Selling Used Equipment the Profitable Way
Selling used equipment can be a lucrative revenue stream for your dealership – as long as you turn around those machines in a timely manner. Inventory that just sits there is an outright cost to you and it as it continues to depreciate, it loses potential value. You cannot afford to let this happen. Here are some tips to help you sell used equipment profitably.
Be Overt about It
Sure, you can list the machines in various online industry classified advertising options. And you can post a list of currently available equipment on your own website. You should do these things. But they are strictly passive. If a hungry fish happens to swim by, it might take a nibble. Then again, maybe not. Meanwhile, your bait is growing stale. You need to get moving if you want to sell that equipment.
It’s a Matter of Marketing
Selling used equipment requires the same thoughtful process and attention to detail as the rest of your dealership’s marketing efforts. For example, who is your target audience? It is not every single contractor or industrial facility operator out there. Each type of equipment has its own niche market because it will only be interesting to someone who needs that specific type of machine and who wants to save money by buying used.
Brand loyalty can plan a big role here. Your dealership sells certain brands of new equipment and accessories, and you work hard to build and reinforce customer loyalty to those brands. Whether or not the used machine you’re trying to sell is one of your regular brands, the most likely buyer may well be someone who is already “sold” on that brand. Will your used machine provide the upgrade they are now looking for? If it’s not their favorite brand, how will it do an even better job for them than the brand/model they’re used to?
Timing matters, too. Many contractors follow a budget-friendly practice of always buying used equipment in excellent condition, then selling it after, say, three years and replacing it with a newer model. You know this at least anecdotally from experience with your own customers. But how well do you know their preferred buying cycle for different types of equipment?
Where Can You Find the Hottest Prospects?
Let your data do the talking. This is why you invested in good quality CRM and marketing management software for your dealership – so you could learn enough about existing customers, prospects and leads to speak directly to them in your marketing. So, who among your contacts is partial to the brand of your used machine? What are the purchasing patterns of your existing customers? (Or what information have you gleaned from leads about their potential buying timeframe?)
In other words, who wants what you have and is ready – or almost ready – to buy? Once you know who these contacts are, you can zero in on them via email or even a phone call about a specific brand or model you now have available. You can set up automatic email alerts to targeted contacts that trigger whenever you acquire something you’ve associated with them.
You can target social media posts (and paid ads) to promote various pieces or brands of used equipment, too. Of course, you also want to reach new contacts with news of your used equipment. You can purchase targeted database information from third-party providers such as EDA.
The Personal Touch
One of the myriad reasons to develop strong personal relationships with your customers is to stay abreast of their business plans. If you know one of them plans to bid on a bigger-than-usual or different type of job, perhaps you have a used machine or accessory that will help them work the job more productively without over-spending.
Even if they don’t wind up purchasing the piece of equipment, their loyalty to your dealership will be stronger than ever because they are reminded, once again, that you are always looking out for their best interests. That’s some pretty smart marketing!
Give Them More Reasons to Buy from You
Here’s a lot to be said for building a reputation as a dealership that has people’s backs. One easy way to grow your reputation with existing customers and prospects is to offer value-added services. For instance, instead of simply offering a used machine for sale, offer an extended warranty with it.
ADI Agency has developed a proprietary system that enables dealers to not only offer top-quality extended warranties but outfit customers with related software for managing all their equipment warranty documentation and potential claims. The system connects customers, dealers, and OEMs for streamlined service. Selling extended warranties gives your dealership a new revenue source, while each used equipment customer gets added protection and peace of mind.