How to sell more with less
Often times when working with less than perfect credit customers, the order in which the lead is worked can be the difference. First and firemost, upon lead arrival, immediate contact should be made with the customer. This lets the customer know you are working on their application for approval, and they do not need to continue to reach out to others in your position. Next make an appointment, and schedule a visit. Once the customer has expressed their exact preference in person, an approval and a sale will soon follow. Too often times a dealer seeks out the approval, without fulling gauging the customers needs, or what available resources they may have on-hand.
Make contact first!
In a typical finance lead application, at least phone numbers are available. Always try the mobile number first, as this is your best chance of reaching the customer in the event they are out of the office, off of work, or on the go. Depending on what CRM software you are using, the customer should have already received word via email, and possibly text message, that you are the dealer working on their application, and to expect a call from you. Since they will be expecting you, we recommend a quick income analysis to determine the maximum car payment they could secure an approval for. This usually equates to 20% of the monthly income, for example: If Applicant A makes $2500 monthly, you can go into the conversation feeling good about a max car payment of $500.
Give everyone hope in the approval process
Many subprime customers you will deal with have been rejected for credit from one traditional lending source or another at some point. That's why it's important to let them know there is still hope, and make them feel as through their loan is already approved. When you first talk to them, say things like:
"I have excellent news! Based on the application you have submitted today, I have qualified your for a loan amount of $16,450"
(give them the exact dollar amount based on their income)
"We are located only 5 minutes from you, can you meet with me today or tomorrow to discuss your loan options?"
The goal is to get the customer scheduled for a visit on the very first call. Always explain the process and your need for them to meet face-to-face. If the customer has direct questions such as "what is my interest rate?", reply by stating:
We have many different loan options available, that is why we need to meet and discuss your options. The final details of the loan are not made available until we have selected a vehicle, and completed the necessary paperwork. This will only take a few minutes, have I explained all of this well enough?
If they do not answer, ALWAYS leave a message
It's important to let the customer know as soon as possible that you are working on their application. Leave your number and the times you are available so the customer can reach out to you when it's convenient for them. Give them a chance to respond. It's important to follow-up, but too quickly can turn a customer on you quickly.
Don't pull the customers credit until they have visited the dealership
It's commonplace for auto dealers working subprime sales leads, to get the customer approved first, and make contact second. We don't recommend doing that for the following reasons:
- Correct any issues with application data that may have been entered incorrectly
- Peace of mind for the customer, knowing you are working WITH them, not FOR them
- Improves your lender look to book ratios
- Prevents your customers info to be sold 3rd party as a trigger lead
- Saves money on credit bureau pulls