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F&I managers need a polished sales pitch to persuade customers that the service contract the dealership sells trumps the mechanical breakdown policy their insurance company sells.

But honing that pitch takes profound knowledge of the features and benefits of all available products, F&I trainer Tony Dupaquier says. That's why F&I managers can't be shy about contacting insurance companies and quizzing their staffers for product details. "Don't you be afraid to pick up the phone and talk with an agent," he told attendees of the Feb. 19 Automotive News Webinar "Doesn't My Car Insurance Already Cover That? Overcoming the Most Common Objection to Service Contracts."

Dupaquier said the comparison approach works for GAP policies, too. He said F&I products sold at dealerships consistently come out ahead when you compare nitty-gritty details such as deductibles, what's covered and what's not, and the possibility that insurance companies might raise your rates if you make a claim.

A tip within a tip: Dupaquier emphasized that F&I managers should quote customers exact dealership pricing when doing product comparisons to avoid potential problems with regulators for quoting a misleading price.

"If you say $40, it better be $40. If it's $31.50, say $31.50," he said. "It must be the exact number."

Dupaquier is director of F&I training at American Financial & Automotive Services Inc. in The Woodlands, Texas.

Automotive News and Access F&I subscribers can replay the Webinar at autonews.com/AccessFIFeb2014.

You can reach Jim Henry at autonews@crain.com