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Good Dealers are Not Scammers

Posted on: August 8th, 2012 by credit

Buying a new car is no joke because it involves a significant amount of money. The same goes even if you buy your car through special deals offered by the car dealership. That is why it is important to be vigilant and be on the lookout for dubious auto financing scams that can eat a huge chunk out of your car budget.

Who Are the Victims?

Because automotive finance involves a lot of money, there are a lot of scams designed to dupe the car buyer. The usual victims of these scams are those without car buying experience or are buying a car for the first time. People who do not know anything about finances are also victims of these scams as well. Companies also prey on people who have low credit scores because these people do not have a lot of options when it comes to buying a car. These people are usually found with the help of special finance auto leads.

Extras You Do Not Need

A common automotive finance scam is when you are enticed to buy extras for your car that you do not need. These extras come in the form of fabric protection, protection from rust and etching your vehicle identification number on the windshield. In most cases, fabric protection and rust protection products are available at the store and you can do these things by yourself. If you need to have your VIN number on your windshield, you can etch it yourself by using an affordable VIN etching kit.

Extended Service Contract

Another common automotive finance scam is when you are offered an extended service contract. This is another thing you do not need because a reliable car will not break down after only a few years of use. Your new car’s warranty should be enough and you can use the money you saved in more important things.

High Interest Rates

Some car dealers will ask for higher interest rates in your auto loan because you “do not qualify” for their lower interest rates. You can get around this automotive finance scam by getting your auto loan from a bank or reputable lending institution. You should also know your credit score so you can get approved for a car loan easily. Come to the dealership prepared and bring your approved car loan which you can use as leverage when buying your new car.

Fraudulent Online Deals

You should also be wary of  deals that require you to transact business online. These people usually ask you to deposit a check in an escrow account and once you give them your money, it turns out that there was no car after all. Your hard-earned money has been stolen and you will have a hard time getting it back.

Bad Credit Auto Leads: An Easier Catch Now

Posted on: August 6th, 2012 by credit

Are you sure you’re still catching up? More and more dealers are realizing that there is much profit in special finance lending—by simply acting as the third party to get people with bad credit financed or by directly providing them financing. Here are some facts to convince you that special finance is a where the most fish are right now.

A recent study by CNW Research showed that subprime buyers account for more than 20% of the total used-vehicle sales in July 2012. Meanwhile, the average credit scores for new cars and used cars dropped to 760 and 659, respectively, in the first three months of 2012, according to an Experian Automotive study. This means that more people with lower credit scores are getting approved for auto loans. The study also found that the number of loan programs offered to bad credit auto leads rose by 11%. It also showed that people borrow almost $26, 000 and more than $17, 000 at average for new car purchase and used car purchase, respectively.

These trends in the special finance arm of auto lending is fueled by the decline in loan delinquencies, according to some experts. The rates dropped by 7.6% and 12.1% for people who are 30 days and 60 days late, respectively. Vehicle repossession also dropped by 37%. These make special financing easier for lenders and dealers. On the other hand, as banks and other lenders offer lower interest rates and monthly payments, people with bad credit are gaining more confidence to take auto financing.

With these in mind, what should you do now to keep up with the competition? Here are some insights from experts:

It’s important to have the right process, the right sales team, the right inventory, and the right lenders to convert bad credit auto leads into sales. Firstly, having the right process involves doing away with the notion that when a lead does not meet your criteria, it shall be treated as chaff. Realize that there are many car shoppers who have bad credit who are still serious about buying a car and rich enough to make consistent payments.

Secondly, you must have a special finance department where your sales team are trained and experienced in negotiating with bad credit auto leads. Your sales team should understand their needs and dilemma to effectively turn them into sales.

Thirdly, if you are offering special financing, make sure you have the right inventory for it. There must be car models from 2001, for example, or those that are worth at least $8, 000, available in your car lot.

Lastly, you should have a network of lenders who are willing to buy special finance papers. And remember: Focus on helping your prospects get financed and not get the car that they want.

Lead Management or CRM?

Posted on: August 3rd, 2012 by credit

Many businesses confuse lead management and CRM or customer relationship management thinking that they are the same. In effect, they also confuse their needs. Some are using lead management systems when what they really need is CRM and vice versa. Although the two systems may seem similar, it does not follow that one will work well with both lead management and CRM needs.

What is Lead Management?

A user-generated definition in Wikipedia says that lead management is “used to describe methodologies, systems, and practices designed to generate new potential business clientele, generally operated through a variety of marketing techniques.” Meanwhile, Rao Vallabhaneni in his book Corporate Management, Governance, and Ethics Best Practices defined the term as “the process of rapidly and effectively creating, nurturing, distributing, and analyzing leads. The ultimate goal is to increase the likelihood that a lead will convert to a qualified sale opportunity and then a new, satisfied customer.” Applying lead management now to dealership context, automotive lead management is the process of generating leads through various dealership marketing efforts and converting them into sales.

Automotive lead management systems, on the other hand, are the ones that automate monitoring, measurement, and all the management processes involved from the time a lead comes budding until when it blooms into a sale. These are tools, models, or software that make the process easier for dealerships and other businesses.

You need lead management systems to:

  • Contact leads fast. Leads grow cold quickly. Studies show that leads receiving a response within five minutes after they dropped their query in are most likely to turn into sales. Quick response time also give a dealership a higher customer satisfaction rating.
  • Speed up sales process. Lead management systems allow you to monitor the performances of the various lead generation techniques you are employing and improve those that appear ineffective. You can also track the status—needs follow-up, closed, or not yet contacted—of the leads and ensure that they are qualified.

What is CRM?

According to Samara Lynn of PCMag.com, CRM is a “strategic business tool that helps companies streamline their business processes…and can increase revenue by attracting and retaining customers…and shortening the time it takes to close a sales deal.” CRM systems focus on fostering your and your salespeople’s relationship with your dealership’s prospects and customers.

You need CRM systems to:

  • Build relationship with prospects. CRM systems make data collection easier. They also help your salespeople understand the needs of customers, which is essential in almost all sales approaches, and provide solution for them. This helps build trust and rapport with prospects and customers.
  • Foster customer loyalty. CRM systems help you serve your existing customers better, keep a record of customer complaints and resolve them, and modify sales and marketing approaches according to shifting customer behavior and needs.

Things to Do When Hiring an Auto Lead Provider

Posted on: August 3rd, 2012 by credit

The services of auto lead providers like Approved Auto Leads make lead and sales generation easier, more convenient and more productive for dealerships. There are actually more benefits auto lead providers can give to dealerships. However, many dealers are not experiencing better processes and systems with lead providers. Some don’t even see any significant growth in their sales. There are two possible reasons: It could be that the lead provider is not a good choice or the dealer has missed out on some details while choosing a lead provider to hire. Sometimes, the blame is not always on the inefficiency of a lead provider but on you, the dealer. Check out these things to do when hiring a lead provider.

Search

With the advancement in technology and further developments in the world wide web , it now so easy to search for prospective auto lead providers online. You can also ensure a company’s legitimacy right there and then. Aside from online search, you can also ask for recommendations from other businesses who have hired or have been hiring a lead provider. Narrow down your list by thoroughly verifying a company’s legitimacy and professionalism.

Call

If you are shopping for lead providers online, check first if the company provides their complete contact details in their website. If you’re interested in their services, call them up and find out if they are a real company. If there are no address or contact numbers provided, discard the company from your options. Also, don’t choose a provider located far from your dealership.

Visit

It is better if you could walk into the office and observe the people working in there. Are the people friendly? Are they productive? Can they communicate well with customers? Observe also the workplace. If possible, meet up with the owner. It is ideal to personally know the people you are working with.

Ask

This simply means interview the company. For example, ask them about the lead generation techniques they use. Make sure that they are knowledgeable with the fundamental and modern techniques and are using these appropriately and not abusively. If they execute their lead generation efforts without tact, they would most likely generate bad leads—shoppers who were just lured by some advertisements to send their information in.

Convert

Actually, this is the most important part. Many dealers often neglect lead conversion by being so focused on generating so much leads. The fact is, a number of leads won’t get you more money. However, converting these leads into sales will do. Make sure that you spend sufficient time working on the leads—answering their queries, getting them into the deal, keeping them interested, and following them up. This way, you’ll see your dealership grow.

What Your Dealer Chat Must Have

Posted on: August 2nd, 2012 by credit

A dealer chat is an internet lead generation method that has proven itself to yield promising results for dealerships. You just need your sales people to stay online and be always ready to answer queries from online car shoppers. To maximize the potential of this effective lead generation technique, consider the following must-haves to more fruitfully generate automobile leads.

Online Salespeople

As has been mentioned, your sales people must always be online. There must always be someone logged on to answer the queries that will be coming in. Otherwise, the lead would feel like entering an empty dealership. The problem with this is that when automobile leads have no one to talk to, they would proceed checking out their other options. That is why, it is important that you have as many sales people as possible to stay online for incoming queries from your potential customers. Your sales staffs can also use a mobile version of the dealer chat software so they can receive and reply to incoming queries in their smartphones anytime, anywhere.

Real People

Prospects feel better about a dealership when they know that they are talking to the real dealer or sales people online and not just to some computer-operated responder. How would you show your prospects that they are talking to real people? Ask your sales staff to use their real photo and name when they talk chat with online car shoppers. Moreover, this also makes it easier for your sales staff to build rapport with prospects. It will also help prospects identify the salesperson they are talking with online when they visit the dealership.

Skilled Salespeople

Train your sales team on how to communicate well with prospects. Dealer chat is like telemarketing, except that the challenge is how you can sound friendly and kind. That’s easy to do over the phone but it is a challenge on typewritten words. In addition, each sales person must be knowledgeable about your products and services. They should be able to answer common questions that a car shopper would ask about a certain car model or service. Also, make sure that your salespeople maintain a lively atmosphere online and even in your dealership.

Excellent Service Provider

It is ideal for small dealerships that only have few people to outsource a BDC department to handle internet leads. Some lead generation companies like Approved Auto Leads provide BDC services for dealerships as well as call center trainings. However, make sure that you only hire a legitimate, professional and experienced provider.

 
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