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  1. The Inventory Tsunami

    How to Survive the Water

    For many it seemed like a tsunami. The wall of water that hit their used vehicle inventory at the end of November – again. After three straight big book drops the phone calls and emails started coming in. Panic. Well, maybe not total panic, but some deep seated concern for sure.

    The calls were much the same. “Have you seen what happened to the books? Can you believe it? What is going to happen next month? What should we do?”

    I truly felt bad for my clients. I have been warning dealers since late August, and discussed it at length at the Industry Summit in September. The “fall” was coming and if dealers didn’t have their inventories leaned out and on the money they were going to get hurt.

    To me, the signs were all there, and there was no reason to expect it not to happen again. The lease returns were at near all-time highs, the rental car companies were flipping their fleets at an accelerated pace, and with new vehicle sales volume back to a 16 – 17 million SAAR that meant hordes of trade-ins were coming back to dealers. Then you add in model year change and new car incentives that have grown once again on the bread and butter vehicles (similar models to rental cars). They obviously require a spread in pricing between new and used versions which further compresses wholesale values and voila, you have book falls.

    What struck me odd was that so many dealers didn’t see it coming, or didn’t react to my (often conservative based) concerns. Hadn’t they seen this all before, many times in fact?

    Then it dawned on me. They hadn’t. I feel older. Many of my clients are now young enough that the “norm” was all they had experienced. Prior to 2008, this was an annual occurrence, just where the cars were less expensive and the drop in dollars was likely never this big. I think I first got a taste of it in 1988. You tend to remember those scars. The fall book drop was as certain as death and taxes. It is largely why my used car inventory always ran at a 30 day level, and why my gross profit on used cars were always strong.

    Over the past six years dealers have become used to an artificial norm – a norm in which there was a scarcity of vehicles relative to the demand. All that has changed, and we are back to the future, and it’s not changing anytime soon. Oh yeah, and whatever you do, do NOT expect a strengthening of used vehicle prices in the New Year. It isn’t going to happen. The ‘new’ old norm had books continually falling, just not nearly as severely from mid-January through August.

    Dealers and managers that bought vehicles in mid-October and held those vehicles six weeks watched them devalue themselves in many cases by well over 10%. That is an absolute reduction of profit. In the past month, dealers have been experiencing some very ugly inventory situations and there is no way to escape the pain. You will either get your clock cleaned by wholesaling the vehicles at the auction, or, by the opportunity cost in reduced gross that occurs when you retail out of an overbooked unit.

    So what is my advice? How do you get out of the problem?

    Here you go. You may not like it, but it is all that exists without moving money around from an inventory adjustment account, which was built from hard packs that already added more cost to your distressed inventory.

    1. Set an inventory level. (30-day level on the ground. It is possible, as I have one dealer client continually selling 160 – 200 used retail units with only 140 on the ground). Communicate it to one and all. Have the discipline to stick to it.
    2. Quit buying. Easy right. Uh-huh. The logic and immense temptation is that there are steals at this time of year. And there are, but if you steal one, then you need to mark it up to market and write another unit down the equal amount or you will sell the new one and still have the old ones. Adding additional inventory, unless it is pre-sold, just exacerbates an already bad situation.
    3. If you are using an inventory write-down account or pack, for crying out loud use it. I know dealers that book the pack to other income when they buy the car. What if it doesn’t sell? You have nothing to adjust it back to market. If you have taken false profit, be willing to give it back because you never earned it in the first place and if you have nothing to sell, you sell nothing.
    4. Make sure the inventory you own looks and drives great. There may be a reason a vehicle hasn’t sold in 90 days. See if you can find the problem, and fix it.
    5. Merchandise your lot well. Certainly up north, snow, ice, and rain in the winter tends to impede moving the cars on the lot. Do it anyway. Assign each parking space a number and record where a used vehicle was sitting when it sold. Over 60 to 90 days you will discover there are spots where vehicles sell better than others. Put your oldest vehicles in these spots.
    6. Don’t penalize your sales team! They didn’t likely cause your inventory to bloat, so it doesn’t help to take their heads out of the game by penalizing their pay. If you normally own a car at some dollar amount relative to the book value, if you aren’t on flats, pay your commissions from that same spot relative to the book or your sales team will learn which cars to avoid.
    7. Authorize your sales management team to take shorter deals or even losers based on what the market truly is on the vehicle. Especially in subprime, you are limited on what vehicles can be financed for by the book values. Without additional (and unlikely) down payments there is little you can do to overcome that fact.
    8. Don’t let your need to take short retail deals to get rid of stale inventory mask your ability to sell fresh/newer units at substantial profits – you are going to need that to offset the losers.
    9. Don’t repeat it. Many have paid the price once now, just like I did. Learn the lesson and move on. It isn’t a sin to have a problem or make a mistake – it just is a sin to have that same problem or mistake six months from now.

    So there you have it. No one looks forward to tsunami’s. When they hit – and they always will hit in the car business – you take your lumps and move forward as quickly and efficiently as you can and you work to minimize your damage. Hopefully this time didn’t cost you dearly, and it will just serve as the impetus to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

  2. 5 Common Mistakes in Special Finance

    5 Common Mistakes in Special Finance

    The special finance industry has been around now for nearly a quarter century. No, I am not talking about the buy here pay here business, but the business of subprime indirect retail installment contracts originated by auto dealers and assigned to unrelated auto finance companies such as Capital One, Chase Custom and the like.

    I have been joined at the hip with the business since its very early days – now over 21 years – and already witnessed three separate business cycles, and we are currently beginning the fourth. It’s déjà vu all over again. Yeah, that is an expression that Yogi Berra, the hall-of-fame Yankees catcher, made famous decades ago, but it sure applies to what I see happening in the special finance world today. As the optimism of dealers has increased, their trek back into the SF market has mirrored it. As I work with them, it is disturbing to see the same mistakes that were made during the last three upswings repeated (sometimes by the same dealers). As a result, I thought I would dedicate this space to the five common mistakes made in special finance I see made by dealers.

    Mistake #5: Thinking “If Some is Good, More is Better”

    More often than not, dealers are working too many leads with too few well-trained people simply picking the low hanging fruit. If more is always better, we’d be drinking out of fire hoses as opposed to drinking fountains (or plastic bottles). The average salesperson can handle about 70 to 80 new leads a month effectively, the best maybe 125. If they’re working anything more than that, something is compromised. Leads aren’t contacted, or gross profit is compromised due to lack of time. Maybe tougher credit customers are even passed over, or follow-up with previous customers is overlooked.

    Mistake #4: Failing to Track Your Activities

    The SF department is the largest profit center that is not broken out separately on a dealership’s financial statement. As a result, most dealers can’t come close to knowing what they are really doing in SF. Drill down one step further and even more have no method of knowing exactly how many SF opportunities their dealership has each month, let alone the success rate they have with either leads, or dealership visits. One of the oldest business adages is that you must be able to measure in order to manage. Most organizations fail miserably here.

    Mistake #3: Fire, Ready, Aim

    There are so many ways to approach this, but let’s try it like this. Baseball’s best hitter over the past decade is Albert Pujols, and he takes batting practice every day. Special finance isn’t brain surgery, but if it were easy, every dealer would have SF sales volume that was a minimum of 25 percent of their total, and deal gross profits of $3,000 or better.

    Many dealers jettisoned their SF personnel through austerity programs during the industry’s downturn in late 2008 and 2009. They (incorrectly) assumed that their F&I departments or sales desks could efficiently handle SF. Now they are ramping back up with new managers and sales personnel—using the osmosis training program maybe once a week. Formal training? Name your excuse—time, money, people. Seriously? Every day in 90 percent of the dealership’s customers are being shown vehicles they can’t possibly afford and can’t possibly get approved on due to a flawed sales process. How many sales are you missing working such a high percentage of your customers like they had spotless credit? It isn’t the leads, and it isn’t the banks. It is a flawed sales and deal-structuring process.

    Mistake #2: Inventory that Doesn’t Workcommon mistake of inventory

    Every dealership thinks their dealership is different and that they can put SF deals together without modifying their inventory. Yeah, right. You have heard me expound on this for years, but it is still one of the biggest mistakes dealers and departments make. The best personnel still can’t structure a profitable and buyable SF deal without the correct inventory. That inventory must match your customers’ credit demographics and the finance companies’ programs. Sales volume and gross profit all start with the correct inventory.

    Mistake #1: Lack of Team Commitment

    Whether it is the dealer, executive management, key managers or sales personnel, people don’t totally commit. Usually it revolves around one of two issues: cash or compensation. Either upper-level management cannot tolerate the cash demands that funding SF deals entail, or someone has created a compensation plan for people that dictate someone must lose for another person to win (i.e., for a SF manager to get paid, someone else has to give up compensation). Either way, without commitment, one or many of the 10 Critical Components necessary for success will be missing, and your results will be compromised.

    Certainly, these aren’t the only mistakes I see made, but they are the most common and in the most critical areas. If you aren’t reaching benchmark performance, examine your department and compare it to this list. My guess is that you will be able to find your shortcomings pretty easily.

    Until next month,
    Great selling!

  3. The Marketing Paradox

    Dealers Who Expand Their Marketing Without a Solid Foundation in Special Finance Will be Disappointed

    Dealers are always asking what type of marketing and advertising they should be doing to drive special finance customers to their websites or through their doors. It’s a marketing paradox question. In response, I always ask the same question: “How much traffic do you currently have, and how are you staffed to handle it?” Usually a lot of hemming and hawing takes place at that point, or I get a lot of numbers that end in zeros or fifties.

    The reason I ask about staffing is that dealers tend to be rather urgent people. We ask questions like, “What can we do to put that deal together today?” Similarly, when they decide an opportunity exists, they are ready to roll out an advertising or marketing campaign instantly. I often call that approach, “FIRE, ready, aim!”

    There are some dealers — many of our own clients among them — who are really making the subprime needle move in a big way. Whether they are using conventional media, digital media or a combination of both, they are successfully driving traffic and converting sales. There are several dealers generating year-over-year increases in SF, with some growing in leaps and bounds. Upon hearing that, their colleagues wish to cash in as well — urgently.

    The problem is most dealers are just not ready to do something like that … yet. Yes, they may be able to create astounding traffic, but unless they have the proper staffing, systems and processes in place, when the traffic hits, it either cripples the dealership (or department) or upsets the customers, or both.

    The Marketing Paradox

    There are a lot of talented marketing people around our industry, and there are just as many clever and ingenious dealers. By mixing the two, you can often create magic when it comes to floor or Web traffic.

    The marketers get paid when dealers advertise, so they fan the flames to entice the dealers to undertake and expand campaigns. Althought it is the marketer’s job to create traffic; the dealer is the one who must convert that traffic into sales. Too often, the organization just isn’t equipped to handle all the new shoppers, especially when it comes to special finance. And when the campaign ends, all that remains is disappointment and finger pointing because the sales didn’t ratchet up proportionately with the advertising spend.

    That’s why you must first build the foundation of special finance. The need to have all 10 Critical Components of Special Finance in place (shoot me an email to get the full list) is absolutely essential in order to excel. Even if you have a special finance department already, over time, personnel turnover and weak systems and processes cause the effectiveness of the department to diminish. The basic knowledge of how to structure a profitable and approvable deal may still exist, but everything else may have disappeared, and it’s not easy to resurrect overnight.

    Just like the crumbling house with a bad foundation, your special finance marketing will crumble without a strong department foundation including all 10 Critical Components of Special Finance

    Just like the crumbling house with a bad foundation, your special finance marketing efforts will crumble without a strong department foundation including all 10 Critical Components of Special Finance.

    Start with commitment. It seems like that should be easy, but that is not always so, especially if someone spends a walletful of money on a marketing campaign that generates traffic but doesn’t result in deliveries. As a dealer or general manager, are you really ready to recommit to the budget increases necessary for inventory, staff or technology to make SF work?

    If the answer is “Yes,” then do your homework. Before you go too far, you need to conduct a credit demographic analysis of your customers — and not just your sold customers. Knowing who is coming through your door already and what their credit demographic is will arm you with the information you need to close sales.

    Finance Partners, Inventory and Personnel

    From the analysis, you will also learn if you have the proper mix of finance companies on board. If you have a niche of customers you don’t have good financing solutions for, you need to take action before you push the marketing button. After all, how much fun is it to have a showroom full of customers you can’t get financed?

    Once you have the finance companies in place, you will know what inventory matches up with their programs. No inventory, no collateral; no collateral, no way to structure deals. It is that simple. Once you acquire the inventory, you must also have a system (either manual or automated) to quickly match each SF customer’s credit profile with the appropriate vehicle for the appropriate finance company.
    Personnel follows next. Remember, the average salesperson can effectively work 75-80 new opportunities per month. That is why you have to know what the current traffic count is and how many people are on staff to work the leads. Certainly a call center or BDC will change the dynamics and allow a dealership to process more leads, but it is still very easy to overwhelm either your sales team or your finance desk.

    Training and Compensation

    If you already have the people aboard, are they properly trained? Is your staff quickly qualifying traffic to ensure the correct sales process is used? More importantly, are they using a standard sales process specifically designed for the subprime customer? Are they trained to get a complete credit application? Will they conduct a solid credit interview that will provide the finance desk with the best possible opportunity to get the deal approved?

    With a rock-solid process in place, you must develop a pay plan that prevents any conflicts of interest. If one manager or salesperson must lose the deal for another to win, you are headed for trouble. The same is true if you penalize your F&I managers for structuring a highly profitable front-end deal for the store where no back end is possible.

    Finally, is your team able to quickly and accurately structure a deal so it can be approved and at the same time achieve benchmark gross profits? This would seem like an easy task, but in my workshops and conferences, the majority of people will leave money on the table when we work our sample deals. If that is happening in our workshops, you can bet it is happening in your stores.

    Finally, your managers must understand that the work is not over when the deal is sold. Contracts must be turned to cash quickly. How many days does it take you to fund a deal now? Do you have the systems and processes in place to ensure that you have clean (and compliant) paperwork? If not, potentially doubling your sales volume could cripple your cash flow, and who can stand for that?

    The steps listed above are a good start, but these are but a few of the issues we uncover when working with dealers. Many dealers naively think they can just sell their way through any marketing expansion. Occasionally, you can; even so, what opportunities are you giving up to do so?
    I am all for creating excitement and selling vehicles, especially through special finance. I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities in the market today and go after them with gusto. Just be sure you have a foundation in place that will both allow you to capitalize and create happy customers and employees at the same time.

  4. Two Ways to Close More Deals Now

    Underperformance Need Not Be the Norm

    One of the things that befuddles me about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is the agency’s narrow focus on interest rates and finance terms. If they want to ensure the fair and equal treatment of all customers, they should ask themselves why the same car buyer can be approved for financing at one dealership and be turned down by another.

    The CFPB would quickly determine that getting credit-challenged customers bought requires talent and ambition, and many special finance departments are short on both. That may be the case at your dealership, regardless of the number of SF deals your team closes every month.

    I just came back from a meeting with our Special Finance SuperGroup. It’s a select group of elite performers who generate at least 80 such deals per month. Some are franchised dealers and some are independents. The meetings are a great opportunity to compare numbers, discuss new ideas and address common maladies.

    One common topic among this group is closing percentages. I have worked with many in this group for a long time, and if I have learned anything, it’s that high volume does not require a high closing rate. The benchmark for all my dealers is 33%. We have clients big and small who regularly close more than 40% of their subprime deals. Many of our elites are closer to 15% or 20%.

    The reason, I suspect, is that they enjoy such a high quantity of leads that they don’t have to work smart. Effectively, they don’t mind wasting their own time as well as that of their unsold customers. Luckily for those customers, competing dealers will make every effort to bring them into their store, work the deal correctly and get them financed. Let’s look at two changes you can make to close more deals and put your special finance operation on the path to a higher closing rate.

    1. Hire a Special Finance Manager
    If you have succeeded in SF without ever hiring, training and properly compensating a special finance manager or director, my hat’s off to you. If you have all the business you can handle, I will let you get back to it. If not, read on.

    One characteristic common to dealers who don’t employ a dedicated SF manager is a very limited spread. They may work with one or two finance companies and rely on them to approve or deny their subprime customers; the gross profit that results is largely up to the finance company. Mediocrity ensues.

    Dedicated SF managers create relationships with a wide spectrum of banks and finance companies. They learn everything they can about each program and match them to their customers. They structure each deal based upon the requirements of each finance company, earning the affections of their buyers. When two finance companies fit the customer, they know which will offer the best gross profit opportunity.

    2. Work the Deals or Let the Deals Work You
    Some SF managers will look at a deal and say, “I know I can get this person bought.” Then they get the callback and learn they are a long way from home. They work and work and work in vain. They’re trying to make a deal that will never happen due to lack of equity or down payment.

    You must have all the components in place to get approval, proper inventory among them. But the fastest way to increase your closing percentage is to submit the right deals to the right buyers.

    You might be surprised. I have seen it happen over and over with customers in every type of situation. Each year, we process transactional data from hundreds of dealers and create a report to share at the Industry Summit in September. Looking at the data as it comes in, there’s a wide variance between deal characteristics and finance companies serving each credit tier.

    So let’s say a SF manager has had good luck with Tier 4 customers at Company A. This company is known for finding solutions for tough-credit customers. In fact, this company has collectively funded a significant amount of the Tier 4 deals our dealers are reporting each month. The average gross profit on these deals is $1,600 with $1,860 average cash down, meaning the dealers made less than the amount of the money coming from the customer’s pocket.

    Meanwhile, Company B and Company C are competing in that segment by requiring less money down. By spending an extra five minutes submitting the deal through Dealertrack or RouteOne and arriving at Company B or Company C, the SF manager will (a) get more customers qualified and (b) bring in more gross profit.

    If you don’t have an SF manager and don’t know how to structure the deal, you’re going to throw it against the wall and see if it sticks. There is a wide disparity of gross profits available from finance companies. From one end of the spectrum to the other, from Tier 4 and up through subprime to prime, you just can’t afford to not avail yourself of all the opportunities that might be out there. I see dealers tripping over dollars to try to pick up pennies. Their SF managers waste so much time trying to make deals that will never be a deal unless they get a cosigner or squeeze out a higher down payment.

    In some cases, it can be traced back to an SF manager who is not able to read a credit bureau. They don’t see something they would allow them to make the deal somewhere else. At the other end, you’ve got people who just don’t take the time to forge the relationships they need to truly succeed.

    Start tracking. Start breaking it down. You will undoubtedly find you are missing opportunities in at least one credit tier in which a particular finance company excels. Some of the best dealers I know could make a difference of $100 or $200 additional gross profit on each vehicle. Imagine what the average special finance dealer has at their fingertips.

  5. Customer Satisfaction Begins with Empathy and Respect

    Customer Satisfaction Begins with Empathy and Respect

    Bear with me while I rant. The personal experience I am going to relate will absolutely tie back to understanding the challenges of getting deals bought in special finance.

    As many of you know, I live in Sarasota, Fla., one of the epicenters of the 2006 housing collapse. Against that backdrop, Mrs. Goebel decided that 2014 would be the year to upgrade. The home we have owned for nine years has finally recovered enough value that we can get out with an unpleasant but tolerable haircut. I knew whatever we intended to buy would appreciate quicker than the last one did. I set a maximum purchase price, something for which I knew we could comfortably write a check. Mrs. G. found a way to break my ceiling — by a bunch.

    Not a problem. Many people have a mortgage. I have had one for years, and with a credit score that is, according to TransUnion, better than 100% of the population, I’m looking for a loan with a 37% LTV and a PTI less than my existing mortgage. I rolled over and put down a $50,000 earnest money deposit on my wife’s dream home with the typical 30-day “finance approval” contingency.

    Week One

    Inspired by some extremely low rates (3% seven-year ARM), I contacted Chase the same day. I told them there was zero chance they would have my 2013 tax returns (it was February) and explained that I had been the victim of an identity thief who filed a fraudulent return for tax year 2012 (more on that in a moment). That first meeting went well so I decided to move forward. That evening, their mortgage banker emailed me to request tax returns, bank statements and my personal information. Thus my banker tapped the vein of highly sensitive data.

    By the next morning, she had everything she had requested. Due to the aforementioned identity theft, it took me one day to get TransUnion unlocked so they could pull credit, but that was quickly handled. Again, everything looked fine to the banker. And why not? I was going to put gobs of cash down and my statements showed where all the money was coming from.

    Suddenly, my banker stopped making phone calls and started sending emails and texts. Calls to her office went unanswered. A week went by and the paperwork had yet to reach the loan processor. I owned and operated a multi-state mortgage brokerage in the late ’90s. The delay was vexing, but I knew that things had likely changed in the last 15 years, so I tried to be patient.

    But there was another concern. I was one week into the process and I had never been asked to fill out a credit application or account for changes in circumstances since the end of 2012 — or answer any other questions, for that matter. Regardless of how the industry may have changed, simple logic says that sound and simple underwriting practices would include gathering and understanding more than what I had provided at the outset. This was the first sign of trouble.

    Week Two

    Chase claims to be all about customer satisfaction. A week after the process started, I was asked to complete an online questionnaire and share my opinions. I shared the fact that I wasn’t happy because my calls weren’t being returned. That prompted a plethora of customer satisfaction calls from the banker’s manager and other people inside Chase, and finally one from the broker, and yet no talk about any germane facts.

    Week Three

    Two weeks to the day after documents had been emailed, Chase’s mortgage processor called. Verbal contact at last! The loan had been approved as requested — with a page and a half of “conditions.” The conditions revolved around proving where deposits into my various accounts had come from (e.g. investment dividends and payments), and they wanted proof of the identity theft and fraudulent return. They also wanted copies of my wife’s and my trusts, since we were buying the home titled in the name of the trusts.

    I had already provided the bulk of the items in Week One. Sending the balance would be a piece of cake. Thanks goodness for email! In the span of a few minutes, I had fired off 141 digital files, the equivalent of at least 1,000 pages. Chase’s team could not understand the monthly investment statement from Merrill Lynch, even though I am sure they are nearly identical in layout and function from JPMorgan statements. But at least we were making progress.

    Week Four

    After nearly a month of waiting, sending, verifying and more waiting, I started to wonder how much time this adventure was costing. I know I spent more than 40 hours on the phone. Each time someone actually would talk to me, they would say that day’s submission “should take care of it,” and it never did. They never could get comfortable with the bogus IRS tax return, mostly due to its resolution.

    The fact is, I got lucky — too lucky for the bank’s taste. I intercepted a very large check that was issued after the bank frequented by my criminal counterpart declined to accept “my” tax refund via direct deposit. The IRS mailed a check to my rental property. In response, I contacted the IRS, returned the check, filled out their forms and wrote a letter. Not knowing where the crime had been committed, I could not file a police report.

    Of course, we also filed our own return that year, it was on file, and the IRS acknowledged everything. The feds were actually very helpful. They went out of their way to provide anything that would satisfy Chase. But that stip took me until the 11th hour of the 30 days to collect, so I was fortunate to get the financing contingency extended by 15 days.

    I supplied Chase with copies of everything, but they were still unsatified, even with printed transcripts from the IRS substantiating my real return! The IRS actually bent over backwards to help me prove my real return was real, and with a new (and much smaller) refund. Chase’s team was oblivious. After many hours of discussions, they finally accepted it.

    Month Two

    Four weeks in and no resolution. The demands kept coming. Chase wanted more deposit verifications for the most recent month on accounts we weren’t using to fund the purchase. Finally we come to the 45th day and the expiration of the contingency. No approval to close yet. It seems that one trust account that they had information on from Day 1 suddenly didn’t satisfy the underwriter, “but it won’t be a problem.” Gulp. Either I lose my wife’s dream home or I put my deposit at risk. They convinced me to do the latter.

    By this point, three other institutions, including Merrill, contacted me to let me know they could have had the deal done in two weeks. So why didn’t they return my calls when I first decided to apply?

    We finally got the deal approved after jumping through ridiculous hoops on the day before closing. This was after I had liquidated enough investments to pay for the home in cash and keep my $50,000 deposit, which will almost certainly incur a $35,000-plus income tax event. I was mad beyond belief. Their poor handling, lack of understanding, and in the end, very poor communication in the final days had cost me 35 grand and about a week’s worth of billable time.

    When the loan closed, the banker’s manager brought me a bottle of bourbon to thank me for my understanding and patience. Or maybe just to placate me.

    What is to be learned from this experience for you? First, understand that you must do a proper credit interview and submit a thoroughly completed app. When Chase finally showed me their completed app, I laughed. “So that’s what I make!” I said. “I wondered, since you never asked me and I still don’t have a tax return for 2013.”

    Next, build your case thoroughly for each deal, in advance. While certain companies have some very high qualifications for credit analysts, others really don’t. Make it easy for them to see. They are buying paper for people they know have had credit issues on collateral that they haven’t seen — and hope to never see — and all they have is what you provide for them.

    Furthermore, understand that when a buyer is asking for stips, the person looking at them may not understand what they are looking at. Granted, not many SF buyers will show up with a 36-page investment statement. But you can’t assume the people who are reviewing the stips you collect are brain surgeons.

    Finally, in the interest of customer satisfaction, have empathy and respect toward your customer. I have perfect credit. I was seeking a no-brainer loan. Yet, somehow, it nearly caused an aneurysm. Whether or not you are able to help each customer, be conscientious of their time and their concerns. I can say that, in 60 years, I had never been through anything like this, and it certainly reminds me of what our customers of much less means must feel in your stores at times.

    Until next month, great selling!