkshire Hathaway, Paragon Honda, Greenway Auto Group, Hendrick Automotive, and Premier Automotive to name a few.

To learn how ReconVelocity can enable your dealership to build a reconditioning operation that gets vehicles Retail-Ready in 3-5 days from the point of acquisition, visit www.velocityautomotivesolutions.com or call (850) 505-3948 to speak to a reconditioning expert.

Karla Guleserian, MSEC
Velocity Automotive Solutions

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The Salesperson’s Guide To Giving Used Vehicle Sales Presentations That Maximize Gross Profit

The Salesperson’s Guide To Giving Used Vehicle Sales Presentations That Maximize Gross Profit

The way that consumers shop for and buy vehicles is nothing like it was ten years ago. Today, shoppers expect complete transparency when dealing with salespeople and the dealership, and they want all their questions answered upfront. If they ask for information, they expect it to be readily on hand – and when they ask for pricing, they want honest answers and, at times, a complete breakdown of each item that makes up the quote. If salespeople don’t deliver on these expectations, they risk losing gross profit or a car deal altogether.

This Guide outlines a process for salespeople to deliver winning vehicle sales presentations that immediately build trust and rapport, so that they can hold onto gross profit and earn high CSI ratings.

Be A Product Expert Of All Makes & Models Using The OEM Window Sticker

Every salesperson in the dealership should be a product expert of all makes and models on the lot – not just the new vehicles the dealership sells. The Factory Window Sticker empowers salespeople to become product knowledge experts – regardless of the vehicle they are presenting – while simultaneously building immediate rapport with customers.

The daily trade walk is the best way to keep track of every vehicle that comes into inventory – either as a trade or an auction purchase. And… your dealership should have a process for automatically pulling the OEM window sticker on each unit and ensuring that it is easily accessible by you, so that you don’t have to waste any minute of your customer’s time.

Although the layout and design of window stickers across brands may vary, the major parts are typically the same. Along with the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), the OEM Window Sticker contains a wealth of valuable information, including:

  • VIN # & Model Information
  • Standard Equipment
  • Added Features & Pricing
  • Government Safety Ratings
  • Fuel Economy Rating
  • Annual Fuel Costs
  • Fuel Type
  • Delivery Fees
  • Fuel Costs Or Savings Over 5 Years
  • QR Code

Begin each sales presentation by reviewing the vehicle’s detailed specifications and educating the customer about the OEM Window Sticker and the validity of the information it contains.

Build Value In Vehicle Quality & Safety By Presenting The Dealership’s Reconditioning Work

According to the Consumer Trends for 2020 Report by Brandwatch, when 8,000 people were asked what attribute was most important when choosing a vehicle – quality ranked as the most important, followed by affordability then friendly customer service.

Every used vehicle on your lot is unique based upon how the previous owner drove it and how they took care of it. Your dealership invests in each used vehicle it acquires – getting it frontline ready for resale. This reconditioning work is what ultimately determines the quality and safety – the overall condition – of the vehicle. In turn, this investment will have an impact on the total cost of ownership for the next buyer.

It’s important to help each customer understand that a lower priced used car does not necessarily mean it’s a better deal. A used vehicle that has been inspected and reconditioned by a Factory-Certified Technician may have a higher initial price, but in the long run – it will save your customer money and frustration, at the very least.

Present Your Dealership’s Vehicle Inspection Checklist

Vehicle quality and safety refer not only to the brand and vehicle condition, but also the qualifications of the technician that performed repair work and whether or not the dealership backs that work with a guarantee. Having an inspection completed by a Factory-Certified Technician and a dealership that stands behind their vehicle inspections and repairs – has tremendous value for car shoppers, and it is your job to help them see this.

With the average vehicle containing between 50 and 200 computer chips, specialized diagnostic equipment and knowledge is required to read information accurately to ensure a healthy engine. Shoppers may not understand that properly reconditioned vehicles save money in the long run, unless they are educated by a salesperson – and they may not understand the importance of a properly performed vehicle inspection.

Review The OEM eBrochure, Informational Videos, & Other Documents To Build Confidence In The Brand

Nearly all OEMs today have a YouTube Channel or Facebook Page that contains a wealth of useful documents and videos that enable salespeople to give engaging and valuable sales presentations.

Starting with the factory’s ebrochure, you can review each vehicle in detail – using the manufacturer’s marketing messaging that may have had an influence on the customer’s interest in the car to begin with. The ebrochure lets the customer visualize the vehicle when it was new – to get detailed information about its technology, style, safety and convenience features, and options. It also provides detailed specifications about mechanical performance and warranty information.

By previewing additional OEM videos and documents with your customer, such as those that outline its maintenance program, safety technologies, multimedia capabilities, available accessories, financial services, and community work – you can build brand equity and value in the vehicle you are presenting.

Present Your Dealership’s Value Proposition & The Benefits Of Doing Business With You

Deciding which car to buy is not the only decision your customer has to make – they also need to decide which dealership they should buy from. It’s most likely that your customer has not drilled down into the many pages of your website to learn about your dealership’s value-added services, community efforts, service department, or customer testimonials.

Once you’ve answered all your customer’s questions about the vehicle they are interested in – you should go over any special value-added programs offered by your dealership. If you have videos that introduce your General Manager or Service Department, you should watch these with your customer. Go over your DealerRater or Google Reviews – and show all the great pictures that communicate your dealership’s commitment to the community.

By presenting your dealership as a reputable business that is concerned about its community and providing superior customer experiences – you’ll build a deeper level of rapport with your customer and gain trust that will earn you, their business.

A Truly Transparent & Complete Automotive Sales Presentation Without Ever Leaving Your Desk

If there’s one aspect of the vehicle purchase process that customers complain most about – is when their sales professional constantly disappears from their desk, going back and forth to managers hidden in a glass tower – for answers.

A truly effective and engaging sales presentation is one that is done with all information presented completely upfront and when the salesperson clearly demonstrates that the customer’s time is extremely valuable. You should have all the information you need in your hand to answer all your customer’s questions about the vehicle, the dealership, and financial options.

If you need to leave your customer sitting at an empty desk while you track down reconditioning records or to get a manager to print the OEM Window Sticker – you will lose credibility. As you do, the profitability of your deal will slowly diminish. All the information that your customer needs to make a purchase decision should be available on your screen as you are conducting your sales presentation.

VelocityEngage Digital Vehicle Portfolios For Automotive Sales Professionals

VelocityEngage digital portfolios empower salespeople to be confident when delivering sales presentations because they contain all the information that car shoppers want about the vehicle of interest, the dealership, and their financial options – on one page.

OEM Window Stickers, reconditioning records (from the DMS), and eBrochures are auto-populated into VelocityEngage digital portfolios, along with other customizable documents, videos, and photos – to enable salespeople to give thorough sales presentations without every leaving their desk.

Karla Guleserian, MSEC
Digital Marketing Director
Velocity Automotive Solutions

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How Salespeople Can Deliver Engaging Value-Based Sales Presentations To Online Car Shoppers, Every Time

Whether you’re talking with a customer on the phone, in a virtual meeting, or on the showroom floor – it’s imperative that car salespeople deliver incredibly engaging sales presentations. They need to be able to have great conversations with immediate access to the information they need to answer customers’ questions. And they need to be fully transparent about vehicle pricing, discounts, equipment details, reconditioning work, history reports, and special dealer programs and perks. Every salesperson must be an expert on every vehicle in inventory and be able to have value-based conversations that immediately establish rapport and trust with car buyers.

VelocityEngage digital portfolios empower salespeople to be confident when delivering sales presentations because they contain all the information that car shoppers want about the vehicle of interest, the dealership, and their financial options – on one page.

Embedded in a widget or link, VelocityEngage digital portfolios can be placed on inventory pages, sent via text or email, shared across social channels, or sent from the CRM. When a car shopper clicks the widget or link – an immersive and dynamic digital portfolio opens that contains videos, reports, photos, and other documents such as:

  • Reconditioning Records
  • Service History Reports
  • OEM Window Stickers
  • Certification Information
  • eBrochures
  • Inspection Results

The layout of each VelocityEngage digital portfolio allows salespeople and BDC agents to have logically flowing conversations – beginning at the vehicle summary specifications and then into more detailed vehicle information – such as presenting the original factory window sticker, the dealership’s recon investment, and factory brochures and videos.

By providing all this information upfront in this share-friendly format, salespeople can build vehicle value while justifying pricing and demonstrating the quality and safety of each vehicle.

Digital portfolios also contain a Dealership Reputation section that can contain a wide variety of assets to show shoppers why they should do business with your dealership, such as:

  • Vehicle Return Policies
  • Dealership Reviews
  • Value-Add Program Info
  • Departmental Intro Videos
  • OEM Technology Videos & Brochures
  • Safety Policies
  • At Home Test Drives & Delivery Info

When salespeople and BDC agents use VelocityEngage digital portfolios in their sales presentations – it also ensures a consistent process across the dealership. The layout facilitates a collaborative and guided sales experience that saves shoppers time and makes the transition to the showroom seamless.

Along with process consistently, VelocityEngage enables salespeople to be product experts of all makes and models on your lot. By having instant access to a vehicle’s OEM window sticker, service history report, reconditioning records, ebrochure, and CPO info – salespeople will be able to intelligently present any vehicle and answer customer questions.

VelocityEngage digital portfolios also drive VDP engagement by up to 34x. Upon opening a digital portfolio, shoppers get immersed in the documents, photos, and videos that it contains. Portfolio media assets are completely customizable for each vehicle or by make and model – and automatically populate each digital portfolio, with no uploading, scanning, or printing necessary.

Most importantly, because VelocityEngage digital portfolios are accessible on inventory search results pages (SRPs) and vehicle details pages (VDPs), they are always working for the dealership. They can also easily be configured to send automatically through the CRM – so that every internet lead gets a digital portfolio. Salespeople can share portfolio links on their social channels or text them from their mobile phones – which requires no more effort on their part than what they are already doing to try to engage potential buyers.

Today, VelocityEngage digital portfolios are live on some of the largest, well-known automotive groups in the United States – such as Sonic Automotive, Morgan Automotive Group, Premier Auto Group, Lithia Motors, Greenway Auto Group, McLarty Daniel Automotive, and Berkshire Hathaway Automotive.

Developed by Velocity Automotive Solutions, which was founded by Hugh Hathcock, Founder of ELEAD1ONE – the VelocityEngage development team launches bi-weekly product enhancements based upon dealer feedback. This unique and dynamic digital vehicle and dealer automotive sales presentation solution delivers on car buyer expectations by enabling salespeople to provide a truly transparent and easy digital retailing experience.

Karla Guleserian, MSEC

Velocity Automotive Solutions

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CBT News Interview – Jim Fitzpatrick with Hugh Hathcock, Kalah McCoy & Gage Hathcock

Take a look at our latest CBT Interview! The panel discusses the new VAS digital portfolio tool VelocityEngage, and why car dealers need to focus on creating value for potential car buyers. Hugh says that in the last 6 months, the product has changed and grown so much. 300 car dealers have already committed to it, which is well on its way to having 1,000 car dealers by the end of this year!

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