Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Lending Is The Key To Growth

In our industry, lending is the key to growth and prosperity. Even though the past few months have brought many changes to the lending landscape, we still have a great base of lenders and they still need to fund loans. Right now, however, they might be feeling a bit nervous and, as a result, many are pulling back and reevaluating their loan criteria.

Now, more than ever, dealerships need to increase their lenders’ level of comfort with them. As always, when dealing with lenders, loyalty counts; conducting business in a professional and ethical manner counts; and being a business partner that they can rely on counts.

This is the time to strengthen the ties that bind. If you are not close with your lenders, get close. Invite them to your dealership. Take time to show them that when they approve a loan, they are investing in America and the American people, who are the very fabric of this country.

It all begins with a retail sale and installment contract. When the retailer sells a vehicle, the local and national economy benefits from the jobs the industry provides, and the nation benefits because of the manufacturing jobs, transportation, and taxes the companies pay.

The wheels industry took off when retail financing entered the marketplace after World War II. Many miles have gone by since then. What has remained though is the need for retail lending. Our economy is built on that foundation. That is why the dealership of today must go out and prospect for lenders who will fill the gap left by traditional lending sources.

We still have customers who want to purchase. We still have inventory sources that want dealerships to stock vehicles. We still have money sources. We simply need to build the relationships and reassure lending partners that future deals will be better for them, their risk will be less, and we will be better partners.

Recently, I viewed a 29-page list of subprime lenders. I was amazed at the length of the list. The opportunities are out there. As in times gone by, the professional F&I manager will need to take the first step to create and maintain a solid working relationship with those who have the keys to our future—lenders.

If you want a copy of the list, please send me an email. I will be happy to have my office respond. This is a time to think outside the box and take action.

Dealer Marketing Magazine, October 2008, P. 40