In: Blog, Industry News, Training

Menu selling and what it means in the dealership

In our recent blog series, we discuss extended warranties and how beneficial they can be to your dealership. Now that we’ve explored the benefits of extended warranties, the question is, how do you sell them to your customer? A gainful answer for your dealership is menu selling. This tool can be a highly rewarding way to inform your car buyer of all aftermarket programs available to them.

What is menu selling and what does it mean to your dealership?

Menu selling has become one of the most simplified and effective uses of auto retail technology. This technology can be an efficient way to present your portfolio of F&I products, and provide a non-confrontational platform to showcase multiple protection products that may interest your customer.

Each dealership is unique in the different customers that they bring in, so it would make sense that the way you approach the subject of F&I would be too. By using data collected over time, you can build and refine your F&I presentation to better suit your customer’s needs.

Consider this – You’re speaking with a customer who has just purchased an SUV for their family of five and you reach a conclusion based on their desire to avoid unexpected repair costs. You decide that the products they would likely purchase are warranties such as Mechanical Breakdown or Appearance Protection. Making assumptions based on your perception of the customer can be debilitating to your F&I program. Using a menu-selling platform can offer a customizable approach to how you present your products without excluding any that would benefit the car buyer.

Choosing the right lineup of products for your customer, contrary to some, shouldn’t mean eliminating products based on assumptions made before the sale. You can tailor a menu to a customer’s needs based on a discovery session you initiate before beginning your presentation. Here are a few tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of menu selling in your dealership.

Conduct a “needs” assessment

A needs assessment can be a useful precursor to highlighting your F&I product portfolio. With only a few questions, you can identify your customer’s interests and wants. With this data and insight, you’re able to refine your portfolio presentation and offer a more customized menu to the customer.

Customizing your presentation

Most dealerships after conducting a needs assessment will use this information to begin presenting a tailored portfolio of F&I products. Typically starting with the highest-level plan that will include all products offered at the dealership. A secondary presentation will show options where the “core” product identified through the needs assessment is more prevalent in the customer’s menu choice.

We’ll continue with our family of five who’ve just purchased an SUV – You’ve shown them a menu that displays all of your dealership aftermarket programs. Through a quick needs assessment you’ve discovered that they work in an industry where layoffs are common. You can now begin to refine your F&I presentation and show the “core” product, in this case Loan Protection, in the customer’s menu choices. Personalizing a menu is not the only way to ensure both you and your customer are getting the most out of menu selling.

Allow the customer to drive the sale

Empowering the car buyer to make the selection of F&I products can offer the dealership insight to their specific needs and reduce the amount of stress the customer may feel from a vehicle purchase.

With more car buyers demanding personalization in the car buying process, it’s important that you address this growing need. This alternative approach to step selling your F&I product suite offers the most customized and stress-free experience – for you and your customer.

Dealers – Interested in learning more about menu selling? LGM will be offering a new course, Driving Sales through Menu Selling, beginning early 2018. Stay tuned for more information.