I was working in a dealership’s conference room recently when a sales manager brought three “greenpeas” in for special training.
His first question was: “How many cars do you have to sell a month to stick around here?” All three mumbled “Ten.”
Next question: “We have ten days left in this month. How many cars do you have out so far?”
“One.” “One.” “Two.”
Having driven his point home, he started reviewing the first step on the road to a sale. It was obvious these three had been through this training before, but they needed to go through it again because they obviously had not embraced or absorbed the message.
Some of the dealership’s processes, such as the road to the sale, must be continuously reviewed and reinforced. Same goes for Red Flags training.
An F&I manager thwarted an ID thief last week because she was observant to some of the red flags we discussed in our training sessions.
A young man submitted a credit application over the Internet. His address was three state lines, a time zone and about six hours away. After he submitted the credit app, he did not respond to messages left at the phone number listed on the application, but rather just simply showed up one night after 5:00 P.M.
He was a lay down. He agreed to pay full boat without any negotiation. He seemed to be in a hurry to finish the paperwork. After all, there was an accomplice in a pick-up truck outside waiting for him.
The F&I manager had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right. She pulled the out of wallet questions and the thief failed. She stepped out of her office and called the employer to verify employment three states away. The victim was at work.
When she returned to her office to confront the thief, he had scooted into the waiting get-away car and sped off.
The Red Flags
Here are the red flags she noticed and the reason they should be considered as red flags of identity theft:
- Internet app – Identity thieves are sissies. They would prefer to sit at a computer and commit their crime without seeing their victim’s eyeballs. Internet and phone credit applications are a favored way for identity thieves to start the transaction.
- Not a local – Pay attention when someone from out of town is in your dealership to buy a vehicle. Most times there is a legitimate reason why a New Yorker is buying a minivan in Tampa, other times it could be an identity thief.
- After hours – ID thieves prefer to work outside of the standard nine to five workday. Expect to be hit after five and on weekends.
- Price not an obstacle – They typically do not negotiate price because they don’t expect to pay for it anyway.
- In a hurry – The longer an ID thief sticks around, the more likely it is that he will be caught.
- Getaway car – ID thieves want an easy exit route in case something goes wrong.
In addition to the alerts you will see in credit reports, these are some of the red flags of identity theft your Red Flags program should address.
Use this case study as a teaching moment when you review your Red Flags processes with your managers. It is so much less painful than reviewing a personal experience with the police, your insurance company, the victim and the judge.
Continued good luck and good selling.