October 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive
The retail auto industry has been more than a little challenging in recent times, but special finance is an area that has proved particularly problematic. With disappearing subprime finance companies, tightened lending guidelines and more difficulty in obtaining suitable special finance inventory, dealers have more than enough to contend with these days. One company that hopes to take some of the worry and hassle out of the equation is ProMax Online.
Some dealers who are less familiar with ProMax might simply think of desking or CRM software when they hear the name, but the company offers much, much more. “We are the complete solution for the front end of the dealership,” said Shane Born, vice president of sales for ProMax Online.
ProMax Online Complete has everything from CRM/ILM and inventory management capabilities to desking tools and window stickers. For the subprime dealer, Born said, “We’re the only software you need to work leads, desk for maximum profit, ensure optimized deal structures before submitting … keeping your look-to-book ratios tight … and printing professional proposals with built in closing tools.” The system can export inventory to third-party sites, with book and auction values built right in. “We have amazingly simple, yet robust functionality.
“We also streamline and simplify compliance,” Born pointed out. Built into the system are the in-depth compliance tools every dealer needs, from Red Flags and OFAC to adverse action. “Most compliance solutions out there allow you to print an adverse action letter on anybody you want, but they don’t actually offer the logic on who deserves an adverse action letter, and which letter they should receive,” he said. “We have all that logic built right in … All of your compliance is handled seamlessly by ProMax just by working the deal. You don’t have to go beyond the system to ensure that you remain complaint.”
Fifteen years ago, ProMax Online President and CEO John Palmer developed the first software designed for automotive special finance. “That’s still at the very heart and soul of our company,” said Born. However, over the past 15 years the company has expanded to offer a huge range of products and services for dealers including training, hosted Web sites, ProMail, Market Thief, ProLeads, ProLink Credit Hotline and BK Online.
One recent product is the Credit Pipeline. “In my opinion, it’s one of the most powerful products I’ve seen in a long time,” said Born. He stated that roughly 20 percent of people who are turned down for credit will within 12 months have improved their credit to a point that will enable them to secure financing. If a dealer attempts and fails to obtain financing for a customer, that dealer can then “click a button and drop them in our Credit Pipeline and, because of our exclusive relationship with TransUnion, they will automatically on a daily basis monitor that person’s credit,” he explained.
The guidelines for a dealer’s finance sources are already in the system, so when the customer meets the credit criteria, ProMax alerts the dealer and sends the customer a pre-qualification letter. The dealer now has a lead on a customer who has been in their showroom within the last 12 months, has not purchased anywhere else (the system filters them out), and should now be able to obtain financing. “That is about the best possible lead that you can get,” Born stated.
The newest in the ProMax lineup, is Instant Screen, a live pre-screening product. A dealer needs to only enter the name and address of a lead, to get the customer’s credit score range. “We immediately send the prequalification to that consumer’s e-mail, so regardless of the time they submit their application, they immediately get a response back [saying], ‘Congratulations, you’re pre-qualified,’” said Born.
The system can also be used with showroom traffic. The salesperson can easily pre-qualify a customer in seconds and know what direction to take the sale. For dealerships that do a combination of prime and subprime, maybe even some BHPH, being able to obtain this information right away is invaluable. “It helps you pre-qualify someone right off the bat and make sure you don’t land them on the wrong car,” said Born.
With such a wide array of products available, dealers can feel confident partnering with ProMax Online, a company that focuses on “training, support and ensuring that our technology is cutting-edge.”
For more information on ProMax Online, contact Shane Born, vice president of sales, at 309.314.4160 or visit HYPERLINK "http://www.promaxonline.com" www.promaxonline.com.
Special Finance Insider Vol. 3, Issue 5