Why every second matters in service lane F&I sales
Komander: Most dealerships are missing the boat.
Selling extended-service contracts and other F&I products in the service lane is an appealing idea, says dealership F&I chief Mike Komander, but it's complicated and time-consuming.
Komander, director of financial services for LaFontaine Automotive Group outside Detroit, says he's not aware of any dealerships in Michigan that are doing a really good job selling F&I products in the service lane. That includes his own group, made up of nine dealerships selling 18 brands, mostly domestic. The dealerships combined sold 14,000 vehicles in 2012: 8,500 new and 5,500 used.
Last week, Komander explained the difficulties of pitching service contracts in the service lane to Automotive News Special Correspondent Jim Henry.
Do you sell extended-service contracts in the service lane? That seems to be easier said than done.
That is something I believe most dealerships -- including us, by the way -- are missing the boat on. We're actively trying to sell them in the service lane. I don't want to tell you we're not. But we're not selling enough of them, and in the state of Michigan all the dealerships I know of are missing out on it as well.
Is it tough for one person to sell both service and service contracts?
You could do it if you have a service writer that's already good at up-selling. "You need this, and you need this, and this." If you had something that was as easy as click a button, maybe a couple of clicks, and you're done in 30 seconds. But it's not that easy for the service manager to have that, to present it to a customer. It's a time thing.
Is it an issue of time or technology?
It's ease of use and time. If it's super simple -- "If you want, I could extend out your warranty for such-and-such an amount. And we've got zero percent financing available. Your monthly payment's only going to be this much." -- just by sheer luck you're going to sell some.
There are plenty of vendors selling solutions that look pretty darn simple.
Right now there's nothing out there -- nothing out there that I know of -- that will print out in 30 seconds, that will print out for my service manager something in black and white. "Here's the coverage. If you had this, the work that you're having here now, it would have covered it."
To present to them something that the customer can look at and have the pricing and the features and all that, if there was something like that, I could present all kinds of things.
What about computer screens?
A few days ago, I had somebody present to me something like I'm describing to you, and by the time you go through everything it takes five or six minutes. By that time you've already lost them.
You can reach Jim Henry at email@example.com.