Leading on from last month’s rant, where I focussed on quality
qualification and the 300 per cent rule, I have had some great
feedback along the lines of “Go on then smart ar*e, how should we
sell finance to used car customers?”
Happy to oblige.
The used car transaction is tangible, it is actual, it is in the
here and now, and used car retailers have all three key sections of
the sale chain firmly in place. They have the stock, the customer,
and the dealmaker who has secured a commitment to buy, perhaps even
a signed order form.
But wait! Why would you rush to sign an order form with a
customer when only half the job and only one product sale has been
Don’t you think that the customer may detect a note of
unprofessionalism, or even desperation if you shove an RMI special
under their nose within a few nanoseconds of them agreeing to
Take your time, relax with them, explain to them that you will
prepare the paperwork in due course, and that the deal is done.
Make a fuss of phoning someone and telling them to take the car off
sale so no-one else can buy it, consolidating the purchase and
affirming that they have bought the car.
If the deal has been cash throughout, now is the time to
start using all that qualification. Did the cash happen to you or
have you put it there? Is it easy to get to without penalty? What
rate are you getting on it at the moment?
The rate question is key: a good saver will tell you to three
decimal places what interest rate he is getting. He has worked for
that money, he believes that money should be working back for him,
and he really doesn’t want to spend it – it’s his security
Someone to whom the cash has happened – legacy, winnings – will
struggle to answer the rate question, and there is your ‘tell’,
your sign that they haven’t made sacrifices to have that nest egg
Good savers need the truth now. They expect your money to be
more expensive, so be more expensive, calculate the cost per month
of your money over them using theirs, and ask them if it’s worth
£15 per month to keep their £8,000 in the bank ‘just in case’. It
still surprises me to this day how often customers convert at this
stage; they value your honesty, integrity and professionalism. Just
don’t be greedy on scale rate, and be prepared to do something with
the doc fee.
Bad savers are easier – ask them the question, would they like
the car and the money still in the bank? These people aren’t
savers, so having a lump sitting there gives them a Ready Brek
glow, and believe me when I tell you that they could spend that
cash pile several times over.
On a final note, before the bad savers had the cash, how do you
think they bought their cars? They understand your funding products
where the good savers do not, so be prepared to educate. These
methods work well when seller and buyer are relaxed, but they still
only work 40-50 per cent of the time. There is no perfect solution
or magic wand; if there was I would be writing this article from
somewhere much sunnier than Cheshire.