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There’s nothing more disheartening to a service advisor than presenting a customer with a list of service recommendations only to hear the customer agree that they need the service, understand its importance and value, but they simply don’t have the available funds to complete it.
In such a highly competitive market that service advisor knows that when the customer walks out the door, the likelihood of them returning is not great. They will probably price shop the service and end up getting the work done elsewhere.
Sure, there are times when the “can’t afford it” excuse is simply that… an objection. But even the service advisor with the best sales skills can’t overcome the objection when the customer truly doesn’t have the money to pay for the services. However, there is a way to overcome those objections and assist customers that want the service but can’t pay for it all at once, regardless of their credit:
Offer them options!
I’m not saying start accepting bitcoins, or trading service for cows. But here’s the deal: Many dealerships limit the forms of payment they accept to cash, check and credit cards. And some now even refuse payment by check.
Not all of your customers have money sitting in the bank waiting for emergencies, or credit cards with available credit just waiting for their use. There are, however, plenty of options available for all types of credit customers. They are worth investigating so you can offer your customers all the many types of financing available – and let them choose the right one for their needs. It is a great way to improve the customer experience. And today’s sales process is increasingly all about that customer experience.
With that in mind, many of the dealers I talk to don’t really know about the different types of service financing options available. Here’s a brief summary of potential options depending on your customer, which I hope helps:
1) Low Risk Customer: For customers with excellent credit
Options: Synchrony, CFNA, OEM Manufacturer Card
2) Mid Risk Customer: For the broadest spectrum of customers
Options: Confident Financial Solutions (CFS), NetCredit
3) Highest Risk Customer: This is a point-of-sale solution for those with no other options
Options: Springleaf Financial, One Road Lending
As you can see, there are many options for payment you can provide for your customers. The simple fact of offering all of these options will, by itself, help increase service revenue as car repairs, in general, are a necessity for many and maintaining a vehicle properly will, in the long run, cost them less.
I am not in any way suggesting that as a dealer you should act as a financial advisor. Just provide your customers with all the available choices. Let the customers decide which payment method best fits their needs. You may be surprised which they select. Either way, you’ll get the service business that might otherwise have walked out the door and down the road to your competition.