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

F&I Products

Pulling Out All the Props

The right prop can be the perfect objection killer, but choose your tools wisely.

March 2011, F&I and Showroom - Feature

by Gerry Gould

Props aren’t just for theatrical productions; they can be the perfect tool for selling intangibles like F&I products. Not only do they serve as great visual aids, but they can also liven up your F&I presentation. More importantly, a well thought-out prop can help develop a dialogue with your customers.

Just remember that a prop can’t sell your products by itself. You first need a well-rehearsed presentation, which should include questions that will help you gain an understanding of your customer’s ownership habits. Here are a few examples:

Mileage question: “How many miles a year will you be driving, and how long do you plan on keeping the vehicle?”

Raise awareness: “What is your insurance deductible and do you know if they offer discounts for theft-deterrent devices?”

Plant the seed: “We’ll be paying off the remaining balance on your trade. Are there any products for which we should be applying for a refund?”

Now, whatever you do, don’t spring your props on your customers without getting their permission first. Here’s a nice way to do just that: “There are three things you cannot control while you own this car: weather, the driving habits of others and road conditions. Do you mind if I share something with you?” Also try: “I don’t expect your new car to break down, but you never know. Do you mind if I share something with you?”

Mightier Than the Sword

When you’re pitching products from the menu, use your pen like a conductor’s baton. See, the pen can be used to control the pace of your presentation. It can also be used to direct your customer’s focus. For example, if you want your customer to look down at your menu, point your pen down or toward specific sections on the menu while making verbal points about your products.

Additionally, keep a pad of paper close by so you can jot down specific points you’ve made about your products. Feel free to draw illustrations during your presentation or close. Illustrations can communicate a much stronger message than words alone.

Just the Facts, Ma’am

An evidence manual is a must-have for any F&I manager. And as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. So, dust off your camera and snap a few shots of your service department, diagnostic equipment and toolboxes. You also want to get a few shots behind the parts counter, as this will help you illustrate to your customer the investment the dealer has made to keep the shop running efficiently. Pictures of vehicles that have been repaired by a paintless dent repair technician are also helpful. Just remember to make your evidence manual look neat and tidy.

Before-and-after photos of reconditioned vehicles treated with environmental protection are also good to include in your manual. Photos of trade-ins being appraised by the used-car manager are another must. They help to illustrate how a vehicle’s condition can affect its resale value. Just make sure you’re pointing out how your products will positively impact the future value of your customers’ vehicles when showing off your photos.

Copies of repair orders — particularly those showing the cost of a claim related to the products you offer — are also good additions to your manual. You should also include a copy of a recent invoice your dealership paid to the dent repair technician. This will demonstrate to your customers that vehicle damage can happen anywhere if it can happen on your lot.

Your Comment

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