Tax season may be over, but Sizzlin’ Summer has just begun

Keep up the momentum.

Tax season may be over, but there still is good reason to push forward into the summer, according to ASMs and RSMs at Santander Consumer USA (SC).

And they are ready to help dealers maximize business through some of the hottest months of the year.

“Everyone is tempted to relax after the rigors of tax season,” said TY COTHREN, an SC regional sales manager for a five-state region stretching from Colorado to Wisconsin. “But we have to keep pushing – not lose tax-season momentum – or we will miss our opportunity to grow.”

“Although the outlook for auto sales are positive in 2017, they are not expected to continue at the same pace of 2016,” said DESTRY WOOD, ASM for northwest Washington state. “Every deal will count.”

IL-BLOG_70404-12 (Sizzlin' Summer III Logo)_300x300“My main focus over the summer months is to keep tax-season momentum going as much as possible,” said BILL SMITH, area sales manager for northeast Pennsylvania. “I remind dealers what Santander did for them during the months of January through April, so please continue to give us all your looks and a chance to earn your business … don’t try to guess what contracts we will buy.”

Other members of the SC team also spoke of keeping up tax-season momentum to build business.

But ASMs CONNIE ZEIGLER, who works with Dallas dealerships, and ALICE RODRIGUEZ, whose area includes West Texas and parts of eastern New Mexico, have other ideas as well.

“Since car sales have been a little light so far this year, the goal is to help my dealers increase customer traffic and sales opportunities, and Santander’s direct mail program is a great option to provide quality customer leads,” said Zeigler. “I want to make sure all of my dealers are aware of this program.”

“It’s a good time to get dealers to focus on their portfolio balance, because the normal deep tax-season buying can tilt some dealer portfolios negatively,” said Rodriguez. “I plan to push for more near-prime applications and contracts to ensure that portfolios strengthen over the summer. I hope to engage dealers to assist in the remedy, leveraging relationships I have built over the years.”

Other ASMs and RSMs suggested a variety of ways they can help dealers drive business:

  • PATRICK CIAMPO, an RSM whose region covers four states in the Northeast, plans to “circle back after tax season and give dealers a closer look at what Santander offers and how to best use our program, because, in many cases, we can help these stores sell additional units and make larger profits on their car deals.” He cited RoadLoans and direct mail, noting that “many dealers don’t realize we do much more than auto finance.”
  • STEVE VANHOOSER, an inside sales manager for a four-state upper Midwest region, attributes to recent program updates “a steady increase in the number of stores giving SC a chance to earn all their business, especially in the prime and near-prime marketplace.” He also emphasized the importance of getting stores to use the Dealer Extranet and Rehash Tool when they’re working with SC to make the funding process easier and more efficient.
  • ROBERT CUMMINS, whose RSM responsibilities comprise Texas dealers and inside sales, said, “We have seen a strong response to our program during tax season, and there is no reason dealers cannot benefit from our program throughout the year. … For example, if there is a lull in customer traffic at the dealership, the Santander direct mail program can generate leads.”
  • JEREMY BEATTY, an ASM who covers eastern Long Island, N.Y., also expects to “target dealerships who are a good fit for our Direct Mailer program, which can yield a high return on investment and does not require dealers to have an elite status with SC to sign up … Every dollar counts these days and dealers will appreciate our efforts to help them be more profitable.”
  • ROBERT PLEMEL, ASM for northeast Ohio, said, “My main focus will be to add value by increasing overall profitability for my dealer base … including training our dealers on systems and credit structures that will increase their bottom line.”

Ultimately, much of the sales team’s planning goes to several key ideas.

“Market share is really difficult to gain and very easy to lose,” said RSM Cothren, “so we want to fortify the relationships we built in Q1 and not watch them wash away with the outgoing tax-season tide.”

“Relationships are the key,” said VanHooser. “My stores know I’m there for them and their businesses.”

“That means enabling dealers to leverage our program to its fullest,” said Zeigler.

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