JIM HENRY

It's not just about the deal

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News
Pay attention to personal relationships. They're important in auto finance. In extreme cases, a difficult relationship even could kill a profitable partnership.

“You know what they say: ‘If the mama's not happy, nobody's happy,'” said Michelle Primm, managing partner of Cascade Auto Group Ltd. in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. She was a panelist at the American Financial Services Association Vehicle Finance Conference last week.

“If my staff is always coming to me complaining about a particular lender, if they tell me: ‘They're difficult. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. The people in California don't know what the people in Tennessee are doing,' I may drop them just because I don't want to listen to my staff tell me how hard it makes their lives to deal with a lender who doesn't know what they're doing.”

Notice, none of those complaints is about who offers the best deal. Maybe sometimes that's not the most important thing.

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