If you're just joining us, we're still working our way down the list of the Top 5 Best Practices for Following Up on leads at your dealership. So far we've covered #1, "Make Contact Quickly", and #2, "Sell the Appointment." Today we're taking a closer look at best practice #3, "Don't Pull Credit First."
We know you want to winnow your leads to find the best ones, especially if you've got a lot coming in from your OEM, your website, and any 3rd party lead providers you've signed up with.
We get that. But...
The problem comes when dealers pull credit in order to cherry-pick -- meaning that they don't even talk to some prospects who are ready to buy because those consumers don't fit a specific profile. Don't be tempted to take that shortcut. Get them in the door.
If you conduct that financial interview in person, not only are they already on your lot and more likely to fall in love with a car, but you will discover cosigners and down payments that are not reflected on the credit application. You will get a better picture of their work history and other important details that will factor in to your ability to get a deal done.
Couple that with the fact that you're more likely to tick them off if you pull credit before you've talked to them, and it just makes sense to wait. (We covered some of the legal and other implications involved in our April post, "Consumer Consent and You -- When Should You Pull Credit?", if you want to take examine that piece of it. )
How does your operation manage their consumer information? When does the credit pull happen in your process? Examine your process to determine whether it's working for you...and if it's not, make a change.
Which is a great segue into our next topic, Best Practice #4, "Work Your Process."