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Archive for September, 2012

Running Special Finance Department the Right Way

Posted on: September 24th, 2012 by credit

It is just necessary for dealers to start establishing their own special finance departments as there are more car buyers with non-prime credit who are seeking financing. Lending to borrowers with bad credit is no longer seen as a highly risky business today but as more lucrative than selling cars. With this trend, dealers should keep up with the competition by building a separate department to cater to subprime leads. Here are some basic pointers on running a special finance department rightly:

Expand your network of lenders. With the influx of subprime borrowers, it is just important for you, dealers, to be connected with many lenders. If you only have a few lenders, you have fewer chances of closing sales. For example, a car buyer is willing to buy a used car as long as you could fix financing for him or her. However, no lender from your network agreed to provide financing for the car buyer. You would end up losing the sale. To avoid this dilemma, establish relationships with various lenders. Moreover, if you could not find a lender for your car buyer, offer another vehicle to your car buyer which he or she could most likely get financed for.

Sell the right cars. Make sure that you have the right inventory. One thing you should understand about running a special finance department is you are dealing with a special kind of car buyers. Subprime leads need a different approach. This means that you cannot sell them cars that you also sell to people with good credit. Offer your subprime leads car models that they can afford and which your lenders can agree to finance.

Train your special finance staff. Hire people who have experience in handling subprime borrowers. Then, train them in every aspect of the credit application. Sometimes, the special finance manager would be so busy that he or she cannot do the final processing of the application. If your prospects would have to wait, they might probably end up in your competitor’s hands. Teach your sales people how to conduct interviews, review credit applications, and the like. In this way, you will avoid losing sales unnecessarily.

Veer away from putting up deceptive ads. Everyone may be doing it but such strategy would not place anyone in a permanent position of success. Your ads should not indicate a promise that your prospects would not receive when they step into your dealership. For example, don’t tell them that you can finance anyone if you are not willing to cater to people with really low scores.  This practice will only mar your reputation in the long run. Choose to be honest with your special finance ads instead.

Truths About Trigger Leads

Posted on: September 21st, 2012 by credit

What are auto trigger leads? These are information of people seeking financing for a car purchase. Some credit bureaus sell them to dealers like you. This act is not illegal but there are some drawbacks of resorting to trigger leads to boost your dealership’s sales.

One, many prospects hate cold calls and you have no other way to contact them but through giving them a call. Why? Although credit bureaus are permitted to sell consumer credit information, they can also give limited information. In most cases, a trigger lead is sold with just the complete name, address, and contact number of the person. The email address is often not included. Thus, cold calling the leads is your only way to reach out to them. However, as has been pointed out, prospects do not like receiving random sales or promotional calls. Moreover, they might get furious about the fact that you were able to contact them without them giving their information to you first. As a possible effect, your lead generation and conversion processes might get ruined. It could also smear your dealership’s reputation.

Two, responding to trigger leads require aggressiveness and speed which your salespeople should have. Since these leads come from credit bureaus—from people who have inquired about their credit rating—these people most probably have started shopping for cars and financing already. Thus, the goal is to get to them first. Upon receiving the leads, your salespeople should be proactive in dialing the numbers immediately, determined to get the sale.

Three, you can lose your customers to trigger leads. Consider the point discussed in the preceding paragraph. If you are buying trigger auto leads, you need to be aggressive in order to get to the lead first and close the sale. Looking at it in a different perspective, whether or not you are buying trigger auto leads, you can be a victim of those who do. They buy information of people who recently pulled out a copy of their credit report and cold call them as soon and as quickly as possible. If you are not aware that such competitors exist and you have a poor response time, you will definitely lose your soon-to-be customers to those trigger-lead-buying dealerships.

Interestingly, the reason why some dealers still buy these leads despite the drawbacks is because these leads are definitely fresh and the people behind them are genuinely interested car shoppers. In a general sense, convincing them to take your offer is easier. They want to buy a car; they are looking for financing opportunities; and you get to them with a nice offer that they also like. That definitely makes the sale. It works this way for some dealers and that’s why they keep on buying.

However, deciding to buy trigger auto leads depends heavily on your priorities in your dealership. Is reputation more important than acquiring fresh and quality leads? Should creating more sales be pushed through despite prospects at the other end of the line yelling at you? Weigh the pros and cons heavily and make an informed decision. Do not be convinced solely by success stories. What worked well with others might not always work the same with you. But do not get easily discouraged. It also pays to explore and experiment on various strategies.

Evaluating Facebook Marketing Behavior: Are You a Hypocrite?

Posted on: September 20th, 2012 by credit

By observation of some dealership marketing experts, Facebook is one of the misused tools in social media marketing. Many dealers are not generating more finance leads and car sales leads through Facebook because they are doing it wrong. The novelty of social media being a marketing platform perhaps contributes to the way many dealers misunderstand social media. Go and evaluate your Facebook marketing tactics for your dealership now. Check out the list below:

Like Me Back…Please.”

You are begging for likes if you like a page and send a message to the owner of that account to say, “Like me back…” This is definitely not a good marketing tactic for your dealership. Think about it: Why would your so-called prospects like you back? Were you helpful to them? Did you do something great for them? Demanding likes is not acting like a professional marketer. Think again: If your prospects grant you likes without you asking them, because they sincerely like you and your dealership, they could even become finance leads or car sales leads or even sales eventually. Being sincere in your marketing efforts in Facebook will earn you sincere potential customers as well who are genuinely interested in your dealership.

Being Talkative for Attention

There are several articles online that talk about dealerships’ vanity in social networking sites. There are dealers who want to get as much attention as they want. Even if you don’t admit it, you are vain if you babble in your status updates. Irrelevant questions, photos, videos, and even quotes are considered as just babbles because you don’t actually care about people’s responses. You just want to get noticed by creating some noise. As a dealership, you don’t need to hoard attention just so people know that you exist in Facebook. You can do this with more appropriate, professional, and ethical marketing strategies.

Sending Personal Messages Randomly

This is a big mistake. Your prospects would hate you and your brand for sending them all-promotional and spammy messages. First, your recipients would be alarmed with the fact that you were able to contact them even if they did not contact you. Second, they treat such messages as nuisances. And third, this will just lose than earn you prospects. Instead, decide on your target market and reach out only to them. You are a dealership so you must cater to car shoppers, car enthusiasts, and people seeking car financing. Do not just select your market randomly. Be intentional when reaching out to potential customers.

Facebook and social media in general are not used so a business can be more popular. Social media marketing experts say that social media is for businesses to establish relationships with prospects and existing customers and not get famous or to sell. Consider what the experts are saying and you’ll see significant improvements in your Facebook marketing efforts.

Things to Do to See Your Social Media Strategy Fail

Posted on: September 19th, 2012 by credit

Social media, although widely used as one of the most effective marketing platforms in today’s industries, is still new. Many dealers still struggle in doing it right. There are still cases where a dealership only wasted money on social media marketing efforts that did not turn in good ROI. Your social media strategy can fail in many ways. It is either you need to start or stop doing something. Think about the following pointers:

Build a complicated dealership website. You were successful in encouraging your contacts in social media to visit your dealership website. They checked out your website but asked, “What did we get ourselves into?” Your dealership website has difficult navigation and they are losing their way. Remember that in creating your dealership website, you have to put yourself in the shoes of your visitors. Is this color right for the eyes? Can I go easily around the site? Am I getting any useful information from this site? Is it helpful for my needs? Evaluate your dealership website now and never lose leads internet again.

Compete with celebrities and other brands in getting the most number of likes, fans, followers, comments, etc. First of all, you are not a celebrity; you are a dealer—a businessman—working to gain more profit. Thus, you don’t need too much attention in the social media sphere. Don’t be so vain trying to get noticed by almost everyone in social networking sites. There are more important things to focus on in social media marketing than getting all the attention. Moreover, more likes, fans, followers, and comments do not necessarily follow good and effective branding. You need to work on this with a more appropriate and effective strategy.

Provide content that is not worth sharing. One way to drive more traffic and to spread the news about your dealership in social media is providing compelling and useful content that is worth sharing. However, if you are just babbling in your articles, having no value at all, it will definitely not get shared. You will only lose the chance of attracting more prospects and even generating more leads internet.

Sell. Just Sell. This is a common mistake committed by dealers. Social media is not for selling but for building relationships with potential and existing customers. Moreover, consumers are wiser now. They know if you are just trying to get them to purchase something or giving them solutions and genuine help.

Dread experiments. Many dealers fail in their social media strategy because they decide to stick with one system and one strategy. This will not get them any farther. Study different dealerships and see how they do their branding, advertising, lead generating, and even conversion. Be experimental and a risk-taker and try employing their techniques and see if they work for you.

Like Us On Facebook! Taking Advantage of Social Media for Auto Leads

Posted on: September 18th, 2012 by credit

Whether you think the economy is slow or there really is a recession, auto dealerships must sell cars in order to stay in business. This endeavor seems impossible nowadays because a lot of people are tightening their belts and spending less and less. Nevertheless, this does not mean that there are no people interested in buying cars because they are out there…you just have to know where to look and how to look for them.

One way to look for your auto loan lead is through Facebook, one of the world’s famous social networking sites. A lot of companies use Facebook to share content to people all over the world. It is a cost-effective marketing strategy so businesses can advertise their new products and services online. The great thing about Facebook is that its members are actual people so if you are in the auto dealing business, you are most likely to get people who will actually make a purchase once you established a connection with them.

Using the Like Feature for Your Auto Leads

Facebook has plenty of features that can be used to look for potential customers who are interested in buying cars. One way of getting your customers’ foot in the door is by asking them to “Like” your Facebook page. Once you get them to do this, your updates will appear on their news feeds and you can now establish a connection with them.

The Right Content, The Right Customers

When you construct your Facebook page and when you upload updates, you should look at it from your customer’s point of view. It should be interesting enough to catch the attention of the visitor. Do not take for granted what is in your Facebook page. What you say can affect the whole thing and using sales-driven directives such as “Sign up now!” can be another way to generate your auto loan lead. Do not forget that Facebook allows you to share content such as videos, pictures, and newsletters, with your customers so you should take advantage of this as well.

Engage Your Captive Audience

Once you get your captive audience, you should exert an effort to sustain them. Aside from giving the right content, you can also come up with contests to keep your customers and attract more of them. Remember, there is a chance that your visitors will click on that “Share” button so your Facebook page will be broadcasted in the visitors’ network and get more Likes in the future. When you use this approach, remember to follow Facebook’s promotion guidelines.

Auto dealers should maximize the use of social media when it comes auto loan lead generation. A lot of people, young and old, are using Facebook to get updates, entice new customers, market their products. Not only is it effective, it is also profitable without costing you a cent.

 
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