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Amy Taggart

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Work the Numbers to Succeed with Special Finance

Of the many territories I deal with for auto finance marketing programs, there are a few states that I would like to focus on in the coming year and they include Texas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Some dealers may argue that they get special finance customers in by the dozens, but aren’t closing deals!   Should they have to deal with 10 special finance visitors to get a deal or is the number more like 100?

Like everything else, it is a numbers game.

How many customers do you need to see to deliver one car and what does it cost you?  Some dealers I speak to say they have too much sub-prime traffic now and don’t want to “pay” for more of it. Whether you have a ton of special finance traffic or not, if you have the right basic lenders, inventory and people in place, you can be successful in the subprime arena and keep your cost per delivery below $300.

Here are some ways for dealers to ensure success, especially when dealing with special finance customers:

  • Bring in all customers who reach out, don’t cherry pick.
  • Get them approved by working the deal backwards:
  1. Discuss their credit with them and select four or five vehicles that best suit their credit/ what they are approved for and work from there
  2. Talk to them about the types of car they are interested in
  3. Show them the cars that match what they qualify for
  • Finally and most importantly, treat them well whether they are approved or not.

Think about this quote: “Everyone will buy a car.  Question is, will they buy it from you?”  Are you doing enough to make sure you’re the guy?

One thing I have found in my numerous, daily conversations with dealers across the country is:  You either want to do subprime or you don’t.  At the end of the day, you are either all the way in or you should stay out.

Mike Gray is an auto finance marketing consultant for Carloan.com. He has helped with dealers with their marketing programs in various roles for Carloan.com since 2004. You can reach Mike at 804-521-8578 or mgrayATcarloan.com.

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