We know that all dealerships are not created equal when it comes to helping consumers with subprime credit. Most dealers don’t have the lenders, inventory or knowledge to help these people.
We all know that every day, subprime consumers walk into the wrong dealership and are told they have bad credit and cannot be helped. Subprime consumers also don’t wear a sign when entering a dealership announcing their score or credit situation, so most of the time they land on the wrong car, something that is too expensive or unfinanceable for them. Once this happens, they end up leaving the dealership feeling dejected. Many of them are sure they will hear the same thing from every other dealer, so their search for a vehicle ends right there.
If you are a dealership with the right lenders, inventory and the ability to help subprime consumers, then consider “trigger” programs. You will have the advantage of knowing when every subprime consumer in your market has their credit bureau pulled by a competitor, bank or lender for the purposes of automobile financing.
They are called trigger programs because once the consumer has their credit bureau pulled, a trigger notification is created, identifying that this consumer is in the market now. Every morning a fresh list of these shoppers becomes available.
This is one of the most targeted lists available and the response rates prove it. As most people know, you are lucky to get a 1 percent response from most traditional mail campaigns, while it’s relatively common to see response rates from 4 percent to 7 percent from a properly run trigger program.
Many of these consumers also have phone numbers that are not on the national “do not call” list. That means you or a professional call center can contact these customers the day after they shopped, even before they receive the Firm Offer of Credit in the mail. When they receive a call notifying them that they have been prequalified for automobile financing at a dealership near them, they will most likely think that you don’t know they were turned down somewhere else, and they will happily listen to your offer. They are also easier to work with upon arrival at the dealership. Unlike their last visit to a dealership, you can work the deal the correct way the first time, along with any bank documents that may be needed.
Another key component of a trigger program is taking advantage of the fact the mail goes out every day. You can’t wait and mail these consumers weekly or monthly. These are some of the most valuable prospects, so it is extremely important to send out a high-quality mail piece with the correct message and first-class postage with a live stamp.
When setting up your trigger program, make sure you select the correct credit criteria that fits your lenders and your inventory. You can choose the FICO score, age, income, open, filed or discharged BKs, no repos in the last 12 months, you can even choose customers who have not financed a vehicle in the last 18 months (which helps prevent people from being upside down). You can also choose positive trade lines needed; it’s great to have a high response, but you want financeable customers as well.
Now that you understand that this valuable program works, it’s time to pull the trigger and capitalize on the extra sales and revenue this program will generate for you. I would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to contact me through the email above.
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