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Amy Taggart

Amy Taggart Marketing Manager

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Understanding the Special Finance Customer = More Cars Sold

When it comes to finding an appropriate match between our proactive consumers and a qualified dealer I like to take a consultative approach with the dealership.

I am able to provide advice not only on how to set appointments and get consumers into the showroom but to ultimately get them approved. While some dealers are still hesitant about special finance customers, it is a fact that almost 40% of Americans now fall into that subprime category.

Most dealerships are turning to subprime to avoid losing market share to competitors who have been working with secondary finance for years.

The most important thing is to know how to treat the customer once they are in the door:

  • Make sure they understand what the limitations are to buying a car and what it is that they qualify for.
  • Show features and benefits of the automobile that they are interested in.
  • If the customer doesn’t qualify, still counsel them on why the bank denied/declined their credit. Help guide them on what they can do to improve their credit.
  • After the sale or even denial, follow up with the customer.

Follow-up or special attention to a customer who is unqualified or may even have been declined may seem like a waste of time.  However, this is actually an opportunity to differentiate yourself from all the other dealerships they have experienced.

All customers remember good experiences, and they will remember how helpful you were when their financial situation changes. If you are courteous and helpful the customer will even refer their friends and family to you for their automotive and financing needs.

Some dealers understand the need for a secondary department but are still in the process of developing a portfolio of subprime lenders or obtaining the right type of inventory.

Mike Sadowski is an auto finance marketing consultant for Carloan.com. He spent 14 years in the car business in Richmond, Virginia and has been helping dealers manage their Carloan.com marketing programs since 2003. You can reach Mike at 804-521-8577 or mikeATcarloan.com.

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