Marketing Ideas. By the guys who wrote the book on starting a payday loan, installment and title loan business.
What’s a payday, installment, title loan lender to do? How do you get more customers? Google? Facebook? Instagram? Pinterest? Blogs, Direct mail? Yellow Pages Online? Buy leads? Billboards? What REALLY works? Acheiving success in increasing your loan portfolio size is a Pain in the ASS! A SLOW, long-term process.
It’s the simple stuff that works!
For our loan stores, we do use Google PPC and Bing but VERY localized (zip codes, city, county…) because the general PDL phrases are simply too expensive and poorly convert. Also, the lead gen companies have the time/expertise to FOCUS on this.
Storefront lenders must have a website that looks great on a phone! THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TODAY! 70% of the traffic coming to our websites are from a customer on their smart phone. We’re not trying to get apps completed on the smart phone but it does happen occasionally. Our #1 goal is to provide a customer with store directions via Google Maps, consumer visits and inbound phone calls with a formal appointment setup and then a call back to the customer before (reminders) and after the appointment (feedback). ALWAYS BE ASKING THE POTENTIAL CUSTOMER FOR THE APPOINTMENT!
Marketing? Our stores primarily do a lot of:
- Local direct mail
- Door hangars
- Car wraps
- Answer the damn phone! And do it right!! “How did you hear about us?” [Understaffed? After hours?Use the experts at Centrinex discussed on a previous Post.]
- Sign spinners
- Community outreach
- Bandit signs [Yeah sure, check your city code enforcement. Or just do it and ask for forgiveness.]
- Referral programs with businesses that service our demographic and need to be made aware of how we can help the merchant make more money. I’m referring to lawyers, bail bondsman, mechanics, Aamco transmission, brake shops, tire and rim companies, other PDL/title loan stores that employ different loan criteria or don’t service the same loan areas we do, tax preparers… GET CREATIVE!
WE ARE FOCUSED on determining who provided the referral and to pay them for it SOON IN CASH!! This makes a HUGE difference in regularity, quality and quantity of referrals! Of course, referrals from existing customers are treated with the same diligence and rewards. (And they are probably the most valuable leads we can get!) Your loan management software can be a BIG HELP with this process! [Does YOUR LMS offer many features enabling this “tagging” or are they weak? Do you even know? This feature is a MUST today! Want to know which software companies we like and why? Most are TERRIBLE! Click Here]
I used to own some Enterprise franchises. Rain or shine, a pretty girl or handsome face showed up at body shops – one of our target markets – REGULARLY with donuts, biz cards, pens, … THIS WORKS! Over and over again. Week in and week out! You must be manic about getting out from behind your desk and visiting these merchants in the field! Develop a script to briefly describe your business, why it’s good for the merchant and for the merchant’s customer. Then MAKE SURE you’re company does not do ANYTHING to make this merchant’s life more difficult because of your PDL/Title/Installment company’s actions!
I’ve ALWAYS thought the owner of the PDL/TITLE/INSTALLMENT store should personally do this at least one day every month! The owner has to get out in the field. Visit these potential referral businesses! Ask open ended questions! How is the business owner doing? How’s business? What are her/his challenges today? How can my business help this merchant? What’s working for them to increase THEIR sales revenue? What isn’t? Can we stay in touch? Additionally, assign employees to visit these merchants as well – every week on a formal schedule. Some of your employees will embrace this. Others will rebel. Role playing BEFORE in practice sessions with your Team will help prepare them for this. With time and effort, they will get better and yield referrals. CONSISTENCY is crucial!
Conduct a formal review of these visits immediately after returning from these field visits! Develop a check list and comments section. Who did your Team meet with? Their role? What was said? Outcome? Follow-up? Measure results.
Pick up a dozen donuts and just do it! Weekly!! No excuses!!! It’s about sales!!!! Document this strategy; hopefully with your loan management software!!!!! Repeat. Rinse. Do it again.
For most of us this is HARD! What do you say to the merchant? What’s your opening line? What if the merchant is busy? “I’m here to help us both make more money without burdening you with more hassles!” And don’t overlook any of the merchant’s employees who are present. You tell a Bail Bondsman’s office personnel that there’s cash available for referrals, THEY WILL SEND YOU CUSTOMERS! We have a car tire rim installer at a local tire/rim company who sends us 3-5 new clients every month. We have a stereo installer at a car stereo joint that sends us 2 – 6 new borowers every month! Susan, a car title lender in Los Angeles is using an inflatable character in front of her store to drum-up more business. This is working for her! People even have their pictures taken with it and post them on Facebook and Instagram. [If she picks up just one new customer a month with this approach, how much $$ in revenue will she earn over the life-time of this borrower? $1000? $5,000? $10,000? More?And from this borrower’s friends and family – referrals?]
You know none of this is rocket science! Just good old Guerilla Marketing with a manic obsession!
Jer – Trihouse 702-208-6736 Comments? Questions? Jer@TrihouseConsulting.com Share what’s working for you!!