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If you'vebeen searching for a new tool to accelerate sales, improve margins, and create a competitive advantage, the building blocks may already in place maybe you just need a push in the right direction! Fortunately, none of this is rocket science. Take a look at your desking solution; chances are it is underutilized. In addition to its primary function, you can easily put it to work as a highly-effective sales tool to increase your profits and enhance the customer experience. For example, I know of several dealers who will pre-print a menu of payment options from their desking solution and hand them to customers during the sales process. This simple, straightforward sales tactic draws the customer into the finance process. It creates a bond between you and the customer at a critical moment and inspires trust and a sense of partnership precisely the emotions you want the customer to experience as the deal moves towards closure. A well-designed desking application should enable the dealer to compare lease to finance payment options quickly and present numbers in compliance with fair business practice regulations (i.e. similar presen- tations for similar credit scores). It should also calculate trade-in value accurately, including and presenting reconditioning elements. Most of all, it should adjust and present numbers easily to help customers reach their desired payment. Your desking solution should display all this crucial information in one window, so the sales team doesn't have to toggle between screens to work a deal. If a deal doesn't close immediately, the solution should enable you to save your notes and retrieve them easily when the customer returns. A robust desking solution also helps the dealer stay compliant. "In today's environment, that is absolutely critical," says Devin Stotts, retention manager at Reliable Chevrolet in Springfield, Missouri. His desking solution knocks at least 10 minutes off every deal and gains an average of $250 in gross profit. "And that makes everyone happier," continues Stotts. Desking technology allows customers to view a 16-by-16 matrix so they can easily compare financing to leasing or balloon payment options. "Your customer feels in control. It's all spelled out clearly for them in black and white, there are no gray areas or confusion," says Stotts. It is also helpful when the desking solution integrates directly with Kelley Blue Book, CARFAX, ADP, Reynolds and Reynolds, and NADA. These integrations enable you to reduce transaction time and duplicated efforts. "The level of trust goes up when you can show the customer all the available op- tions. When the customer understands all the options, it's actually easier to close the deal," adds Stotts. Good technology used creatively generates fresh opportunities for improving cash flow, and with the right tool, the processes are implemented and easily enforced.

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