Move cars off the lot faster than you can drive them
Get on track to secure true ROI for your special finance leads. Make your marketing dollars count with better customer service and well-structured deals
There’s a lot of money to be made in the subprime market. If you’ve allocated your marketing funds to focus more on attracting special-finance leads, you’ll want to raise your closing ratio, too. You may be purchasing those leads from third parties or simply spending advertising dollars to target a marginal credit audience. Either way, you’re spending money. You want the best ROI possible.
Let’s say you have a steady influx of special-finance leads coming into the dealership every month. How can your salespeople and F&I manager work to close these leads and maximize profits?
Engaging with special finance leads: what salespeople need to do differently
Why is it that some dealerships treat “credit-challenged” customers with indifference or disdain? There’s a lot of opportunity with these types of buyers.
They may have a bad credit score, but they need a car. If you treat them with respect and excellent service, they’ll figure out a way to pay for that car.
- They’ll find help to put down a bigger down payment.
- They’ll find a co-signer.
- They’ll apply for a loan through non-profit lenders.
- They’ll follow what the dealerships requires of them to get the car.
All of this depends on one thing: quality customer service.
Here’s the deal: people who have bad credit don’t come begging to your doorstep. They shop around just like other buyers. They visit different dealerships for price quotes and try to attain the best deal possible, even though they don’t have much negotiating power.
They also usually get treated very poorly along the way. Dealership salespeople don’t want to deal with special finance leads who want to shop around.
Don’t be that salesperson. Treat all of your customers with a high level of respect. At the end of the day, that’s what people are looking for—a salesperson with integrity. The opposite of the qualities that make up a sleazy car salesman. If they like you, they will trust you, and then they will buy from you. Subprime buyers are no different.
How to close your special finance leads, maximize profit, and get quality referrals
The person who has shopped around looking for a deal is also looking for someone to trust. Buyers with marginal credit know they have little negotiating power.
They know it’s easy for dealers to take advantage of them. So they’re guarded, choosy, and get pushed out of the way by most salespeople.
Then, they find your dealership. The salespeople treat them with confidence and work with them to achieve their end goal of buying a car at the right price. They may need to go through some hoops to get there, but the salesperson and finance manager tell them exactly what they need to do.
If you want to close more of your special-finance leads, here’s what to do differently with your next one:
- Treat him like a king. Have the sales team make an extra effort to make him feel at home. He’s expecting to be treated like a problem, so give him the exact opposite experience.
- Be transparent. Tell him exactly what his options are, how much your dealership can negotiate, and what next steps to take.
- Spiff up the vehicle before the presentation. Really make it shine and smell brand new. Make it look like the best car he could possibly get right now.
- Build up his confidence about payments. Make a point to discuss options and make suggestions as to how he can improve his chance to lower payments or receive a loan.
- Keep questions cordial and respectful. Don’t ask how much money he has in the bank or why his credit to so bad. Maintain their dignity while discussing options.
Once your salesperson has closed the deal and discussed options, you want to maximize the profit margins for your dealership and create more opportunities.
- Ask the prospect to refer your dealership. Offer a discount or an add-on as an incentive to get his family, friends, and connections through the door.
- Get them to protect their investment. Taking out an extended warranty is always a top priority for finance managers. Make sure they are getting special-finance leads to agree.
- Up your profits with add-ons. Paint protection, VIN-number etching, and fabric protection all increase the overall profit from purchases.
- Ask for a higher down payment. Don’t start with eh recommended or minimum—start high and negotiate from there.
- Structure your deals correctly. Don’t be afraid to back down on the price of the vehicle so you can fit in added protections. When working with payment restrictions, focus on offering back-end products.
Special finance leads (that aren’t too deep subprime) offer great opportunities
If you’re starting to put more focus on the special finance side of your business, remember to structure your deals correctly, and treat customers with respect. Your salespeople should see every customer as the same: a person who needs a vehicle. Treat them well, and they will treat you well. End of story.