Just like the vinyl record gave way to the 8-track, cassette, CD and MP3, the simple metal car key customers could easily duplicate at the local hardware store is quickly being replaced by what is known as the “smart key.”
Automakers have made a number of technological advancements to the key of old. They started by installing computer chips in the key frame. Today, those chips are placed on key fobs that also feature keyless entry and remote-start functionality. Several highline vehicles now come with “perimeter” systems that detect the presence of the fob and allow the driver to start the vehicle with the push of a button.
Considering the high cost to replace or reprogram these technological wonders, it’s no surprise key replacement coverage has become a hot product in the F&I office.
Selling Beyond the Cost
So, how do you sell this coverage? First, provide customers with a rock-solid reason why they need the coverage. Do that by relaying the consequences of losing today’s smart key, not just the expense of replacing or repairing it.
The three most common objections to key replacement coverage are: “I never lose my keys,” “That’s what I have a spare key for” and “I don’t want to spend the extra money.” You can overcome those objections by asking questions that uncover the hardships of losing keys. But you must know everything about you dealership’s key replacement program. You need to demonstrate that the product is the answer to whatever problem the conversation uncovers.
Obviously, you will come up with your own pitch, but here’s a word-track you can build on and use once the customer declines the coverage: “I understand. It’s hard to justify the cost if you don’t see the value. To see if it would be cost effective, do you mind if I ask you a question?”