How to sell service plans in the service lane
From F&i Report, Dec. 12, 2012
With top managers' support, proper training and a maximum of two levels of coverage to sell, service writers can significantly boost their dealerships' sales of service contracts, F&I trainer Rick McCormick says.
McCormick, national account development manager for Reahard & Associates Inc., offers these tips.
Get management buy-in. Without it service lane sales will be considered as less important than the other things service writers have to do.
Keep the deal in the service department. The customer, transaction and compensation should stay in the service department. Splitting transactions with the F&I office doesn't work.
Use F&I managers as trainers. F&I managers should teach service writers how to overcome common customer objections. In return, the F&I managers should receive a payment, say, $25 or more, for every extended-service contract sold in the service drive.
Say why before what. Service writers should tell customers the benefits of an extended-service contract -- the why -- before pitching the product -- the what.
Start small. Have every service writer sell one service contract per week.
Send customers to the F&I department. Customers don't like to be moved around.
Rely too much on technology. Technology makes it easier and faster for busy service writers to process paperwork, but it's no substitute for management commitment and service-writer training.
Overcomplicate. Present a maximum of two plans. Don't give service writers and customers too many options for extended-service contract coverage.
Wait to bring it up. Customers should never hear about the service contract when they are ready to leave.
Take no for an answer, internally. Keep striving for service lane sales at your store even after hearing: "It will never work."
You can reach Jim Henry at email@example.com.