October 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive
For the last 12 years, Voisys has offered dealers a range of products including 800-number and Internet-based lead generation, Loan-by-Phone and direct mail. Now, when the economic climate has caused some businesses to scale back on operations, Voisys is doing just the opposite, electing to begin a new period of growth. Part of that plan is the recent addition of Brent West, formerly of Triad Financial Corp., as the company’s new business development manager.
The company views the next year as an opportunity to grow. According to West, people at Voisys are optimistic about the future of the automotive industry, despite the downturn in the economy. “We think the market’s going through a large correction,” he said. He noted that while gas prices and the number of finance companies dropping out of the industry have taken their toll on automobile sales, “we feel that’s just temporary.” West expressed confidence that the current situation will improve. “I think we’re just feeling the effects of the mortgage industry and the money will come back pretty soon,” he said.
“The management team now is stronger than it’s ever been with Voisys, and with that, it gives us the thrust to go into the market and grow and assure the dealers that we’re not just a flash in the pan,” West declared. His role, he explained, is to grow the company’s outside sales. He will use his experience in both the automotive and finance industries to identify individuals with that same background who would be a good fit for Voisys, and will provide the necessary training and organization of the sales force.
Voisys plans, over time, to increase its field presence throughout the country by enlisting more representatives to market their products. The new representatives will be trained to not only sell the company’s products but to also back those products up with support. “Whenever a dealer has an issue or a problem, there’s somebody to call locally that can be there in a short amount of time,” West explained. He felt it was important for dealers to be able to trust that the person selling them the product would also be there to take care of problems.
However, this move will happen gradually, not all at once. “We want controlled growth, and we want committed individuals working for us with good reputations and strong backgrounds,” he explained. The goal is to get honest and knowledgeable salespeople out in the field who’ll be able to avail dealers of all Voisys’ products, and to make sure those salespeople have adequate training and support to provide dealers with quality service. In addition to these field representatives, the company is also engaging select independent agents throughout the country to help market its products.
West described Voisys as a company of car people, for car people. Having people with that kind of background, he said, is something that gives Voisys an edge in “a very noisy, crowded market” in which vendors can vary in levels of quality and service. “We felt by bringing in seasoned people that had backgrounds in automotive and the lending business that really understand the process, we’d be better served in not only selling our products to dealers but selling them the right products.” He said this understanding of the industry means they can show dealers the best way to use their products and puts Voisys a step ahead of its competition.
“We have several products right now that are probably underutilized,” West mentioned. “Voisys has unlimited capacity for providing leads and processing mail, loan-by-phone, and so forth,” he said. One of the newest offerings allows businesses to send text messages to their customers’ cell phones, which is a quick and easy way for dealers to let their customers know immediately about things like factory recalls or service specials. He added that the company can tailor its products to meet the needs of any dealer, from small independent dealers to franchise and large multi-store dealers.
West emphasized that Voisys is focused on forming long-term relationships with dealers, rather than just making sales. “One of the primary things we want to offer to a dealer is peace of mind that when we’re doing business with them, we’re a company that’s here, committed to the future, that’s robust and has the ability to handle any amount of business they want to throw at us.”
Special Finance Insider Vol. 2, Issue 5