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Where in the World Is Your Finance Penetration?

Way back in 1971, C.P. Snow wrote about technology in the New York Times. He said, “Technology… is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.”Many dealers are voicing that sentiment these days. Far too few have done anything about it. Some have learned to use computer software with skill. They use the apps on iPhones, iPads, and Blackberries. They have created an effective Web site. They use Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn for social networking. For others, these are merely words and technologies that test their ability to conduct both business and their private lives. Dealers, already feeling the brunt of the two-plus year recession and massive changes in the car industry, are becoming increasingly concerned about their ability to not only keep up, but to even remain in the playing field.Why should dealers bother with such things? Isn’t the old way good enough? Nope!Customers who always shopped on the lot are now shopping on the Internet before they take a step toward a dealership. They’ve researched every model in their price range and with the features they want. They’ve read a dozen articles about how to get the best deal. They’ve become more savvy than many sales people hired by dealerships; they know their credit score; they know where they can find the best price on insurance, window tinting, undercoating, you name it. Everything once sold to them by a finance officer from the menu is for sale on the Internet.Are you one of the dealerships where handwringing has become a daily pastime? Have you taken a close look at your bottom line? Have you noticed what would happen to your finance portfolio if you removed your sub-vent rated and nonprime customers? Have the numbers of your prime-financing customers dwindled to an all-time low? Perhaps you haven’t seen the drop in your captive financing yet, but beware, it’s coming just as surely as the first snowstorm.Snow was right, back in 1971! The Internet can either become a beacon for drawing in more satisfied customers to your dealership and vastly increase your bottom line, or it can stab you in the back. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy. How?Statistics show that 80% of car customers go online before they make the decision to buy and before they come to your dealership. What are they researching? Brands, models, features and, most of all, prices. Most of all, prices. The majority of Americans in today’s economy are deeply concerned about their budget. They have a fixed amount to spend on a car payment and all the other expenses involved in owning it. The vehicle they choose must fit within that fixed figure. They cannot afford to buy on whim or to make a careless mistake. They won’t take the chance of being bamboozled into buying things they don’t want, don’t need, and can’t afford by a fast-talking sales or finance mangerWhere do these savvy customers get their information? One of their first sources is Edmunds, the friendly consumer-shopping guide. Edmunds has never been and still isn’t the dealer’s friend. Edmunds does whatever is necessary to achieve the sale on vehicles and products from the Internet shopper… and then refers these buyer to specific retailers to obtain a fee! Banks. Finance companies. Insurance companies. You name it.Don’t let them get a strangle hold on your customers! If you haven’t already checked this article on Edmunds.com, perhaps you should do so right now!Confessions of an Auto Finance Manager In the Back Rooms of America’s Car Dealerships By Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor and Nick JamesIntroduction”Congratulations, you’re getting a great deal!” the car salesman says, pumping your hand. “Let’s sign the paperwork and you’ll be on your way in your new car!”At first you’re relieved – the negotiating is over. But then the salesman walks you down a back hallway to a stark, cramped office with “Finance and Insurance” on the door. Inside, a man in a suit sits behind the desk. He greets you with a faint smile on his face. An hour later you walk out in a daze: The whole deal was reworked, your monthly payment soared and you bought products you didn’t really want.What happened to your great deal?You just got hit by the “F&I Man,” also called the finance officer. He waits in the back of every dealership for unsuspecting customers so he can increase the profit for the dealership and boost his commission.In this four-part series, written by veteran auto finance manager Nick James, you will learn the F&I man’s tricks and how to avoid them. When you’re done, you’ll be ready to safely navigate this crucial part of the car buying process, and the F&I man will never work his “magic” on you again.- The Editors at Edmunds.comAre you still ushering your customers into the office of your “F&I Man”? No? You have a Web site? You update it once a month? You have a tech-savvy employee who checks your e-mail messages every morning? BUT… how would you answer these questions?When your potential customers come to your Web site, what resources do you have available to steer them away from online financing? Do you have a quick reference guide for their buying the vehicle that fits their budget and your financing terms? Is the information presented in a complete, forthright and friendly manner? Does it enlist confidence and trust? Will readers feel they’d get a no-nonsense financing deal from you?If these online customers make a call to ask a few questions, does your finance manager answer them, or resort to the former game of “I can only reveal those options when you come in for an interview”? Does he or she become discouraged by the process of reviewing transactions over the phone? Does your Internet manager have direct access to your finance manager at all times; avoid posting rates and product pricing on your Web site; work well with your sales and finance departments? Have you utilized the I-chat technology now readily available to instantly answer your customers’ finance questions? How many phone calls to your finance department go unanswered on a daily basis? How are online customer calls being handled in your F&I office?Reducing your finance penetration will not only effect the overall performance of your dealership, but will negatively effective your reinsurance investment. If your customers are financing with someone else, they could also be buying their other products. Take a long and serious look at the insurance products you sell, the agent who works with you, and the changes that must be made to keep you competitive with the technology available to all your customers. You must remain competitive in products offered, their quality, and their prices. Should you be considering a new partner?What new and creative processes are you providing your current and potential customers within your Web site? Have you considered presenting your menu as a virtual finance manager? Do you have WebEx with a preloaded menu available for review with your customers whether they are onsite in your finance office or sitting in the comfort of their home? Why not?An upfront sales approach is the best way to reestablish a thriving business in today’s technological world. Teenagers and college students are facile in the use of every conceivable tool involving the information highway. They are your future customers. They will find Edmunds and every comparable site and use the information to their advantage. Provide them with a dozen reasons to buy their vehicle and products from your dealership. Ensure them that financing their dream car with you is the only sensible choice.Although computer use and Internet technology has been around for several decades, it has taken a giant leap in recent years as more and more consumers realize they can save themselves time and money by letting their fingers do the walking. Another great American journalist, Sydney J. Harris, who wrote for the Chicago Daily News and later the Chicago Sun-Times, died in the late 80s; but, he was savvy about where technology would take us. He said, “The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.”We’ve reached that point. Where in the world is your finance penetration? It’s time to find out! Do it… today.

How to Find the Best Jobs in Advertising

How serious are you in your search for jobs in advertising?The function of advertising is needed in every organization from the very smallest of companies to the larger Fortune 1000 employers. The job titles for the advertising profession varies greatly based on experience and education level.There are thousands of advertising jobs posted all over the internet. Advertising jobs are found on employer sites, job boards, recruiter sites and niche sites specifically focusing on the advertising profession.Advertising recruiters specialize mostly in the higher end advertising jobs and also have access to a wide variety of advertising jobs that are not advertised in the usual places.Besides the traditional sites, you should consider using job portals. A great job portal to search search for advertising jobs is a site called WorkTree.com. This site is the most comprehensive job portal on the internet which combines nearly all the sources of advertising jobs into one place.WorkTree.com has several power job search engines where you can enter your advertising search criteria and their job search engine scan thousands of internet sites in seconds and brings back all the results onto one page.Working with advertising recruiters can help you get the inside track on many hidden advertising jobs.Recruiters work with the hiring manager at companies and are given the task to find professionals in the advertising field. Recruiters get paid after they place an advertising professional at the company.Recruiters in the advertising profession fall into various categories such staffing, retained search, permanent placement, and temporary placement.It’s in the advertising recruiter’s interest to place the best and highest paid job seeker with the company. They higher the starting pay for the placed advertising professional, then the higher their commission.There are thousands of recruiters specializing in the advertising field. The best way to quickly search their sites for advertising jobs is to visit the Recruiter Links section of WorkTree.comSample advertising job titles found on WorkTree.com- Advertising Consultant- Advertising Manager- Advertising Executive- Advertising Sales Executive- Senior Advertising Analyst- Advertising Coordinator- Advertising Account Executive- Director of Advertising- Senior Media BuyerVisit and bookmark http://www.Advertising-Jobs-Online.com and refer to this site for all your avertising job search needs.

Owner Financed Homes – Where to Find Them

Here is a way that you can find homes that are hidden from other people. Only you will know about them. Here’s what you do:First, you have to understand you’re not looking for homes that are for sale, you are looking for homes that are for rent or for lease. The reason for that is that the landlord has already moved out of the house, and they don’t need money from you so they can move. That means that they could finance you, because they are accepting monthly payments for the rental. Makes sense, right?OK the second place you can look is homes that are for sale and vacant. Now, a vacant home is a real problem for somebody. They don’t want it vacant because it costs them money every month. They are going to be more flexible. They are able to do financing to you, if they so choose. A person with a vacant house can be very, very motivated.So, that brings me to the third place which is For Sale By Owners. (FSBO) Yes you want to be looking for houses that are for sale by owner. No agents. The reason for that is simple. With FSBO homes you are working directly with the person who owns the property. If you’re working with an agent, they will be trying to put together a cash deal, which means that you have to go get financing so they can make a cash commission. But if you’re working just with the owner, they are not looking for a commission.Now also, you don’t want to look for homes offered by an investor. If they are offered by an investor, guess what, they are going to be looking for a profit. So, profit means that you would need a large down payment, you would get a higher price, less attractive terms, and you don’t want that.You want to stay away from homes that say “rent to own”, “lease to own”, or “owner financing”. You want to look for the right sellers, then you approach them with the opportunity that you can solve their problems. You then talk to those sellers and you can buy a home with bad credit, because motivated sellers don’t care about your credit.