The Industry's Leading Source For F&I, Sales And Technology

Article

What's In That No?

October 2006, F&I and Showroom - Feature

by Marty Lisk - Also by this author

Many times after a stellar review of a customer’s options on the menu, their response is often, “I don’t need any of that.” Sound familiar? Unfortunately, it happens far too frequently. You have presented all your products on the menu and the customer is saying “No thanks, I don’t want anything.” What’s in that “No”? The menu should have worked, but the last few customers haven’t selected anything. You attended that training class and you did everything by the book. Where do you go from here? What do you say? Why doesn’t it work?

Well, don’t give up. From a sales perspective the first “No” you get means absolutely nothing! That “No” is simply the customer’s automatic defense mechanism. Just like when you go into a store and the clerk asks, “Can I help you?” Your automatic response is, “No thanks, I’m just looking.” That’s not true, you’re there to buy. You just don’t want to deal with a pushy sales clerk.

That first “No” might simply be because the customer has never bought the product before. Nobody likes change. “I’ve never bought it before, why should I buy it now?” It may be the customer is not familiar with the product(s) being offered. Nobody likes being asked to make a decision without having all the facts. It may be they have yet to realize they need a particular product, or they feel like you’re trying to “sell” them something. There are many reasons why the customer’s initial response is “No.” It’s an F&I professional’s job to overcome that “No” by demonstrating how that product will help them.

What Does That “No” Mean?

The key to overcoming “No” is discovering why the customer needs your products before presenting those products on a menu. When few, if any needs-discovery questions are asked, and a customer declines one or more products, the typical F&I manager launches into a features-advantages-benefits presentation. (Usually the product the Finance Manager makes the most money on, not necessarily the one the customer actually needs!) If the customer still declines to purchase that product, the feature-advantages-benefits are repeated again, as if the customer must not have heard them the first time. (Also known as “they must be deaf or stupid” approach.)

If the F&I manager is still not successful getting a customer to agree to purchase after this repeated review of the benefits, it’s time to go to plan B — lower the price, or “throw in” a second product to build value. Often, this is where the tired old car sales technique of “If I could, would you?” begins. After the second “No,” many F&I managers begin to negotiate the price or payment, in a desperate effort to at least sell something. And if they’re only going to sell one product, it’s going to be the product they make the most money on, or have the most room to negotiate. Hopefully, after much discussion and negotiation, an agreement is finally reached and the customer agrees to buy. Ah, success!

Or is it?

Start Out on the Right Foot

Most customers today need several, if not all, F&I products. Reducing the price to get them to buy one, or throwing in a second product for free, is hardly a success. The biggest problem most F&I managers have is getting past that initial rejection. It all begins in the initial greeting of the customer. Within the first few minutes of meeting you, that customer will decide if they like you, and if they are going to buy from you. An enthusiastic greeting is critical. Always greet the customer at the sales consultant’s desk. After all, that’s where they feel the most comfortable. It’s also where they have spent most of their time while at the dealership. Have a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

The next key to selling any product is making the customer realize that this product is important to them. For the customer, the purchase of any product must provide an obvious benefit or the elimination of risk. The benefit or elimination of risk must exceed the price of the product. In order to know what risk the customer has in their particular situation, an F&I manager must discover their unique needs. Before a customer will buy anything, they have to “see” how that product will help them by eliminating risk, or have some tangible benefits, based on their situation.

Your Comment

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
Your Name:  
Your Email:  

Blog

So Here's the Deal

Ronald J. Reahard
Measuring Up

By Ronald J. Reahard
Top trainer has a three-part answer for an F&I newbie who wants to know how he measures up against his peers.

It's OK to Be Nervous

By Ronald J. Reahard
Top trainer welcomes an anxious recruit to the F&I ranks with 10 pieces of practical, hard-earned advice.

(Video) Have a Real Conversation

By Ronald J. Reahard

Combating CUs

By Ronald J. Reahard

Done Deal

Gregory Arroyo
What’s Your Take?

By Gregory Arroyo
The editor provides an up-close look at the topics he hopes to cover during his Industry Summit 2017 panel session. He’d also like to hear your take on these hot-button issues.

Connecting the Dots

By Gregory Arroyo
The editor opens up about his time in the car audio industry and how that experience shaped his thoughts about the internet, telematics, and the connected car.

See You in Big D

By Gregory Arroyo

Don’t Tune Out

By Gregory Arroyo

Mad Marv

Marv Eleazer
Industry Summit: It’s Worth the Investment

By Marv Eleazer
Reflecting on the returns of a well-trained service technician, His Madness has a message for dealers who think F&I training isn’t worth the investment.

6 Ways to Deliver Exceptional Service

By Marv Eleazer
Inspired by a visit to the suit store, His Madness lists six ways F&I pros can tailor their wares to fit any customer.

Doing Our Part

By Marv Eleazer

There’s No ‘I’ in Team

By Marv Eleazer

On the Point

Jim Ziegler
Sharpen Your Survival Skills

By Jim Ziegler
‘Da Man’ has a plan you can use to survive the collapse of the car business and remain profitable through the dealer apocalypse.

Sales Rock Stars Still Exist

By Jim Ziegler
Da Man says $40,000-a-month sales rock stars still exist. He says you’ll find them on YouTube and Facebook Live.

The New Stooges

By Jim Ziegler

Is Your Quick Lube Driving Away Business?

By Jim Ziegler