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:
- 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)
- Asked the customer how much money they have for a down payment.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Select a Vehicle that fits within their guidelines.
- 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.
Internet Sales Director
Alan Vines Automotive