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Go Long!

February 2011, F&I and Showroom - Feature

by Tariq Kamal

After first serving as Longmont Ford's new-car sales manager, Greg Alore took the reins of the store's special finance department. The result? Fewer duplicate leads, more sales and more referrals.

Last fall, after several years of success running the special finance department for Longmont Ford in Longmont, Colo., Greg Alore set a new goal for himself: He wanted to be a Diamond Dealer. He knew that Capital One Auto Finance’s preferred dealer program offered flexible rates for subprime buyers and that his parent company’s Denver store, Freeway Ford, was already signed up. Alore wanted in.

When the general sales manager at the Denver store called to tell him he was on his way to a Capital One event at Invesco Field, home of the National Football League’s Broncos, Alore sprang into action. Knowing that the executives were flying in from the Dallas area, the longtime Cowboys fan pulled his Marion Barber jersey off the hanger and headed for Mile High to make his pitch.

“Three weeks later, I was a Diamond Dealer,” Alore says with a laugh. “Our first month out of the shoot was November. We booked 14 special finance deals with Capital One, and that wasn’t even a whole month.”

With Capital One now on board, along with GM Financial (formerly AmeriCredit Corp.) and several other finance sources, Alore expects his department to move at least 10 new and 35 used units each month in 2011. It’s an ambitious goal, but he’s confident he and his staff are well on their way.

A New Game Plan

Alore’s devotion to the Cowboys is a byproduct of the 25 years he spent working as a dealer and consultant in the Dallas/Fort Worth market. In 1980, the Detroit native steered his Pontiac Firebird south to take an entry-level sales job at a Ford dealership in Abilene. Many years and several dealerships later, he took a consulting gig at F&I Holding Service Life.

“My specialty was training salespeople for the proper turn to F&I,” Alore says. “They sent me to Colorado once a month, and one of those stores was Freeway Ford.”

Impressed by his work, Freeway Owner Mike Peebles offered Alore a chance to jump back in the trenches as the new-car manager at the Longmont store. The picture brightened further when Alore was asked to run Longmont’s special finance operation in 2007.

“It was a broken department,” Alore says. “I’ve always said that special finance is the lowest hanging fruit, but we were only booking 14 or 15 deals a month. There were a few things we needed to do differently.”

Alore was surprised to learn that his four-person staff was fielding leads from no fewer than eight providers, resulting in a morale-killing barrage of duplicates. He narrowed the providers to DealerLink Inc. and one other, then implemented a new process for making calls and setting appointments. Longmont’s appointment setters are now responsible for making up to 40 calls a day.

Alore’s strategy for bringing in subprime buyers — what he calls the “accountability battle” — creates buy-in by allowing customers to visit the dealership on their own terms.

“These folks don’t want to expose their credit history over the phone,” he says. “Remember, the same person you’re talking to has already been beaten up by bill collectors. If there’s any resistance, we say, ‘That’s fine. Don’t let anybody else pull your credit either. Just come on in.’”

Comment

  1. 1. Lori Thompson (Skotzke) [ March 17, 2015 @ 05:04AM ]

    I was wondering if you are the same Greg Alore that I had grown up with back in Warren, MI. The picture of you sitting at your desk at a dealership looks just like the young guy I knew way back when, when we went to St. Cletus church.

    If not, sorry to have bothered you, but to let you know, he was a sweet guy.

  2. 2. greg alore [ March 23, 2017 @ 07:14AM ]

    yes, that's me. You can contact me at gregalore83@gmail.com

 

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