Repeat and Referral Business Opportunities in the Car-Buying Biz

buy cars with repeat and referral business

When a private owner is looking to sell a car, many dealerships treat it as a one-time transaction or at best as something that only happens occasionally. This means they’re missing out on critical repeat and referral business opportunities. Here’s how to make the most of every transaction by making a simple shift in perspective around how you see customers.

Repeat Business: People Sell More Often Than You Think

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Some dealers think a private owner selling their car happens so rarely that it’s not worth investing much time or effort into any one person. This is the exact wrong way to think about it! But it’s easy to see how this mistake happens. There is a definite trend of people hanging on to their vehicles longer than ever, in part because cars are simply built better today than before.

Although estimates vary, statistical analyses show owners keep a car on average anywhere from 8–11 years. Yes, that does make it sound like selling is a rare occurrence. But keep in mind that’s an average across many millions of vehicles, which means there are millions of people who sell more frequently than that. Think about all the people you know who seem to get a new car every few years. Those are the people who also need to sell a car every few years, and that is a great frequency for you to tap into because they’re late-model, low-mileage used cars, which is the sweet spot you want to be in, right?

This is why you must shift your perspective of the customer from a one-off transaction to a long-term asset who will bring their repeat business to you if and only if you give them a top-shelf customer experience. This is the investment you should be making in the customer-as-long-term-asset mindset. It’s the shift in perspective that makes you see their full value in terms of the repeat business opportunity. You want to make sure when it’s time for them to sell again, they’ll come back to you.

Referral Business: In the Volume Game, Each Customer Leads to More

buy cars from referral customers

As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, the way to dominate vehicle inventory acquisition in your local market is by competing on volume, not price. You attract the volume you need in part by making competitive quotes on cars. When the customer sees your quote, they should react with surprise at how much more it is than what they’d likely get in on a trade-in deal. This is what entices them to stay engaged with your process. And then you follow through by making sure their customer experience throughout the entire process is utterly amazing. You treat them right, not just on price but also by learning their needs and meeting them, by being open and transparent about how the process works, by being helpful, informative, and unfailingly polite.

When you provide a superior customer experience throughout the process, each customer is much more likely to become a source of advertising for you. They might write a positive online review of their experience (and you should encourage them to do so). Even better, they will become brand ambassadors who tell their family, friends, social networks about the great price and satisfying experience they had by selling to you. The referral business opportunities are vast when you dedicate your dealership to excellence in customer service, so don’t miss out on those.

Transform Your Dealership and Dominate Your Market with Driveo

driveo for dealers

The kind of structured, carefully crafted process you need to dominate inventory acquisition from private owners in your market is a tall order. It’s also something you don’t have to create from scratch on your own. We created Driveo at our San Diego dealership years ago through a painstaking process of diving deep into the data of what private owners dislike when selling their cars. Then we took that robust list of pain points and solved each and every one of them. Now we’re ready to share the Driveo way with a limited number of dealerships across the nation. There can only be one location in each key market area to maintain it as an exclusive offering. Does your dealership have what it takes to experience the many benefits of the Driveo approach to buying cars from private owners? Learn more on the Driveo for Dealers page.