Pencil Perfect or Estimated Payments?

Dealers work with everyone who wants to buy a vehicle and with the sales process moving online quickly it’s important to define the common term of “Perfect”.

There are a lot of vendors touting “Perfect” calculation products that can be confusing to dealers. Perfect sounds great but what does it actually mean?

There are two types of “Perfect’ calculation deals that are being used in the current market.

  1. Estimated and NOT Perfect (by far the most common product type)
  2. Full-stack deliverable deal that is truly Pencil Perfect

An estimated deal usually has an estimated combination of price, rebates, trade, tax, fees, F&I products, and estimated “best available” top tier APR to keep the price low. Estimated deals deliver solid leads to the dealership but also require re-negotiation / re-desking once financing has been engaged at the showroom. Once a person “buys” a deal online, any changes at the dealership become questionable games to them, even if they are a “secondary” credit customer. Presenting every customer with the “best” APR often leads to broken deals that not only need to be saved at the dealership but also give the dealer a lousy reputation with customers.

A True Pencil Perfect deal uses all the same data points your DMS does. The listed price, official rebates, verified trade values, buyer address-based tax, fees, selected F&I product(s), verified creditworthiness, and the actual APR the customer is qualified for. A True Pencil Perfect deal can be delivered with ZERO risks to the dealership of being below their desired profitability requirements. A True Pencil Perfect Deal also saves time and effort for the dealership staff as they don’t have to save any broken deals by re-negotiating the terms.  

When researching “Pencil Perfect” online retailing solutions you should ask the following questions.

  1. Does the platform estimate credit or work with actual credit information to provide Pencil Perfect Decisions?
  2. Does the platform allow you to hold F&I profitability with every deal and have ZERO risks of broken deals that require re-negotiations to meet profit requirements?
  3. Does the platform allow you to set trade-in holdback as part of the verified appraisal process to protect the dealer and the deal when a trade-in value is involved?
  4. Does the platform have the ability to do the bookout statement and allow for F&I contracting?
  5. Is the platform configurable to your workflow?

We are facing major changes in the way customers purchase vehicles. It’s critical to make sure your digital retailing program can meet the standard needs of customers today but also meet the Amazon-like process for digital automotive retailing many desire.

If you are interested in learning more about how our platform can help your business help dealers provide True Pencil Perfect Digital Retailing, reach out to us at –

Bill Liatsis
Author: Bill Liatsis

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