Updated: May 2023
Your customer is buying a new car. They have just picked out their ideal vehicle with the sales person, and they are excited, but likely to feel some nerves about the large purchase their about to make. Next, they’re heading over to the Financial Services Office to finalize paperwork, and they’re bringing those nerves with them.
For Financial Services Managers, understanding the customer’s feelings and anticipating how to help them feel more comfortable is key. The financing step of the process is often the part of the experience that customers remember the most, so it’s integral to fine tune the F&I presentation for maximum efficiency and service excellence.
Instead of guessing what steps you can take to enhance your presentation, use the following five tips in this article to guide you in the right direction.
- Create a seamless transition into the Financial Services Office
- Position yourself as a consultant
- Help the customer see the value versus the cost
- Make sure to use F&I training resources
- Streamline your F&I presentation with a more efficient selling process
1. Create a seamless transition into the Financial Services Office
Before even setting foot in the Financial Services Office, the customer’s feelings about the financing process can be influenced, which could cause the F&I presentation to go poorly. Knowing this, having a well-oiled ‘turnover’ process is essential.
The turnover process describes the period of time during which the dealership customer has decided on a vehicle with a salesperson, and is now transitioned over to the Financial Services Manager.
A properly implemented turnover process has many benefits, including:
- Creating a welcoming environment for the customer and easing any nerves
- Showing care for the customer and meeting their specific needs
- Helping the customer get in the ideal state of mind to receive the F&I presentation
Learn how to master the turnover process in our recent article: Mastering the F&I Turnover Process: How to create a seamless transition between sales and the business office, or download our free cheat sheet to start implementing our tried and true process at your dealership.
2. Position yourself as a consultant
As a Financial Services Manager, you’ll need to consider what protection products the customer would need based on their budget and lifestyle. Some tips to help position yourself as a helpful consultant:
- Take the time to get to know your customer, understand who they are and their specific needs and non-negotiables
- Use a needs-based approach to selling, by explaining exactly how your products can meet the customer’s needs
- Be open to back-and-forth dialogue – your customer will likely have questions, so make it a safe space for them to ask without judgment
3. Help the customer see the value versus the cost
An important part of successful selling is to help the customer discover the value of F&I product offerings on their own.
Leading a customer to draw their own conclusions about the value of your product is much more effective than simply listing a number of reasons why they need it. Show diagrams and drawings and explain scenarios that demonstrate why they might need a service contract, loan protection or lease end products.
Take Mechanical Breakdown Protection as an example protection product offering. By focusing how this product protects specific, critical components of the vehicle, like the In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI)system, which is essentially the brain of the vehicle and can be pricey to repair, can help exemplify the value of the product.
Check out this article for more details on this approach, and download a FREE visual tool to keep on hand for your next F&I presentation: The Automotive Infotainment System: Help Customers Understand & Protect their Car with an Extended Warranty.
4. Make sure to use F&I training resources
It can be difficult to keep up with the top F&I presentation best practices if you aren’t constantly learning. Dedicate regular time to training to make sure you stay up to date with the latest best practices and, because knowledge is best when shared, consider getting your entire F&I team on board. You can ensure you all keep growing by holding each other accountable, like committing to attend training workshops on a regular basis.
Also, consider not only taking product knowledge courses, but additional soft-skills training which is essential for well-rounded growth. Soft-skills training allows us to show up as even better versions of ourselves and includes many facets, like improving written or verbal communication, or investing in your emotional intelligence, so you can improve your relationships with customers and colleagues.
5. Streamline your F&I presentation with a more efficient selling process
The more efficiently you can deliver information to a customer, the more effective you will be at helping them see the value in your F&I products. Consider moving away from step selling and try menu selling.
Menu selling often uses auto retail technologies to present the F&I product portfolio by showcasing multiple protection products at once and allowing the customer to pick and choose from a ‘menu’ of what best suits their needs.
Menu selling allows you to offer a personalized, non-aggressive selling solution that will increase your customer satisfaction and loyalty. It can also help reduce the customer’s time spent in the Financial Services Office by streamlining the selling process, and only presenting the products that suit the customer’s needs.
Looking for support implementing these tips at your dealership? Please feel free to contact your local LGM Dealer Development Manager, or reach out to our Sales Team directly at Sales@LGM.ca.