The answer is, a lot! From lender reps, to the OEM’s field team, to consultants, to the “latest thing” rep, today’s auto dealer is highly sought after. The dealership’s decision maker is in demand. So much so that if the Dealer granted time to every rep that requested it, he would spend no time tending to his retail automotive operations!
So, the better question is this:
How Do You Ensure that You are the Rep that the Dealer WANTS to see?
The bottom line is you need to add value to his operation when you do get in front of him. When you leave, it should have been time well invested. Here are three points of consideration for meeting with a Dealer.
- Do Your Homework– It is imperative that you know the Dealer’s business, his business, and demonstrate to him that you understand it. Everything you communicate should be filtered through this lens. Don’t just show up with your numbers, loan volume, look-to-book metrics, and portfolio performance. Present your numbers within the context of his organization. Position your numbers to the dealer’s business. Present your loan volume as a share of his total business. What revenue hit his operating statement generated by doing business with you? Explain why and how the metrics benefited his business. Understand the dealer’s F&I operations including penetration levels for financing as well as all ancillary products sold and include these points in your discussion with the Dealer.
- Quantify Your Points – Don’t just present from the standpoint that doing business with you will help improve efficiencies and sell more cars. Always quantify these statements. For example, if you put three deals together for the dealership last month, don’t just leave it at three additional deals. It should be 5 additional deals, at that dealers average front end gross, over a 12-month period, applying his VSC/GAP/Other Product penetration levels and his associated gross profit for each. Sum these numbers for a month and annualize it for him. Remind the dealer that you appreciate his business and are pleased to know that you are working together with his team to drive profitability in his dealership.
- Respect the Dealer’s Time – Building and maintaining rapport is always an integral part of our business. That just can’t be the main reason for your meeting with the Dealer. Have a plan, communicate it, stick to it, and follow up. Specifically, set an appointment with the Dealer whenever possible; let him know what you’d like to cover and how long you anticipate it will take. Then, deliver! Be on time. Cover the communicated items within the contracted period of time. Validate the importance of the visit by following up on the discussion and following through on any commitments made.
It’s time to ask yourself:
- When you walk into a dealership, do you present a canned pitch or are you delivering value geared to that dealer’s business?
- Do you find yourself making general statements about your business or quantifying your points with data, financial impact and results that are specific to that dealer’s operation?
- Are you finding yourself just dropping in on your dealers to see how business is going, or are you setting and executing meaningful appointments?
At EFG Companies, we understand retail automotive. When we partner with our lenders, we help you fortify your relationships with your dealers and increase your loan volume. Our tailored F&I products are designed to increase both your bottom line and dealership profit. Our expert training equips you, the lender representative, with the skills to meet performance goals by working effectively with your dealer partners.
Find out how EFG’s 36-plus years of experience in auto retail and financing can help grow your business. Contact us today.