Harnessing the potential of dealer finance
## Harnessing the potential of dealer finance**There is still plenty of scope to harness the potential of dealer finance， especially in the used market. June FLA figures may have shown a 7% growth in used car finance volumes， but for us this only shows the tip of the potential. Used car sales outnumber new sales by around 3 to 1. Used car penetration lags massively behind new car finance.**We aim to be the evangelists for the development of the used car finance journey.Dealers that fail to engage customers with finance digitally are missing out on car and finance sales. We estimate that dealers failing to embrace used car buyers with a smart engaging finance proposition could be losing 25% of their potential sales – and this is not just about price.It is important that more dealers recognise the seismic changes in customer buying habits. This change is reflected by the age-old wisdom that ‘customers don’t buy hammers. They buy a beautifully hung picture on their wall.’ We must recognise that for many customers a car is simply a means to an end and ensuring that the ‘hammer’ is easily accessed is what will determine a sale. Dealers need to focus on enhancing ‘Hammer Time’ through their digital presence.Customers want a seamless online to showroom experience. Online is where the car buying and financing process starts\; it is where dealer finance’s affordability attributes can give the dealer an edge. It is here that all dealers must establish the first step in a multi-channel purchase journey. It is here we are working to develop new technologies， tools and processes to enhance the customer journey. Without transparent information about finance products， and pricing， around a quarter of all customers will jump to another site/dealer. Providing this fulfills the customer’s need for easy access and establishes a bond of trust， courtesy of the upfront nature of the key affordability information. It also provides that vital stepping stone to go from attention， interest and desire and towards action where initial data capture can take place. This is what we are calling ‘Hammer Time’.Traditionally car sales executives ‘knew’ that if they got a customer behind the wheel for a test drive， they were well on the road to a sale. Today， our analysis suggests that engaging customers to provide finance proposal information is the equivalent to that test drive， a clear indication that they have found a payment schedule that they like. Dealers have to bring their finance to life online like never before or risk missing out on the sales opportunity that finance is clearly creating.