DALLAS — Whereas in the past SunTrust Dealer Financial Services would go through a quick sign-up process with a dealership, the lender now takes a more strategic approach when building relationships, First Vice President Cindy Hall told attendees at the Auto Finance Performance and Compliance Summit.
“Obviously, we have conversations with the finance manager, but what we really like is to have a conversation with the general manager and talk about what our expectations are,” Hall said. “How many applications? What [should] be the approval rate? And how many contracts? So we make sure that we set the expectation upfront so we really build a strong relationship.”
Additionally, SunTrust uses AutoCount, an automotive market share report service, to better judge if the dealership is a good fit based on what lenders it works with.
After signing on a new dealer, SunTrust utilizes a staff of dealer relationship managers to reach its network, which consists of around 4,000 dealers. These managers will often be accompanied by new hires so that they can “learn and observe best practices,” Hall added.
You can listen below to more of Cindy Hall’s thoughts on the state of auto finance, such as the credit cycle, how lenders should react, and what SunTrust’s initiatives are for the year.
This is the first in an ongoing video series from Auto Finance News from our coverage at the Auto Finance Performance and Compliance Summit.