From VOISYS by Dick Hassberger
But then again, Rocket Science is not exactly rocket science anymore either! But before you send me a flaming email for denigrating the Special Finance professional, please read on! From the early 1940’s until John Glenn took his famous ride in 1962, rocket science was generally accepted as being intellectually difficult and outside the capabilities of the average person. But back then calculations were made using a chalkboard and computers that were less sophisticated than today’s cell phones. Today, three-quarters of a century later, the concept of space travel is well within the understanding of most people.
Even though GMAC was formed in 1919 and local dealers routinely took weekly payments for auto purchases in the 1920’s, the Special Finance industry as we know it today, is much younger than Rocket Science.
Admittedly, the tools that we have at our disposal today are much more sophisticated than those we had to work with back in the early 1990’s. But our profession has not changed all that much over the years and, occasionally, we still take ourselves a little too seriously.
I read a lot! And the acquisition (they were gifts) of a new iPad 2 and a Nook Color have allowed me to read even more. I regularly read all of the various online and print publications about Special Finance that I can find. And yes, I read and enjoy all the writers, even those with whom I disagree. One or two of these e-magazines publish regular articles on successful individuals and dealers in the Special Finance industry. I thoroughly enjoy reading about those successes in our industry. And, although the individual details may vary, the basic tenets of successfully operating a Special Finance department are all pretty much the same.
If there was a standard template for success, it would include getting a dealership-wide commitment to Special Finance. You won’t achieve the kind of success possible without the commitment of everyone from the Dealer on down to the used car porter. A successful SF professional knows his lender and vendor programs intimately. These are his or her tools and mistakes here can be very costly. Inventory acquisition and control are crucial in any success story. How many of us don’t have more approvals than we have vehicles we can deliver? A winner must develop parameters and a workflow plan. Every one of these professionals has a work plan that is adhered to religiously! I guarantee it!
The in-depth discussion of each of these foundation blocks, on its own, would consume more space than this venue regularly allows. However, one by one, in future articles we address them all. In the meantime, if you, or your dealer, feel that your contribution is not up to Super Star level, start by taking a look at each of those above areas in your operation.
After all, Special Finance is not Rocket Science. And it isn’t Brain Surgery either! But the discipline and focus necessary to be productive and profitable in the Special Finance industry is quite demanding indeed!
Just my two cents worth
About the author
Dick Hassberger, of Lake Orion, Michigan is a veteran of over 50 years in the Automotive Financing and Leasing industry, starting his career with the former Wayne Oakland Bank in September 1960. Dick is National Sales Director for VOISYS. He has held executive positions with Major Banks, Lending Institutions and Leasing companies and has accumulated a vast store of knowledge in the automotive financing industry, which he regularly shares with his client dealerships as well as readers of this blog. Dick was a regular author for World of Special Finance Magazine.