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I’ve often advocated in my blogs the benefits of quoting a price to customers who submit leads with a price inquiry. If the customer is submitting leads to more than one dealership, not providing the price will likely eliminate you from consideration.
Yet, according to CNW Marketing Research, 70.5% of people finance their cars. That means the vast majority of Internet leads will take the price quoted to them and then try to determine what their monthly payment will be. As we all know, monthly payments can vary based on the consumer’s credit score, the dealership’s finance programs and the specific vehicle the customer wants to buy. So the customer searching for the lowest priced vehicle today may still not end up with a vehicle that fits within their monthly budget for the next 60, 72 or even 96 months!
If we can move the conversation from price to payments, we can identify the right vehicle earlier in the process, saving the customer time and aggravation, and saving the dealership gross. One way to shift the conversation to monthly payments is to offer and promote payment—and shop-by-payment—marketing tool on your dealership’s website. A shop-by-payment tool allows consumers to search your inventory based on what their ideal monthly payment is and displays inventory based on real, credit-qualified payment quotes. An estimated or teaser quote can set the wrong expectation, but one based on the customer’s actual credit and the dealership’s finance programs sets both the customer and the dealer up for success.
Allowing consumers to shop-by-payments on your website offers the following benefits:
1) Keeps Customers on the Dealership’s Website. Customers come to your site to find answers, not more questions. If you are asking the customer to provide all their information, such as what their credit score is or what interest rate they may qualify for, they may have to go off of your website and find the information on another site. A shop-by-payment tool allows the customer to see all the inventory on your website that they qualify for, without having to look for the information somewhere else. The tool is also interactive, enabling the customer to adjust payment ranges, down payments and other information so that it engages the customer, keeps them on the website longer and results in higher conversion rates.
2) Protects Customers’ Privacy. Real payments can be quoted to customers without requiring them to enter in personal information, such as date of birth or Social Security Number, and without having a negative impact on their credit score. This is appealing to customers and allows them to play around with various terms and different vehicles, further engaging them and bringing them that much closer to the sale. Since most good-credit customers don’t want to affect their credit score until absolutely necessary, the result is often more leads from customers with higher average credit ratings.
3) Credit-Analyzed Leads Close at a Higher Rate. The ability to analyze a consumer’s credit online brings them one step closer to the sale. Closing rates for these leads are typically much higher than for unqualified leads, often exceeding 20%.
4) Streamlines the Sales Process. Providing real payment quotes on VIN-specific vehicles sets the customers’ expectation on what they can actually afford to buy, versus what they would like to buy. This eliminates unnecessary time that salespeople spend trying to sell a car that the person can’t afford, while also eliminating the “embarrassment” factor for the customer if they can’t afford the car they really want.
5) Keeps Dealers in Control of Financing. Providing real payment quotes shifts the customer’s focus from what the bottom-line price is to what they can afford to pay every month. This allows dealers to set their own prices and financing terms and gives them more flexibility in negotiations, unlike lead services that force dealers into price wars in order to deliver the lowest price for the consumer. Ultimately, this results in higher gross profit margins for the dealers.
Providing a shop-by-payment tool helps to engage customers, keep them online and bring them closer to the sale. Today’s payment marketing technology delivers real benefits to both dealers and consumers, resulting in high-quality, credit-analyzed leads that close at rates much higher than traditional Internet leads. To see a demo, visit www.anywheremotors.com