Customer Perceptions Through the BHPH Purchase Process

There is a growing need to help guide the customer through a series of psychological steps in the Buy Here-Pay Here Customer Purchase Process in today’s market. The in-house financing business has gotten more complicated during the last few years.

With many “subprime” finance companies going out of business after 2008, many customers have landed into the BHPH market without knowing it. Before the financial crisis of 2008, a new car customer who had some challenges with their credit would have to accept that they could go from 2.9% financing to 12.9% financing, but still be able to purchase a new car through a subprime finance source. They also could go to a retail used car store and purchase a near new vehicle through that same subprime finance source.

But with the subprime market virtually going away, we now have a customer who purchased a new vehicle three years ago, who acquired poor credit through the financial crisis, who doesn’t know until they go to a new car store that they not only can not get approved for a new car, but their only option is to go to a buy here-pay here dealer.

Because most customers from this new car sector may perceive BHPH dealerships as a poorly trained sales team, with a poor

facility and poor quality cars, these customers are in the first stage of Perception:

Denial: We have to help the previous new car customer through the Denial stage by being professional, by-pass new car concerns (Price, Discount, Trade Value, etc.), build value in your approval process through the Why Buy book and Application.

Reality: Once the customer is brought through this initial step, they will begin to see that the most important thing in the purchase process is getting the most favorable approval based on their current credit situation, while fitting into their budget. They then see that getting a good quality vehicle that has been through a multi-point inspection, comes with a warranty and also comes with a CARFAX report, is second to the credit approval.

Acceptance: Once the Underwriter or Branch Manager has selected the vehicles that the customer qualifies for, the Loan Specialist needs to manage this next step in the customer’s perception that the vehicle they select is “good enough.” This can only happen during the Test Drive. Unlike a Test Drive in the new car retail selling process that focuses on Features, Advantages and Benefits and may last 20 minutes to sell the value on the car, the BHPH Test Drive is designed to give the customer the time to “Accept” that this vehicle is “good enough” and making payments on time for the next 18 months to re-establish credit is the most important factor in their purchase


Appreciation: If we have done our job right, the customer’s perception will be turned from nervous and demanding to “Appreciation.” If the Loan Specialist has not accomplished this, the customer will become very difficult over the life of the loan and possible collection nightmare. If the customer is thanking you after the delivery paperwork, you have done your job!

How to define what type of customer you have:

** Retail Customer Concerns: Price, Discount, Trade Value

** BHPH Customer Concerns: Get me approved, Down Payment, Previous Credit