Dick Hannah Targets Sub Prime to Dominate Market

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Sean Wolfington - Also by this author

Dick Hannah in Portland, Ore., became a dominate force in Internet retailing by rethinking their marketing strategy and recognizing there is a lot of money to be made in special finance online. They’ve since learned to use the Internet as a great way to tap into the special finance and pre-owned profit opportunities and today, they’re selling hundreds of extra vehicles per month. Joe Orr from the Dick Hannah organization shared how they implemented a new marketing strategy and regional buying service to dominate the market.
The Right Marketing, People and Strategy

We re-evaluated our advertising budget and realized we were spending more money than ever before on mass marketing without seeing a sufficient return on investment. There are more television and radio stations today which make it harder to reach a large audience. Papers have consolidated, which drives up the cost of print advertising. Plus, print ads are positioned along side ads from other dealers in the area and the primary focus is price, and that drives down the average gross profit. We were spending more to get less and it was tough to measure our return. It became clear there had to be a better way and the Internet was the obvious choice for targeted marketing. The first thing we did was get the right people in place to run our BDC and establish a strategy for building business. Once those two elements were handled, we focused on finding the right Web site provider.
The Right Web Site
Orr is quick to point out that you need more than a great Web site and CRM tool; you need to build a complete strategy for marketing your dealership’s sub-prime capabilities, you need to get the right people in place, implement a process and establish a pricing philosophy.
Matt Dorsett, corporate e-commerce director, said, “While the right Web site won’t solve all your problems, you won’t get far without it. We’ve had a pretty good site in the past, but we weren’t getting incremental business. After we switched to BZ Results, we increased sales because they not only provide a better Web site, they also provide all the marketing tools and training you need to get results.”
One great feature of the new site is a virtual special finance department called, which provides three easy ways for the customer to get further into the process and continually prompts them to fill out an application online.

“The key to building a Web site that is capable of generating sub-prime leads is to provide information the customer is seeking and a way to contact the dealership,” Orr said. “For example, at we include a ‘How it Works’ button that provides FAQs, Six Steps to Re-establish Credit, fast bankruptcy approvals and other areas that speak to what’s important to the sub-prime audience.”
Orr’s team has learned to set their Web site apart from their competitors’ sites making it uniquely interactive, high tech, clean and user-friendly.
Visit and you can click on a link to view a couple of their TV commercials that promote the Web site and target the sub-prime market.
The Bottom Line:
  • generates Internet leads, phone traffic and showroom traffic resulting in 180 incremental sales.
  • The leads from have a higher closing ratio and lower cost per sale.
  • Dick Hannah dominates the market with their regional buying service and sub-prime approval center at
  • Dick Hannah hired to set up their e-marketing system, Web sites, CRM tools and training.
  • Dick Hannah uses e-mail marketing because it’s cheap advertising with a high rate of return.

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