Payment Packing
    Back when I was a green-pea salesman, I listened carefully to everything the
    closers and sales managers said. These guys were good! It seemed that no matter
    what the customer said, they had an answer.
Copyright© 2008-2010 Automotive Dealers Network. All rights reserved.
Jim Radogna is the President of Dealer Compliance
Consultants, Inc., a San Diego, California training and
consulting firm. He has more than 20 years of
broad-based management, training and consulting
experience in the automotive industry.
Jim Radogna
President Dealer Compliance Consultants
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So I listened and learned. When I got my shot and became a closer, I carefully followed my sales manager’s
lead. Same thing as I moved up through the ranks – I listened and learned from the old timers.  By the time I
became a GM, I knew it all, right?  Well, not exactly. Any of this sound familiar?
Sales manager to salesperson: “Your customer has great credit but the bank is going to need
more income. I don’t think they’ll ask for proof”.
(falsifying credit information)

Sales manager to finance manager: “Listen, these folks are in a hurry. Let’s make them mental
owners. Just have them sign a contract real quick and we’ll get the rest of the paperwork done
another time. If they leave without signing something, they won’t be back”.
(improper disclosure)

Sales manager to salespeople: “Guys, that ad car is a big loser. Switch your customers to
something else unless we can make a ton on the back end”.
(bait and switch)

Sales manager to finance manager: “Joe’s got this guy committed at $30 a month more then we
need.  Let’s make some money!”
(payment packing)

Sales manager to salesperson: “We can probably get this guy done, but there’s going to be a big
bank fee.  If he wants that Sentra, don’t mention the ad price. We need to sell it for a few grand
more for the deal to make sense. He’ll be happy we can get him done”
. (hidden finance charge
and failure to sell at advertised price)

Sales manger to sales person:  “It looks like the negative equity is her hot button. Here’s what we’ll
do: Tell her that we’ll pay off her trade and get her committed at $379 a month. I’ll just add the
negative equity to the price.”
(failure to properly disclose negative equity)

Finance manager to salesperson: “Let your customer know that the bank may call her and ask
some questions. Make sure she tells them that the car is for her and not her brother!”

Finance manager to sales manager:  “I don’t care if you take a hold check for the downpayment,
but the bank isn’t going to go for a deferred down, so we need to show it as cash on the contract.”
(failure to disclose deferred downpayment)

Finance manager to used car manager: “We’re over-advanced on that Tahoe deal. I need a book
sheet for $15,500. Doesn’t it have premium wheels or something?”
 (power booking)

    Many long-standing dealership practices are not necessarily legal or ethical but often times
    staff members have no idea they are breaking the law. The vast majority of dealership
    employees are well-meaning, honest people just trying to earn a living. However, if they have
    never been properly trained in compliance matters, they may simply rely on doing business
    the way it’s always been done. Dealers should not assume that employees know all the rules.
    Education is the first and most vital step towards building an ethical organization. After all, if
    employees don’t know or understand the rules, how can they be expected to follow them?