Data and Analytics

5 Soft Pull Secrets to Help Dealers Sell More

5 Soft Pull Secrets to Help Dealers Sell More

August 29, 2023 | Brian Epro

As inventories begin to return to pre-pandemic levels, dealers must continue to find ways to improve customer experience and personalization in the car buying experience. One often underutilized tool available to dealers is the prequalification, or soft pull. Traditionally, auto sales entailed a “credit last” approach. However, a “credit first” approach enabled by a prequalification allows the consumer and the dealer to better understand what they can afford, and to tailor their shopping journey accordingly.

However, soft pull is actually much more than just a credit score. So let’s dive into 5 things you should  know about soft pulls that can help you grow your business.

1- Soft Pulls can help turn browsers into buyers.

Knowing which customers are ready to buy now is important, but knowing a consumer can afford to buy now is a game-changer. 31% of consumers are more likely to buy a vehicle in 30 days or less when they get pre-qualified.* With record-high vehicle prices and rising interest rates, identifying consumers who are  truly in-market and likely to buy in 30 days can help the dealer quickly identify vehicles that best fit their customers’  needs and close more deals. 

2- Soft pulls can help drive better consumer engagement.

Consumers want to perform more of their car shopping and buying process online. In fact, 84% of auto shoppers say increased online engagement can provide a seamless experience.⭑ Providing tools and resources online that provide insight into what a consumer can afford can help personalize the shopping experience to help keep consumers more engaged throughout the customer journey.

3- Prequalification can help reduce consumer abandonment.

Historically, traditional online credit applications have close to a 40% abandonment rate and the lead conversion to sale is very low. Our studies show that sales can increase 16% when car buying begins with a soft pull prequalification.* Soft pulls are a low impact way to interact with the consumer, while still providing quality information about a consumer to the dealer.  It also increases the consumer’s confidence in their shopping and understanding what they can afford, and in turn helps dealers match the right vehicle for the customer.

4- Prequalification can help create a more positive user experience.

We know that 64% of customers want to complete most of the purchase process online. Credit and financing are at the top of their list. Prequalification  can create a seamless online shopping process by giving a consumer a simple, easy tool to help them understand their financial capacity and ultimately help them confidently find the vehicle and deal that is best for them.  

5- Prequalification gives you more than just a credit score.  

Yes, a prequalification is a simple way for consumers to understand their credit score and what they can afford, but the reality is that there's a ton of useful information that can help ultimately support them in finding the right vehicle and deal that fits their needs. Using a prequalification can help dealers ensure that when shoppers come into the dealership they have key insights to help get them into the vehicle that is right for them. 

Prequalification allows dealers to understand insights that can help accelerate the sale, for example, if the consumer is actively shopping, have they made auto inquiries in the last month, the terms of their other auto tradelines, interest rate, and how much longer do they have on their existing loan.  These insights can help a dealer structure the deal that converts the shopper to a buyer quickly.

If you’d like to learn more secrets to getting more out of a soft pull, check out our Webinar replay with Informativ.

*Cox automotive study 2021

Brian Epro

Brian Epro

Alliance Manager

Brian Epro is an Alliance Manager for Equifax and has over 25 years of experience in data and digital marketing in the auto industry.