How To Attract & Sell More Trade-In Leads (PART 2)


How To Attract & Sell More Trade-In Leads (PART 2)

TRANSCRIPT: Let’s get into part 1 here, and let’s talk about, “Hey, mommy. Where do these trade leads come from?” Yes, I can end my sentences with a preposition because this isn’t the 17th century, and we’re not speaking Latin, so it’s okay. All right. Primarily, let’s talk about where trade leads come from. Primarily, there really are 4 areas that I want you to focus on. I want you to focus on website visitors. These might be service customers that happen to be find your trade form, and they’re making an inquiry to see what their vehicle is worth. You’re going to get trade leads from your website customers. You’re going to get trade leads from third parties like Instant Cash Offer, Kelley Blue Book’s Instant Cash Offer.

You’re going to get trade leads that you generate through your dealer database, and through your offline messaging, like the We Buy Cars messaging. We’re going to talk about all 4 of these in detail, and how to maximize each of these channels, but I want you to understand, these aren’t the only places that dealers get trade leads. In fact, I know lots of dealers who also mine Craigslist listings or use a service to do that, and get trade leads.

I also know some progressive OEMs like Mitsubishi, for example, that are collecting trade leads right on their primary website. For today, I’m going to focus on these 4 areas because these are the areas where you can have the greatest impact as a dealer, whether you’re a car dealer, a motorcycle dealer, it doesn’t matter. It’s these 4 areas where you can have the greatest impact.

Let’s talk about this offline messaging, this We Buy Cars messaging. This is very effective offline messaging, “We’ll buy your car. Sell us your car.” This really should be included in your marketing strategy, and your website messaging as well. It’s both online and offline that you want to have this strategy We Buy Cars.

Now, there are 3 ways that you’re going to need to use this. One, you may have to use this type of messaging as a necessity, like Texas Direct does. See, Texas Direct Auto’s biggest problem is getting inventory, and so they truly will just buy your car whether you buy anything from them or not because they need the inventory, and they have buying centers outside of the Houston area even. You can use it as a necessity, We Buy Cars, because you’re trying to get better inventory than you can get at the auction or you’re trying to get inventory cheaper than you can get at the auction.

You can also use the We Buy Cars messaging as a differentiator. Think about this. If you’re in a small market, and you don’t have any other dealers that are currently using that messaging, you can take one of your minivans. You can wrap it as our mobile buying center, and you can differentiate yourself from the other dealers by having a We Buy Cars messaging, “Sell us your car. We’ve got this mobile buying center.” It’s a way to generate more trade leads because people in your market will begin to think of you as, “Oh, yeah! I want to sell my car, and I don’t want to sell it myself. I’m going to take it to Steve’s Honda because they are the buying center.”

Then finally, you want to use the We Buy Cars messaging as a diffuser to change the paradigm, and let me explain that. 99% of consumers according to driving sales expect a hassle when they start the car shopping process, but if we can change the paradigm, and instead of them buying a car from us, we’re buying a car from them. See, that becomes a diffuser. We can diffuse that negativity that they have by offering to buy their vehicle, by changing the paradigm. Instead of me trying to sell them a car, I’m trying to get them to bring their car in, so that I can buy it from them. All right. That’s the offline messaging.

Let’s look at your database. This is also called Owner Marketing or Equity Mining. What we have here, this is most effective though, whether you call it Owner Marketing, call it Equity Mining, it’s really most effective when you think of it as a proactive vehicle buyback service. Whether it’s newsletters or traditional e-mail marketing, it really can be used to generate trade leads. Now, I’m showing you one from 3birds here that I really like. One of the things that I want you to think about when I talk about Owner Marketing, when I talk about Equity Mining, and we’ll get to this e-mail in just a second, is I need you to treat your database like the goose that laid the golden eggs.

Now, if you’re not familiar with that fable, let me take you through it. There’s a farmer, he’s got a goose. One day, he goes to get an egg from the goose, and it turns out it’s a golden egg. He’s like, “Wow! This is pretty cool.” He tested it, it’s real gold. The next day, he goes back underneath the goose, there’s another golden egg. He does it a few more times. Every day, there’s one golden egg underneath that goose, and he gets greedy. He goes to the goose, and he chops its head off, and he reaches inside, and there’s nothing. There are no golden eggs. He killed the goose that was laying the golden eggs because he got too greedy.

I’ve seen the same thing with dealers and their database. You look at your database as a sponge, which it is, but you tried to ring it all out at once, and you try to ring it out every day or every week, and you end up killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. Let’s be smart in our approach to that.

Now, I like the 3birds approach to generating trade leads for you via e-mail marketing and newsletter, and it’s superior because of this. This e-mail, one single click on this e-mail generates a value for the customer, and the lead for your team simply by the customer clicking on that get their value. By the way, this little button has a 23% conversion rate to opens. Meaning that if you get 100 prospects to open this e-mail, you’re going to generate 23 leads. It’s crazy.

The reason that they’re able to do that is because they already know who the customer is, and they already know what the customer drives. That link is already loaded up with all that great information. The report that 3birds provide your customer is very transparent that justifies the value. The customer owes 8,000 on their vehicle. They just click through it, it basically says it’s worth 6,000. The transparent reporting that 3birds provides justifies that $6,000 value, and so the customer is more likely to take your phone call, and give you a chance to buy their car.

Now, I’m not going to go into some long commercial about 3birds. This is a great tool. If you want more information about 3birds, you can go to or you can call them at the number on the screen, 888-327-8516. I want to talk about the overall strategy, especially when we talk about this goose that laid the golden egg.

When we look at a database strategy for e-mail marketing, you’ve got to be careful. Because this is so effective, this 23% conversion rate for those who open that e-mail, because that’s so effective, you cannot just send that e-mail out to everybody in your database all at once. Some of you, car dealers, may have a database of 50,000 or 100,000 people out there, right? Some of you motorcycle dealers who I know are on as well, you may have a database of 5,000, 6,000, 8,000 people. You don’t need 300 leads dropping onto your team today. You don’t want to send that e-mail to everybody all at once.

What you need to do is develop some criteria, okay? For example, you say, “I only want to send this to people who are driving a vehicle say 2 years old or older, and that’s been more than 18 months since they bought the car. That way, if somebody bought say a used Honda Civic last month, they won’t get the e-mail that we want to buy their car. I’m going to take that database, and I’m going to divide it by some number, let’s say 20, okay?

Let’s say I have 5,000 people in that database, and I’m going to divide it by 20. What I’m going to do is I’m going to send 1/20th of those e-mails. Everyday I’m going to send it to 1/20th of the database every Monday through Thursday for 5 weeks. You might be saying, “Steve, why don’t we send it 7 days a week?” Well, a couple of things. One, I don’t need extra leads on Saturday when my team is already overburdened. Some of you are closed on Sunday. Why would you ever send anybody an e-mail marketing, newsletter or something that’s going to generate a lead on a day that you can’t even get back to them on?

The reason that I do it Monday through Thursday is this. When I get a trade lead, I’m trying to set an appointment for today or tomorrow only. I’m creating a sense of urgency that, “We’re going to buy your car whether you buy anything from us or not. In fact, we’ve got a buyer and immediate need for your 2013 Civic.” I’m going to try to set that appointment for today or tomorrow only.

If I’ve got my team sending these e-mails out Monday through Thursday only, I’m going to be setting appointments for Monday through Friday because again, I already have a big day on Saturday. I don’t need a lot of appointments. I want to beef up my Monday through Friday, and not my Saturday, Sunday.

Now, when we talk about your equity mining strategy when you’re using the phone, some of you are calling customers, right? You’re maybe using an equity mining tool. You may just be dipping into your database. Whatever you’re doing is fine, and you’re doing something like this. You’re calling the prospect and you’re saying, “Hey, Mr. Jones. This is Steve Stauning calling from Steve’s Toyota. Hey, this may sound a little weird, but my general manager wanted me to call you today because we’ve got a buyer and an immediate need for your 2013 Tundra. Now, I don’t know if you’d consider selling it to us or not, but because we are in a pinch, we’re paying above value, and I’ve got 2 appraisal times open on Tundras this morning. I’ve got 10:45 and an 11:15. Which one works better for you?”

If you’re doing that on the phone, if your equity mining strategy to generate trade leads is through the phones, then you want to have a similar Monday through Thursday strategy for the exact same reason I just said. There’s 2 things you’re looking for. You’re looking for urgency, “I only want to buy your vehicle today or tomorrow, sir,” and I’m looking for appointments. Again, Saturdays are already busy enough. All right.

Let’s look at third-party trade leads because I really do like some of the third-party trade leads that are out there today. I really like Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer. I want to be very, very clear on that. I don’t want anybody to leave here thinking that I don’t love Kelley Blue Book’s Instant Cash Offer. I absolutely love them.

In fact, they did something like 3 million leads to dealers in 2015. I mean, it’s an incredible number. It’s a very effective tool. Now, I said I love the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer, but I don’t want it on your website. I love the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer. Dealers, if you’re not doing business with Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer, I recommend you do, but never ever, ever put it on your website.

Here’s the reason. One, by the way, there are a lot of reasons, but the main reasons, one, it’s an onerous form. The form is way too long. Your goal of your website is to attract visitors, and then convert those visitors into buyers. If you present them with the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer form on your website, you’re much less likely to generate a trade lead. People will not complete that on your website. They’re willing to do it at KBB because it feels third-party, and they have some bounce too, but make no mistake. The fact is that it’s too long of a form for your website. Don’t do it.

Here’s the second reason. Even if they did a shorter form, why would you provide free marketing for Why would you put KBB’s logo on your website? You are encouraging your prospects to go look at your competitor’s videos or I’m sorry, you’re encouraging your prospects to go look at your competitor’s inventory on by putting their product on your site. Again, I love’s Instant Cash Offer, just not on your website.