Special Finance 101

10 Key Components for Special Finance Growth at Your Dealership

If you’re thinking about investing in a special finance marketing program at your dealership, well, you should! As the world economy recovers and people return to normal life, special finance sales are poised for an unprecedented surge.

Since 2004, we’ve worked with thousands of dealers across the United States and have come to realize there isn’t a single, “correct” way sell more cars in special finance. There are probably nearly as many methodologies as there are dealerships. That being said, the highest grossing Dealerships all understand and maintain these 10 key components for sustained profitability in special finance.

1) Commitment

  • Starts with the dealer principal and includes entire sales team
  • Must understand capital required
  • Conventional F&I and used car manager/buyer are keys


2) Inventory

  • 80% of payments under $400 per month
  • 80% of inventory must be $7-$12K ACV, $500 behind average book
  • Under 60,000 miles
  • Sweet spot is $10-15K
  • Pickups & SUVs, the more the better


3) Personnel

  • Must be committed to working the program (see #1)
  • SF Manager must have good deductive reasoning
  • SF Manager must be able to look at application, bureau and already know where a customer should qualify
  • Must work as a team to deliver vehicle


4) Finance Sources

  • Need enough to cover all niches
  • Today’s hero can be tomorrow’s zero
  • Maintain strong relationships through good times and bad
  • 85% of business will generally go to five or six companies
  • View our Subprime Lender Directory

5) Telephone & Engagement Skills

  • Make sure you have a dedicated point of contact
  • Don’t pull credit before talking to customers
  • Call every lead, regardless of perceived strength
  • Combine voice, email and text in a coordinated effort
  • Take advantage of new customer engagement technologies
  • Goal is to set an appointment that will be kept
  • Develop rapport, don’t interrogate
  • Don’t tell them they are approved
  • Don’t build barriers in the customers’ mind


6) Sales Process

  • It is still about selling financing
  • Must determine good credit/bad credit before vehicle is selected
  • Attempt to show vehicles that fit customer’s credit profile
  • Once on proper vehicle, resume normal road to sale


7) Deal Structuring

  • Calculate maximum vehicle advance and add down payment to net max sales price
  • Maximize the front-end gross, then the back-end
  • More down payment equals more gross profit


8) Marketing


9) Compliance

  • No deal is worth the dealership!
  • Privacy policy must be given whenever and however gaining personal, non-public info during a credit transaction
  • Check everyone against OFAC list
  • Vet your lead providers and make sure they are not leaving you exposed


10) Tracking Systems & Accountability

  • Allows you to keep a handle on all the moving parts
  • Inventory management—You need to be able to select right vehicle quickly
  • Lead management—Track your leads! Carry-over sales will close 60-90 days later
  • Funding—Benchmark is seven days from delivery to funds in bank

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Experience Matters. At BlueSky Marketing, our 100+ collective years in the car business, innovative technologies and unrivaled service gives our dealers the edge they need to dominate–even in the most competitive markets.

Since 2004, BlueSky has been dedicated to providing our Dealer partners innovative and effective customer acquisition and conversion tools designed to increase car sales with consistent, measurable results.  Contact us today to learn more.

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