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How To Be a Successful Automotive Business Manager

by Neil Crotty, on Mar 2, 2021 10:56:57 AM

Automotive business manager-compressed-1

A business manager is an integral part of the dealership landscape with their input and contributions vital to a successful dealership. The role of a business manager is typically defined as providing Finance and Insurance products to dealership customers and receipting of deposits and payments to finalize sales transactions.

Depending on the Dealership, automotive business managers will do various other actions such as signing off test drive forms to selling aftermarket products.

Typically, a Business Manager's success is measured by penetration of finance and Insurance against the number of vehicles delivered. Obviously the higher the better. Why is penetration the measure? Statistically, the deeper the relationship with the dealership – ie Sales, Service, Finance, insurance , the more likely the customer is to return to the dealership and refer other clients to the dealership, which in turn increases the number of units sold .

So – if a dealership has the same products, same finance company and insurer, what makes one more successful than the other.

Rapport with your sales team 

Firstly ,a successful Business Manager knows his most important customer is “ the salesperson “.A good rapport with the sales people of the dealership is the key to success in finance and insurance.

The sales person has built rapport , gained trust of the client and the client usually only buys off people they trust and like .If the sales team believes in the businesses managers ability , that they will help their client and NOT cost them a sale , the introduction will be more positive and better received .

Here's an example of a good introduction v a bad introduction.

“Most of my clients use XXXX , he/she has a corporate relationship with XX Finance and can save you $$$. Its worth having a chat “

The above introduction presents a value proposition that is attractive to the customer. It Is 10x better than the introduction below. 

“Sorry , I have to intro you to XXX or I will get fired ,he/she will receipt your deposit and try and sell you stuff “up to you !

Proactive actions win deals

Being proactive and engaging customers with marketing , service and support win help you win more deals.  Here's 4 tips to get you started.

  1. Spend a little time to ensure your finance and insurance services are clearly visible to customers.
  2. Help your sales team promote affordability by displaying pricing with weekly repayment estimates for each vehicle.
  3. Educate your sales team about making finance and affordability the centerpiece of the sales conversation. 
  4. Walk the floor,  offer to make coffees for their clients , help move cars or put balloons out .

Don’t sit in the ivory tower and wait for the business to come .Attend the sales meetings and be involved in the process .

Communication with your sales team

Communication is key – keep your salesperson informed of how the finance approval process is progressing , if you need further documents and the like .

Remain positive about the opportunity . Don’t dismiss or degrade their client – “ he’s a dud “ – “don’t count your coms on this one “.This one deal might be the one for their target achievement or could have been weeks /months in the making .A successful business manager will quote something similar to –

“its not straight forward but I will do everything I can for you “!

Meet with your sales team and ask what opportunities they have . How can you help ?

My favourite example is a Business Manager sat with a new salesperson and discovered that they had a client who wanted to wait until after she got married in 4 months so she wouldn’t have to make payments on the honeymoon for her new car . Turned out she had a large trade deposit, which they partially refunded to cover the payments and actually paid for part of the wedding .The client was ecstatic about having the new car to show off for when her friends flew in for the wedding .If that meeting between the sales and business development manager didn’t happen she may have bought elsewhere or not at all .That is being proactive

Create a friendly office environment.

Do not have a stale office. Show your qualifications as credibility but also show a photo of your kids or hobbies, partner or family, pets or a photo of a trip overseas. An iPad may give the distraction required to a child so you can fully inform the parents and answer the relevant questions. Ensure you have provided and offer privacy to ask those delicate questions re credit. I.e. – ask the salesperson to leave.

Know your product and don’t assume. Clients don’t know what you have to offer unless you offer. Rate is only part of the equation . Have an understanding of fees and charges , payout penalties and interest calculations . All of these are valuable tools and information to share with your client.

Be honest, open and trustworthy, 

The Takeaway

If you are an automotive business manager looking to maximise sales opportunity and increase dealership finance and insurance penetration take a look at Ausloans finance aggregator solutions for dealerships. On average we help you close 40% of financed sales opportunities that usually walk. 

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Topics:business developmentautomotive business


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