Customers in line for F&I? 5 ways to ease frustration

You've sold a new car and your customer is ready for the F&I office -- but the wait is an hour long.

How do the sales staff and F&I manager keep the delay from turning a happy customer into an angry one?

Joe Verde says the key is having a plan before the line to the F&I door gets long.

"You have to have a process in place to make sure the transition to the finance office is smooth," says Verde, a veteran auto sales and training consultant in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Set up the customer's visit with the finance manager by asking a few questions, such as how long she intends to drive the car. That can help gauge interest in a lease or in an extended service contract, for example.

2. Get the customer some coffee and take her on a tour of the dealership.

3. Take the customer across the street for a bite to eat.

4. Repeat a walk-around presentation of the new vehicle to make sure the customer understands basic operating features.

5. Introduce the customer to a service adviser who can set up her first service visit.