Automotive Digital Marketing

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Many dealers offer estimated payments and credit apps on their websites, but neither offer the benefits of real payment quoting. What are real payments? Tarry Shebesta of DriveItNow explains, and outlines the benefits of offering real payments on your dealership's website.

Learn more about implementing a real payment feature everywhere your inventory is displayed at

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Comment by Jerry Thompson on December 20, 2012 at 4:12pm

Tarry has some very good points regarding payment advertising and has developed a nice tool for creating quality leads and loans.  While I tend to "fly under the radar" I would like to add my two cents to this discussion.

As the pioneers in payment advertising, we, the principals of OfferLogix, have developed a Patented process whereby we process a dealer's inventory feed and produce to the VIN level, fully disclosed, Reg M and Reg Z, lease and loan payments, based on the dealers lease and loan programs including, OEM National, regional/local subvented programs and national bank programs, for the dealer to use on their Search Results Page, Vehicle Detail Pages, Custom Offer creation, Splash pages from banner advertising, targeted messages to customers, social media, mobile, etc.  In addition to convenience and transparency, this changing content also enhances Search. We provide the missing link between static OEM lease specials dealers are advertising on their websites and the actual dealer inventory with the rates and terms special applied.

We have also created and Trademarked the first real Search By Payment feature that uses the best possible lease and loan payments for each vehicle in the dealers inventory so that shoppers can see what they can afford up front in the shopping process.

In a recent AutoTrader Study of post purchase customers 66% said that their first contact with the dealership was walking on the lot with 22% first making contact by phone.  When these 88% of buyers were asked why, the vast majority said that they didn't want to fill out a lead form and get called and Spammed. 

For this and other reasons, we believe that presenting the best possible payment on each vehicle, with links to all possible payments, enhances the customer experience so that they select the dealer verses going across town.  Approximately 90 percent of customers driving off the lot are driving a new payment so why not cross that last bridge of transparency and show them relevant payments up front?  Keep in mind that while these are real payments on actual vehicles there are multiple variables involved and flexibility can be built in to retain gross.

I agree wholeheartedly with Phil as to why stop there.The same study showed that over 40% of shoppers described their ideal process as being able to get Pricing information, Rebate and incentive Information, Trade Value, and initiate the credit process online.  We believe that the next stage is showing customer centric pricing and payments leading to the beginning of the credit process that can either be a soft pull or a full credit application.  We have unique technology and abilities to help inventory marketing companies, portals, dealer groups and others in the development of this full customer experience inside their current products.

This is a great conversation and I look forward to hearing your input and learning from each of you.  If anyone wants to see how we can develop a custom strategy revolving around payment advertising for your dealership, group, auto portal, etc. please feel free to contact me.  I will work with Ralph to put some screenshots up as well as a short video.

Comment by Ernie Kasprowicz on December 20, 2012 at 10:57am

I don't know the answer to this question but am hopeful to receive accurate information from readers of this post.  What % of new vehicle sales comes from online shoppers?  My question is in part related in trying to gain an understanding of the shift between the need for showroom salespeople versus perhaps a greater need for an increase in overall BDC sales departments?  While connected, which department has the greater need for personnel?

Comment by Philip Zelinger on December 20, 2012 at 6:01am

As always - so far at least - I agree with Ralph.  My friends at DriveItNow and AutoUSA provide a best in class conversion tool that allows their auto dealer clients to present a transparent buying experience for their online shoppers.  True transparency is a goal of any forward thinking auto dealer based on the mandate of today's educated consumer.  Unfortunately, the term is often abused by processes that are more dealer centric to sell cars than consumer focused to provide a satisfying shopping/buying experience.

In keeping with my goal to provide additional supportive information and best practices to issues surfaced in ADM I would be remisce if I didn't provide other examples of best in class solutions that rely on providing "real payment quoting" processes.  As always I will start with the disclosure that my contribution is sourced from a vendor partner - DrivingLoyalty - which I have an equity interest in.  Frankly, that simply means that I found them before you did and sharing their customer loyalty/retention data base marketing platform with my ADM friends is - or should be - why we are all here.

Driving Loyalty provides an opportunity to present real payment quotes on the dealer's entire inventory before, during and even after the initial contact with a customer. Their automated process is focused on existing customers as well as shoppers who have entered their system.  It provides a dedicated customer portal which collects data on the customer's present vehicle(s) as well as the dealers actual inventory.  Based on fully disclosed assumptions as to the accuracy of the customer provided data on their potential trade-in and credit their platform computes an "Out The Door"  quote for a cash transaction as well as both a finance and lease payment plan. 

The transparency of this process extends the confidence of full up front price and payment disclosures not only during the initial shopping experience but it follows the customer into their buying/owning cycle as well.  Additionally, their "equity alerts" maintain communications with their customers to insure that they are aware of their options to trade up when the payments on a new vehicle would be advantageous to the customer.

Simply put, if transparency in quoting price and payments sells cars - and I attest that it does - then why stop with the initial contact.  The trust earned by providing information to customers where and when they need it without obligating them to even talk to a sales person let alone suffer through a detailed interogation before you provide what they want is the sales process of the future.  Coincidentally, if you want to survive to enjoy future business you need to provide this customer centric solution today! 

Comment by Ralph Paglia on December 19, 2012 at 7:06pm

Providing customers with the ability to get real payments based on the car they are considering and their actual credit score is one of those "Transparency" features that will compel consumers to prefer one dealer over another.  I like the way DriveItNow and AutoUSA put their solution together and encourage all dealers to set up a means for customers browsing their inventory to get an actual payment quote... So they sell more cars!

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Comment by Ralph Paglia on December 19, 2012 at 6:55pm

I am going to share some information about DriveItNow because I cannot stand the way so many dealers are completely ignorant about how easy it is to set up real payment quotes for online customers... Then, how to use web based advertising to generate many more qualified prospects, people who are realistic about what they can actually buy!

Shown below are what DriveItNow leads look like when a dealer implements their technology:

This high quality, high closing ratio, lead is ONLY available through DriveItNow.

DriveItNow engages online shoppers with real payment offers they credit qualify for, setting a realistic purchase expectation. This produces a high qualified lead making it easier for dealers to convert.
DriveItNow changes the way shoppers interact with dealers online before visiting the dealership.
Our Patent-Pending TruPayment technology powers DriveItNow. It centers around three critical elements needed for Prequalifed Payment quoting.
Credit, Criteria and Collateral
Dealers using DriveItNow are consistently reporting higher percentage of appointments, shows, and closing ratios than what they get from all their other lead sources combined.

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