How Dealers Can Make the Most of Their Pre-Owned Inventory - AutoSuccessOnline
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How Dealers Can Make the Most of Their Pre-Owned Inventory

Dealers who can proactively identify and engage drivers of in-demand used vehicles in their market have a significant advantage over the competition.

Ian Grace is the director, partner performance at automotiveMastermind. Mastermind helps dealers generate success in their loyalty, service and conquest portfolios through a combination of turnkey predictive analytics, proactive marketing and dedicated consultative services. Learn more at

With customer demand increasing, lagging supply has created new challenges — and opportunities — for dealers who consistently and efficiently acquire and sell in-demand used vehicles. Buy-backs and trade-ins have become critical to this process amid rising auction prices, offering dealers the opportunity to double down by selling replacement vehicles. 

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Dealers who can proactively identify and engage drivers of in-demand, used vehicles in their markets have a significant advantage over the competition. This advantage starts by focusing on your existing customer portfolio.  

Proactively Identify Prospects 

With increased consumer demand, competition to acquire the best used models is fierce. To acquire profitable buy-backs, dealers can one-up the competition by getting ahead of prospective leads and delivering a personalized buying experience that keeps prospects engaged.

Without the right tools or technology, this is a daunting task. 

But with dealership marketing tools that integrate with data from a customer relationship management (CRM) system, dealer management system (DMS) and sales platform, dealers are empowered to simultaneously maximize their pre-owned inventory and existing customer portfolio by automatically identifying and engaging their best prospects. 


Dealers need a tool that layers insights and information from not only their CRM, DMS and available inventory but also with accurate, third-party data to automatically identify prospective buyers before they return to market — and map those prospects to vehicles they’re predicted to be interested in that are also available in the dealer’s inventory. 

Leverage Your Service Drive 

With detailed customer and vehicle insights, the service drive provides the perfect opportunity for dealers to acquire in-demand, high-quality trades. 

By leveraging dealership marketing technology that integrates with data from their DMS and CRM, service teams are empowered to take a proactive approach by mining upcoming service appointments to identify customers driving in-demand vehicles that are also prospective trade opportunities. This includes customers who are out of warranty, over their lease mileage or could benefit from a lower monthly payment. 


From here, service-to-sales liaisons or well-connected business development centers (BDCs) can leverage these insights to engage prospects before they’re in the service lane — and before they re-enter the buying journey. By leveraging data-mining technology, dealers can tap into insights beyond just equity to take this process even further.

For example, by using these insights to tailor personalized messaging and specific offers, dealers can set the stage for a superior buy-back or trade-in experience, creating a potential sale, building loyalty and fueling future service visits. 

Focus on Customer Experience 

In today’s increasingly competitive market, excellent customer experience is more important than ever. Defection is at its highest level in recent years. According to IHS Markit, dealer loyalty in the U.S. is at a five-year low at 35.8%, despite vehicle-make loyalty remaining quite stable. 


As inventory shortages further threaten customer loyalty and intensify intra-brand competition, it’s critical dealers simplify the customer journey to retain their audience, conquest buyers from the competition and improve the efficiency of their sales process. 

By leveraging data-mining technology that integrates with a dealer’s website; CRM; DMS; and high-quality, third-party data, dealers can automatically identify and engage prospective buyers with personalized messaging, such as tailored offers or incentives, setting the stage for a potential trade.  

This approach also helps combat the convenience offered by online-only dealerships by getting ahead of buyers with a personalized and personable approach. 

By taking a proactive approach to mining your existing customer portfolio for pre-owned acquisition opportunities, dealers can not only efficiently acquire in-demand used vehicles but also maximize their existing inventory with subsequent replacement sales.

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