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Engaging Early with the Customer


On today’s Tip of the Day, Becky Chernek tells you why you should find out why the customer took so long on that timely payment and how to prevent it from happening in the future.


Hi, This is Becky Chernek with your tip of the day. Don’t wait for the deal to come to you, engage earlier with the customer. Meet the customer on their terms at the sales person’s desk to find out why they might have that slow pay history.

Get the story from the customer first and in their own words. Take notes, lots of them if need be, don’t depend on the salesperson to tell you the reasons for the slow pay history. Find out what happened. What prevented the customer from making timely payments, and most important of all, why it won’t happen again.

The banks still want a good story before they’ll be willing to approve the loan. Make sure you have your ducks in a row before you get the bank on the phone.

Many times when I’ve glanced at a credit report, it would seem like a lost cause. I thought that there’d be no way I could get the deal approved, or if I did, I assumed the chances would be better with a deep– bank and a huge acquisition fee. I’m sure you can relate. It’s probably happened to you a couple times.

After meeting with the customer, getting to know them a bit, and finding what prevented them from making payments on time, a whole new world will likely open up for you. It will open up a viable path for you to take, which most often leads to success in getting that bank approval. It’s no longer just about the FICO score, today’s banks want to know the story behind the score.

Becky Chernek
Becky Chernek
Rebecca Chernek, founded Chernek Consulting, LLC in 2001, has nearly three decades of experience in the automobile dealership industry. She started her career by working with her father at their family-owned auto dealerships in Have De Grace, Maryland. She gained hands-on skills and experience in almost every aspect of the automotive sales process: new used cars and trucks sales, F&I, Director of Finance for volume operations and general management. She was hired in 1986 as the first woman to sell cars for Al Packer Lincoln & Mercury in Baltimore, and in 1989, she was promoted to F&I Manager for Ron Bortnick Ford in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. In 1995, Rebecca took a position with the JM&A Group and was promoted to District Manager for the AutoNation division — the #1 retailer in the United States — to hire, train boost profits and implement menu selling. She single-handedly earned a sterling reputation for adding millions of dollars to the bottom line for all her accounts! Rebecca has a well-deserved reputation as a self-starter, high-performer, and spirited entrepreneur and motivator. It’s not a matter of what you think you know… it’s a matter of proving it! As a consultant, trainer and nationally recognized expert in F&I Training and sales procedures, Rebecca has helped hundreds of automotive car dealers throughout the United States and Canada streamline their processes and closing techniques and significantly increase profits. She writes regularly for Wards Business, CBT Automotive Network, Dealer Magazine, Subprime News and as a NCM 20 Group F&I Guest Expert. She facilitates for the NCM Institute, Desking and F&I Integration. Rebecca is the anchor for F&I Today – CBT Automotive Network headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Don’t forget to check out our interactive continuing F&I online education platform Chernek Consulting Virtual Pro the best kept secrets on how to be successful in F&I! Boost your F&I performance! Every dealer must have to help your F&I manager increase sales and profits while reducing liability.

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