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Keys to F&I Product Sales

December 2008, F&I and Showroom - Feature

by Matt Hash

Consumers might be more conservative these days, but selling products in today’s down economy isn’t impossible. Here’s a seven-step process you can follow to prevent customer objections and successfully close deals.

Setting the Stage With Education

In order to sell customers on the value of your F&I products, you need to sell your salespeople on their value. Explain to them why you sell these products and how they benefit individual departments in the dealership. Emphasize that products create customer loyalty and attract business for the service department.

To accomplish this you first need to explain what products you sell, what they do, and how they are valuable to customers. Remember, the best way to lower your customer’s guard is to make salespeople your advocates at the beginning of the sales process. >

Customer Introductions

The F&I experience for the customer should not begin in the box. The F&I experience should begin at your salesperson’s desk. Remember, the customer probably spends the most amount of time — about one to five hours — in the sales department. This means the salesperson’s desk is where the customer feels most comfortable, and it’s where the customer is the most excited about the car-buying experience. So take the time to introduce yourself to the customer or have the salesperson introduce you. Give the customer steady eye contact and a firm handshake. It’s not rocket science, but it gives the customer a good impression of you.

Once you’re done with the formalities, get to business and tell the customer what you intend to do for him or her. Explain to the customer how you will handle the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) paperwork, and meet his or her financing needs. Remember to keep the process moving along quickly and efficiently.

Review Customer Information

Once you’ve been introduced to the customer, get down to business and review his or her paperwork to ensure accuracy. You want to make sure you have correct information on the buyer’s order, credit application and credit bureau. If you have any problems with the figures and paperwork, resolve them with the customer before you continue with the F&I process.

When reviewing the paperwork don’t forget to work on building rapport with the customer. You can ask the customer a few questions about his or her driving habits and automotive needs. This information will tell you what’s important to the customer and help you tailor a menu to meet his or her needs. This interview process also helps the customer get comfortable with your department, which makes for a smoother transition from sales to F&I.

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