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Breaking the Stigma: Building a Reputation of Trust in the Used Car Industry

The used car industry across the United States is thriving. In 2018 alone, more than 40 million used cars were sold across the country compared to just over 17 million new cars. Unfortunately, the “used car salesman” stigma still exists, but there are a few excellent ways to build your own reputation and show your local area that you are friendly, trustworthy, and a true team player.

How Did Used Car Dealers Get a Negative Reputation?

Only a few short decades ago – and in some cases, still to this day – dealers selling used cars in any volume had a reputation for being less than transparent about their vehicles. In fact, there are still plenty of shady used car salespeople in the world today who care less about their reputation in the community than they do about collecting their money. It was easier years ago to hide common issues than it is today, but even in 2019, some less reputable sales teams will still attempt to cover up serious issues just to sell a car. Unfortunately, this reflects negatively on the industry, and it is up to you to show your community that you are different.

How to Build a Solid Reputation from the Start

Whether you sell used cars for a living or you own a used car dealership, there are a few things you can do that will help you gain your customers’ trust and convert a sale gone wrong into an amazing used car sales story.

  • Be honest to a fault. Being a good salesperson focuses on finding the right fit for your customers, and this means you should never attempt to sell them a vehicle that does not suit their needs. Selling used cars does involve persuasion, and you will absolutely need to help buyers see the value in the vehicle they are viewing, but this is more easily done when the vehicle you are showing is a good fit for the buyer. In other words, never pretend that a vehicle on your lot is the best decision a customer could make if it clearly is not.
  • Communicate effectively and transparently. Aside from being honest, it’s important to communicate with potential buyers and clients as effectively as possible. TruVideo is by far the best way to do this. The platform allows you to record video tours of cars up close and personal so they can see things for themselves, and there is no download or installation required on the customer’s end to receive and view these videos.
  • Solve your customer’s problems. When customers shop for used cars, they are looking for a good value, and good value means different things to different people. The first step involves discovering what your customer considers value, and the second involves solving the problem at hand with the perfect car. For example, if your customer’s family is growing by one soon and they need something roomier than their compact sedan, show them a mid-sized sedan or perhaps a crossover SUV – and focus on cars with plenty of safety features, too. That’s important to parents.
  • Be a good listener. All too often, salespeople are taught to listen to respond rather than to listen to understand. Make certain you really listen to your customer. Does she drive 40 miles to work one way every day? Does she have trouble getting in and out of vehicles that sit too low to the ground? Show her a vehicle that sits higher and gets excellent fuel economy in its size range. These things will show your customer that you’re listening, and that is by far the best way to build trust.

Despite the negative connotation and stigma that often surrounds used car sales, you can break that stigma not only for your own business, but for others in your industry by following these tips. It’s all about transparency and genuinely caring about your customers’ needs, and in order to do that, all you must do is listen carefully and solve problems, then communicate effectively to build trust. TruVideo can help make that communication easier.