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Got Bad Credit?

Got Bad Credit?

Have you ever heard this before? “Treat people the way you would want to be treated?” Otherwise known as the Golden Rule. Maybe you heard this one; “All people are created equal,” which just so happens to be mentioned by Thomas Jefferson over 2 centuries ago. But these statements are still not enforced 100% of the time in our Dealerships. The problem is that in today’s society and business we continue to do the same things over and over again expecting a different result, sometimes referred to as insanity.

Check out this scenario, (true story) I ask a sales consultant why his sales this month are off, and he responds like the average sales person, “got too much bad credit.” Well I guess he was unaware that West Tennessee and Memphis has been known in the past as the “bankruptcy capital of the world.” The problem here is not the bad credit, the problem here is the sales consultants mind set about a customer with challenged credit. I decided to watch this sales consultant closer, I needed to understand the sales consultants process with challenged credit customers before I could analyze the true problem. After 5 minutes here was my conclusion:


  1. The meet and greet was weak, he saw that the customer had a ‘98 Clunker and immediately brought the customer in for a quick 5-Liner (quick credit application in non-sales terms)
  2. Asked the customer how much money they have for a down payment.
  3. Let the customer go with no Manager T.O. before telling the customer to leave because their pockets were empty. Wow.


But who is to blame here, has the store created a culture to treat all customers the same? Does the sales consultant really understand the process with challenged credit customers? Here is what we do know, the sales consultant already thought in his mind that this customer has bad credit and that he would not sell them a car. The sales person treated them is if they were not important, almost as if that people with challenged credit are not allowed at this dealership unless they fit the banks guidelines. Would this sales consultant have treated his grandmother the same way? Would this sales person have treated a customer that stepped out of 2008 BMW 7 Series with business attire the same way? My guess is probably not, I would guess that the red carpet would have been rolled out for both.


Would you like to know how to sell more cars to people with challenged credit? Follow these easy steps:

  1. Treat the customer as if they had just won the lottery. Roll out the Red Carpet. Make the customer feel as if they are the first customer you have ever worked with, almost as if it is your first day on the job. Thank the customer a minimum of 2 times while doing the meet and greet. Something like this, “Before we get started, ABC Motors and myself would like to thank you for coming in today. We know that you have many choices when it comes to choosing a dealership, and I appreciate you for giving us an opportunity.
  2. Perform a proper need analysis with the customer. Find out they are trying to accomplish by coming into the dealership. What is most important to them? You need to earn there trust here. Explain the process and the proper steps that need to be taken before submitting there information to a lender.
  3. Select a Vehicle that fits within their guidelines.
  4. Provide them a world-class presentation and demonstration.


I will not go through all the steps here, but what I can tell you is that if you perform these first 5 steps on a challenged credit customer the way you would on a customer with an 800+ beacon, the results will be immeasurable. Here is why, regardless if you sell this customer or not, they will tell more people about there experience with you than a customer with excellent credit because typically an excellent credit customer gets the red carpet rolled out 99% of the time. The same with challenged credit customers, they typically get treated poorly the same way at every dealership. Statistics show that when a customer purchases a vehicle someone else in the household or family tree is looking to purchase a car within the next 90-120 days. Well I say the same statement would be made for people that visit a dealership and do not purchase, they know someone in the family, friend, or co-worker that is looking within the next 3 months.


            For example, a customer recently visited our website and submitted an online credit application. Immediately we emailed the customer and then followed up with a phone call. We first thanked the customer for the opportunity, performed a need analysis, explained our dealerships value package, and sold the appointment. Down payment and any other financial questions are not to be mentioned over the phone to our customers. This customer received a confirmation number and came in to meet with me directly. I thanked the customer and performed the steps listed above and assigned the proper “Product Specialists” to go over the features of this vehicle. In short, we were unable to obtain financing for this customer, but she was so enthused about the visit that she referred 2 people to us within 48 hours because of the great experience she received. We sold one of them and the other is still a working prospect. She also just so happens to be employed at the local Y.M.C.A. so as you can imagine she interacts with hundreds upon hundreds of people everyday. She continues to send us business and we continue to work on getting her a vehicle. All this because the Red Carpet was rolled out and we treated her differently than our competition.


Do you have bad credit? Want to sell more customers with challenged credit? Start with the most basic thing, treat the customers the way you would want to be treated and the rest will take care of itself. All customers are created equal.


Durran Cage

Internet Sales Director

Alan Vines Automotive



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Hello to all Automotive Internet Sales Professionals, my name is Durran Cage and I am the Internet Sales Director at Gary Mathews of Jackson in Tennessee. My team and I are very thankful to be the first Automotive Internet Sales Dealer of the Month! This could not have been done without the efforts of my hard working Internet Sales Coordinators and Internet Sales Managers, Sean Bradley, Stan "the man" Sher, and the entire DS staff. Big thanks to you all! Automotive Internet Sales changes from day to day and not a day goes by that I don't learn something new, so I am excited to here and see all the ideas and suggestions listed on and also posting some thoughts of my own as well.

A brief background of my history in the automotive business, I first started in the car business at 17 years old selling cars at Zangara Dodge in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While selling at the dealership I was also able to get my Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting, I then went to work for Chrysler as a District Sales Manager over West Tennessee, Memphis, and Mississippi Chrysler Dodge Jeep Dealers. The District Sales Manager position allowed me to go into 15-20 different dealerships on a weekly basis, and by doing this I was able to take bits and pieces from each dealership on what's effective and what has been proven to be ineffective in sales and service. I also started to see that there was a major piece of business missing in each dealership, the Internet Department. Can you believe that not a single dealership in Memphis or West Tennessee had an Internet Sales Department? I then took the opportunity to resign from Chrysler and join a very aggressive dealer by the name of Alan Vines who was ready to take the internet to the next level but was not sure if he could find the right person for the job... I joined Gary Mathews of Jackson in August 4, 2008, and it has been nothing but a blessing since. And with the recent help of Dealer Synergy, we were able to double our sales and we are continually trying to improve our department on a daily basis. As many of you know, it's not just about consistency within an Internet Department, it is more about consistent implementation and discipline of sticking to the basics and fundamentals of your Internet Sales Process. I look forward to obtaining new ideas and suggestions through Once again I am thank the Internet Sales Managers and Internet Sales Coordinators at Gary Mathews and DS staff for all the support and success.

If you have any ideas, suggestions, questions, or would like to contact me, you can do so by emailing or calling me directly at 731-394-6907 at anytime.

Take Care

Durran Cage

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