F&I TIPS

How golf balls, F&I videos can boost F&I sales

A couple of golf balls can go a long way in helping to overcome customer objections to paint protection products, says Stephanie Cooper, finance manager at Timbrook Chevrolet in Keyser, W. Va.

"The golf ball represents the vehicle's painted surface when viewed under a microscope," she says. The dimples in the golf ball represent uneven surfaces the paint protection product seals to protect against environmental threats like acid rain or road salt.

Cooper has a dark blue golf ball for customers who choose a car with a dark finish and a traditional white golf ball for customers who choose a light color.

"I try to use as many visual aids as possible when handling objections to products," she says.

F&I videos make good sales trainers

F&I managers know that videotaping F&I transactions helps dealerships document they've complied with all legal disclosure requirements and thwart identity thieves. But the videos make good F&I sales training tools, too, says Beau Barrett, senior sales team leader for First Texas Honda in Austin, Texas, which has taped F&I transactions for at least three years using a video and audio recording system supplied by a vendor.

"We stick with the cameras mainly for training purposes," Barrett says. "Occasionally, we do get a 'he said, she said' situation, but really it's just to spot-check some videos, especially if somebody is struggling."

For example, he says, videos can help finance managers practice overcoming customer objections, especially when they first start out.

Have a good F&I tip to share? Email Hannah Lutz at hlutz@crain.com

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