With the squeeze on sticker prices getting tighter, tacking a few more dollars onto every sale can make a big difference on the balance sheet at the end of the month. The challenge is to find value-adds with instant appeal that can be sold fast without increasing the dealers risk.
Helping buy here, pay here and traditional independent dealers get more mileage out of every sale is one more way the Internet is changing the business. By making it possible to sell valuable protection while pulling credit and doing background checks for loan applications, small dealers can, in some cases, double or triple their profit on every sale in less than five minutes.
Even in larger dealerships, finance and insurance reps traditionally spend up to 45 minutes processing loans and the usual menu of GAP insurance and extended service contracts. Smaller lots that don’t have F&I departments can’t always spare salespeople for that long, and unattended customers may feel the dealer doesn’t think their time is valuable.
The goals for offering new services are the same for processing loans-speed and simplicity. The Web can help with both.
How fast does it go?
During loan origination, dealers offering financing can very quickly access multiple credit and consumer data sources via the Web from specialized sites. Users can look beyond credit reports at things like, evictions, criminal records, traffic violations, changes of address, even the locations of an applicant’s nearest relatives should they have to track the vehicles down at some point.
Running a thorough credit and identity verification check on an applicant for financing can protect dealers from missing red flags in credit histories and offering loans to bad risks. During this process, your customer is a captive audience for a few minutes, providing you with the perfect opportunity to make him or her aware of valuable vehicle protection products while generating substantial revenues for the dealer.
Would you like dent and ding protection with that?
Many customers find these services compelling enough to spend a few more minutes-and dollars-to lock them in at the point of sale. But the manual process of filling out multi-page application forms by hand, filling in the same information over and over for every additional product, can take as long as 45 minutes, much longer than most customers or salespeople feel like spending.
With the Web-based approach, dealers type in the basic information once for the credit check and then click through various protection options, checking off the ones customers want on a few quick screens. This drive-through approach makes it easy for to customers to keep saying yes and drive away with more products.
For small and medium size dealerships, doing more to minimize risk and maximize revenue at the point of sale is the key to long-term profitability. It is also good for word of mouth since every customer, from the lady waiting for the go-ahead to drive away in her new SUV to the guy waiting to test drive a pickup, is happier when the dealer keeps things moving- and down the road, vehicle protection services help keep the automobiles themselves moving, which keeps everyone happy.
Brian Bradley is the EVP of strategy and emerging markets at Microbilt Corporation. He can be reached at [email protected] or call 609-580-0027.
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- Buy Here, Pay Here Dealers Triple Revenues While Pulling Credit In Less Than Five Minutes - May 1, 2008
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