We have all ordered a product that was shipped to us most likely in a cardboard box. Inside that box, the product we ordered was probably covered in bubble wrap. You’re familiar with it right? The transparent, pliable plastic material with the regularly spaced, protruding air-filled hemispheres whose sole purpose is to protect the fragile contents of the box. Bubble wrap provides exactly the right level of cushioning-protection needed to make sure your products arrive safely after being shipped.
Most of us own a smartphone these days. It’s probably fair to assume, many of us purchased a protective case when we bought the phone. We can’t keep our phone in the box it came in, wrapped in bubble wrap, if we want to use it. So, we bought the case, which is the functional mobile version of bubble wrap for our phones. Did we buy the case because we thought the product was bad or would break? No. That’s why we shelled out the $1,100 for the latest greatest gadget.
The phone was expensive, and we know that at some point, we are bound to have a clumsy moment, where we drop the phone, or worse yet, it falls out of a backpack or pocket. The thought of the phone striking down on the ground and cracking the screen is horrifying. This is especially true if you don’t have AppleCare. Therefore, we spend a small amount of money to protect our investment and keep it safe. The bubble wrap and phone case are to the phone, what a service contract is to a vehicle today.
Costly repairs have skyrocketed due to onboard computers, high-tech electrical equipment, sensors, switches, diodes, radar, cameras, and touch screens — all of the non-maintainable components. Vehicle service contracts not only protect the vehicle, but they protect the consumer by creating and forcing a budgeted monthly plan. It is because of this agreement to pay for the covered repairs that a consumer can have a fully managed payment option, thus increasing the probability of a pleasant ownership experience.
The more ways you can explain how consumers protect themselves and their investments, the more buy-in you will have because they will identify with these logical behaviors. You are simply leading them down the logic-filled road. The more things you can get them to agree with you on, in terms of protection, the more likely you will demonstrate the necessity for a vehicle service contract.
You wouldn’t ship valuable fragile items without packing peanuts or bubble wrap, would you? Is anyone walking around without a case on a cell phone? These are just two small, everyday examples most of us overlook as an avenue down the logic-filled road to commonality and agreement in principle. When we arrive at common ground, we connect, and the transference of enthusiasm and excitement happens. The next part is simply using the logical mathematics to illustrate how much better the protected payment is, especially because of the increasing costs of breakdowns due to the replacement factor instead of just repair.
There are many different ways you can try to convince a consumer that they need a vehicle service contract. There are so many closes, and honestly, they all have their own validity and effectiveness in their own way. The problem is getting comfortable in how you explain it. If you don’t understand the comparison, you can’t effectively communicate it in a way where you break it down to something basic and common. The consumer will feel like you are trying to mislead them or they will altogether not follow along, and they will likely decline because they are afraid of making a bad decision, not because they don’t see value in it.
Practice the Bubble Wrap Close here and customize it to your liking. I think it is just one more tool in your belt when pushing to improve your effectiveness in the business office. Go forth and profit.
Justin B. Gasman is financial services director at McCaddon Cadillac Buick GMC.
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