Online Self-Desking

Some dealer advocates say “whatever you do, don’t hand over the reigns to the customer.” Becky warns this might not be the wisest thing to do.



Hi, this is Becky with your tip of the day. I know several dealer advocates who say whatever you do, don’t hand over the reigns to the customer. Wait until the customer comes into the dealership to talk payments and financing options. But this may not be the wisest thing to do. First, you must know that the third party providers offer customers the ability to obtain some sort of pre-approval prior to coming into the dealership.

Third party providers are the disruptors in our industry. If you hold back from offering the customer the ability to self desk, you will stand a chance of losing the deal to your competitor. Why wouldn’t you want the customer to have the ability to get some sort of preliminary payment options in advanced, instead of coming into the dealership, landing on the wrong car, only to discover that the customer can’t handle the payment or the PTI doesn’t work out?

Providing the customer with the self desking capability earlier on in the process will save you time, reduce the overnight bottleneck, and help you to maximize profits. Don’t be afraid to let up on the reigns a bit.

You know, I remember a time, some time ago, when we advertised bad credit no worries, call Wonder Woman and drive out your new car today. I was Wonder Woman, and responsible to handle the sub-prime deals. What was ironic, this was in a town that no one ever expected to find a sub-prime customer. Guess what? Sub-prime today makes up for nearly 57% of consumers in the United States.

I’ve performed analysis, and I validated the customer information, such as confirm the POI and the POR, or whatever steps were necessary for every customer I got on the phone. Because I did all this in advance, I was able to obtain a preliminary approval prior to the customer coming into the dealership for delivery. Now, once the customer arrived, it was just as easy to go ahead and confirm the payment, and put the customer on the vehicle that fit within the deal structure.

Online self desking takes the guesswork out of it for both the deal and the customer.

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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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