Welcome to the first of what will be a monthly written and video column in F&I and Showroom magazine. I wanted to call it, “What’s Your Problem, Buddy?” but the editor’s common sense won out over my self-perceived sense of humor.

So here’s the deal with “So Here’s the Deal”: It is designed to help you help more customers. We both know that, at this very moment, every customer in every F&I office in the country is asking themselves, “Is this person trying to help me or sell me?” And the answer to that question will determine whether or not you’re going to sell them your products.

So how am I going to help you help your customers? First, we designed this column to provide you with answers to questions about anything related to F&I, be it a product-specific question, an objection you’re struggling with, your menu or your sales and F&I process. We will also address laws and regulatory actions, credit reports, desking, F&I compensation, and managing and motivating your team. Again — and I mean anything — related to F&I is fair game.

While I may not have all the answers, I can guarantee you that I know someone in the industry who does. More importantly, I will get you an answer that is not only correct and helpful but legally and ethically on point. And I offer this service with no hidden agenda. All I want to do is provide you with the information you need to help you help more customers.
I also want to make your questions, objections and concerns — as well as my responses — easily accessible in print, on your desktop computer and on your mobile device.

The second way I’ll help you help your customers is by making all my responses available to them. That’s right, I want you to share this resource with your customers so they can search and find useful information about F&I products. So when your customers say they don’t need a service contract because they’re buying a Honda, not only will you be able to see how to overcome the objection, you can let your customers see my responses to the questions you and other readers pose.

This concept might have you scratching your head, but have you ever searched the Internet and found an article or website that had anything nice to say about F&I products? Just Google “extended warranty” or “paint sealant.” Unfortunately, all that negative material is what your customers are reading before they come into the dealership or consuming while they’re sitting across from you in your office.

So while I want to help you, the real goal of this column is to populate the Internet with more positive information about every F&I product. And the more you click on and view this positive information, the higher these positive articles and comments will appear in Google search results. And that means more customers will be able to discover why today’s vehicles need the protection of a service contract and other valuable products on your menu.  

So if you’d like me to help you respond to a common objection, issue or concern, use your mobile phone to record a video of you posing your question. Then upload it to www.hightail.com/u/REAHARD. Once you upload your video, please notify me at [email protected] Now here are a few points to remember when recording your video:

  • Be brief and limit your request to one question, concern or problem.
  • State your first name only and the city and state where you are located. Do not mention your dealership’s name.
  • Videos recorded in your office should not show your store’s logo or any other identifier.
  • Have someone else record the video in landscape position.

Questions that are especially timely or that I feel will benefit the greatest number of F&I managers and customers will be our first priority. So upload your video and be sure to email me when you do. Then look for my response on this blog. And remember: It’s a beautiful day to help a customer!

Ronald J. Reahard is president of Reahard & Associates Inc., an F&I training company providing F&I classes, workshops, in-dealership and online training. Email him at [email protected]

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Ronald J. Reahard
Ronald J. Reahard

Ronald J. Reahard

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