Your front-line employees can use the member trust they’ve developed through frequent interactions to suggest additional ways that your credit union can be of service. This “trusted advisor” status should be utilized to promote other products like auto loans, and it can have a profound impact on your credit union’s financial success. By establishing a strong relationship with a reputable auto dealer, implementing a member communications marketing plan, and providing additional training to your front-line employees, they can successfully promote your auto loan business while they assist members with routine services.
Develop key partnerships with reputable dealers
Members often rely on their credit union to guide them when making a large financial decision like purchasing a car. Maintaining a relationship with a trustworthy, honest dealer enables the credit union to provide an added level of service to members while improving the likelihood of securing their auto loan business.
However, while many auto dealers claim to provide great selection and exemplary customer service, not all offer the tools necessary to facilitate a profitable relationship for your credit union. You’ll want to select a dealer that guarantees 100% of the members referred to them by your credit union will be returned to you for financing. Also, you should partner with a dealer that provides turn-key marketing programs to promote your auto loan capabilities, and provides proper training for your employees.
Involve your front-line employees in the process
Once the dealer partner is secured, ensure your front-line team’s success by educating them about the importance of used auto loans to the overall success of your credit union. This will help them take more of an ownership stake in promoting auto loans and will make them more comfortable discussing auto needs with members. Let them know that every referral increases the odds that the member will return to the credit union for financing rather than use other financial options offered by the dealer.
Once front-line employees understand the importance of their role in the process, equip them with the tools they need to engage the member in a conversation about their auto needs. Look to your dealer partner to work with you to create an effective member communications program consisting of collateral materials, web placement, and direct mail to build member awareness and excitement about your partnership and its member benefits.
To further increase the potential for success in building your auto loan portfolio, you may consider offering incentives to employees when their referrals generate an auto loan for your credit union. Creating an enthusiastic environment within the credit union will help your front-line employees stay focused on increasing auto loan volume.
Remember, a member-oriented approach to the auto-loan process begins by thinking of member needs first and ends with completely satisfied members. A simple conversation between your front-line employee and a member can identify someone in the market to buy a car. With a little coaching, the front-line employee can encourage the member to shop your dealer partner – and if they buy there, increases the probability your member will return to you for the auto loan, thus increasing your bottom line - all in the time it takes to deposit a check.
Enterprise Car Sales has helped more than a thousand credit unions successfully increase their auto loan volume. For more information on how to build your auto loan business, visit: www.enterprise.com/perfectpartnership.
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