OffLeaseOnly Out of State Used Car Buying is Booming Business
Desks have been removed and customer-friendly counters have been installed. Eight new work stations have been added to the existing 12 and a computer kiosk was created so OffLeaseOnly car shoppers can do their own vehicle searches and complete online applications. The Out of State office at 1575 Military Trail has been transformed.
Long-distance OffLeaseOnly used car sales from car shoppers in other states are the fastest growing segment of OffLeaseOnly’s business. And growth is expected to skyrocket as happy customers spread the word about their long-distance used car buying experiences at Off Lease Only.
Buying a used car sight unseen may have been unforeseeable more than three years ago, but it has become a widely-accepted norm for many price-savvy car shoppers who comb the Internet for the best deals around.
“About three years ago we started seeing sales really pick up,” said OffLeaseOnly Out of State manager Bob Harris. “And after we dedicated a department to OutOfState sales, business really took off.”
In March 2015, Out of State sales totaled 320 used cars, the highest monthly tally in company history. The rise in long-distance car sales is steady and impressive. OffLeaseOnly sales associates have sold to every state and numerous countries, and they only expect to get busier. That’s why the interior renovations at the Out of State office were essential.
“It’s kind of hard to sell 300+ cars a month with just 12 desks,” Harris said. “Now we have 20 work stations, four finance offices and a customer kiosk.”
Having more sales personnel helps because it shortens response time and makes it easier to help out of state customers to the fullest. A quick response time is important because OffLeaseOnly used cars sell so quickly.
“With this place the cars sell so fast that if you don’t get on it right away, the car they want is gone,” Harris noted.
Inside the Out of State Office, two new granite-topped counters extend the length of the office, with the sales personnel seated at work stations arranged along the inside of the counters so they can face customers who sit at the counters. The arrangement mirrors the customer-friendly sales setups in Miami and Orlando.
Harris attributes the booming growth to word-of-mouth advertising, and of course, OffLeaseOnly’s unbeatable prices and quality inventory.
“It used to be real quiet,” Harris recalled. “We started out doing 90 cars a month 1 ½ years ago. Now we do more than 300.”
Selling used cars long distance takes a more detailed-oriented skill set than selling cars face-to-face. Sales associates have to be excellent communicators, anticipate what kind of questions their customers will ask and be familiar with every single aspect of the used cars they are selling so there are no surprises when the vehicles are delivered.
“You have to gain their confidence and let them know you are going to help them,” said Steve “Happy” Gilmour, one of the OutOfState Department’s top salesmen. “You have to tell them the Off Lease Only story. That is what it boils down to. You take them to the website and show them how much they are saving and they get excited!”
Giving long-distance customers a true glimpse of what the used car they are interested in really looks like takes time, and may require more than 100 different photographs. Sales personnel take pictures of every scratch, smudge, dent, ding or imperfection and email them to the potential buyer so the customer knows exactly what they are buying, Gilmour said. Many also take videos of the used cars for the customer.
Out of State sales associates typically have files bulging with pictures of everything from scuffed hubcaps and gleaming chrome to close-up headlight shots and upholstery pictures.
Establishing trust with the customer is the key to selling cars long distance and pictures are key to making sure customers are happy and satisfied. Out of State sales associates test drive the cars, smell them to make sure they don’t have an odor, and even take them to local mechanics if that is what the customer desires.
While many customers fly to Florida to enjoy a mini-vacation in the balmy sunshine before driving their pre-owned car home, others don’t have the time and instead ship the vehicle back to their home state sight unseen.
If that’s the case, sales associates put the customers in touch with shipping companies that will make those arrangements as well.
“It’s all about customer service,” Harris said. “We even pick them up from the airport if they fly here to pick up their car in person.”
Sales personnel in the Out of State department also keep busy with walk-in customers who want to buy the trades that are stocked at Value Lot, where the Out of State offices are located. The vehicles that are traded in by used car buyers are re-sold at Value Lot if they meet OffLeaseOnly’s mechanical and cosmetic standards. The used cars that are stocked at Value Lot are generally older model, higher mileage cars with more economical pricetags.
To further assist customers in their used car buying experience, Off Lease Only has launched a NEW OffLeaseOnly Reviews Site which aggregates reviews from Yelp, Google, Edmunds, Cars.com, DealerRater and OffLeaseOnly in one convenient location. The purpose of the site is to make it even easier for potential customers to read reviews and find out what the experience is like first hand from our customers.
Stop in to one of Off Lease Only four locations and drive home your next beautiful used car today!