Living just outside of Indianapolis, I can tell you that the month of May is all about "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing", the Indy 500. The four horsemen of the apocalypse could be in town, but if those horses are not sponsored by Andretti Racing or Pennzoil – forget about it. This year the race was a close one, with three-time Indy 500 winner, Helio Castroneves, losing by .06 of a second. It doesn’t get much closer.
So looking back, there are some great lessons from Helio that I want to share with auto lenders:
- You have to come out strong and with a well-oiled machine. Castroneves lead the race with no contest for 38 laps. You cannot do that without a great car and team. So ask yourself - are you handling your auto lending with the solution that has the ability to lead the market or are you having to go to the pits often, just to keep pace?
- You need to stay ahead of the pack until the end. Castroneves will be the first to admit that his car was not giving him all the power he wanted in the 196th lap. Now remember there are only 200 laps in the race, so with only four laps to go, that is not a good time to have a hiccup. If your lending strategy hasn't changed "since the first lap", you could have the same problem getting across the the finish line? Take time to make sure your automated scoring approach is valid, question your existing processes, and consider getting an outside look from leaders in the industry to make sure your are still firing on all cylinders.
- Time kills. Castroneves lost by .06 seconds. That .06 of a second means he was denied access into a very select club of four time winners. That .06 of a second means he does not get to drink that coveted glass of milk. If your solution is not providing your customers with the fastest and best credit offers, how many deals are you losing? What exclusive club of top auto lenders are you being denied access to?
Second place is no fun. If you're Castroneves, there's no substitute for finishing first at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Likewise, in today’s market, there is more need than ever to be the Winner’s Circle. Take a pit stop and check out your lending process and see how you're performing against your competitors and in the spirit of the race – “Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!”