LAS VEGAS — Developing the lender-dealer relationship from the senior level all the way down to the finance manager is crucial — particularly as dealership turnover is on the rise, panelists at PowerSports Finance 2017 said recently.
Lenders should approach the relationship as a partnership, said Ozzie Giglio, chief executive and dealer principal at Windy City Motorcycles. “We have a great relationship with our senior OEM finance partner (Harley-Davidson Financial Services), and we consider them our partner,” he said. “Developing the relationship at the senior level so it’s sustainable over time is key to great partnership and operation.”
“I tell my sales reps to get in front of as many people as they can because there is a chance [the dealership finance managers] won’t be there in a year or two years,” said Ben Donnarumma, managing director of American Cycle Finance. “There is a lot of turnover in the industry, especially when dealing with the sales staff.”
“Many times we will get information from one of our finance managers who says, ‘I found this company, I think they’re great,’ so the paperwork goes to the lawyers, they look at it, and I sign it, and then they are off and running with that finance manager,” Giglio said. However, when the finance manager leaves later on, that finance company goes too, he added.
ThunderRoad Financial speaks with the finance managers all the way up to the general managers, added Kristi Mercier, director of operations at ThunderRoad Financial. “It’s not just the high levels or low levels, it’s the whole dealership. Establishing those relationships has put us in a higher place.”
Hear more from the panelists about establishing effective lender-dealer relationships and how to get in front of the decision makers in the video below — the first video in a series from PowerSports Finance 2017, held recently in Las Vegas.