F&I Tips

F&I TIP

Looking for shortcuts? Draw a map

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 30, 2014
To streamline car buying and financing, dealerships should draw a step-by-step map of their sales process, from meet-and-greet when the customer walks in until the deal is complete, says Mike Stoll, director of the professional services group for ADP Dealer Services. "I'm in hundreds and hundreds of dealerships," he said in an Automotive News Webinar this month. "Most dealerships do not have that process mapped out to where it can be improved."... Read More »

 

F&I TIP

3 questions can help sell GAP

10:21 am U.S. ET | July 23, 2014
Three questions can persuade customers to buy GAP from the dealership instead of their insurance company, says Mike Hustead, senior finance manager at Freedom Kia in Clarksburg, W.Va. (1) “A texting teenager T-bones you. Whose insurance is responsible?” Customer: “His.” (2) “Right. His insurance says your car is worth $30,000. You owe $35,000. Whose insurance pays the $5,000 difference?” Customer: “Mine.” (3) “Correct.... Read More »

 

F&I TIP

Silly F&I slang speaks volumes to customers

9:35 am U.S. ET | July 16, 2014
The F&I office has its own colorful slang, but don't use it in front of customers or even internally, warns F&I trainer Ron Reahard. He often hears credit insurance called “Choke and Croak,” exterior finish protection called “Mop and Glow” and anti-theft etching called “Etch-a-Sketch.” It's a bad habit, he says, and it shows the F&I manager doesn't really believe in his or her own products, and that's more obvious to customers than you might think.... Read More »

 

F&I TIP

Signing up a new lender? Get busy

10:23 am U.S. ET | July 9, 2014
When dealers and lenders are about to sign a contract, minor details deserve major attention, says dealership consultant and former F&I manager Sarah Richard Denton. Before the big bosses sign, finance managers and lender reps should verify that the correct forms are completed and that the proper signatures are collected from middle managers and others, says Denton, owner of SRD Consulting in Lancaster, Pa.... Read More »

 

F&I TIP

Cash customer? Pitch financing as menu item

10:07 am U.S. ET | July 2, 2014
F&I managers often try to convert cash buyers the moment they discover the customers plan to pay cash. Big mistake, says F&I trainer Ron Reahard. Instead, present financing options as part of the product menu. Once you try too hard and too fast to sell a cash buyer on financing, “the one product they don’t want and don’t think they need,” he says, “their defenses come up, and now we can’t sell them anything.”... Read More »

 

F&I TIP

Why 90-minute deals may be a more practical goal

10:45 am U.S. ET | June 25, 2014
Speeding up car purchases to one hour or less might be overdoing it, says Kevin Filan, vice president of customer marketing for AutoTrader.com. Customer satisfaction doesn’t fall until after 90 minutes. Unfortunately, 72 percent of customers spend longer than 90 minutes. To speed things up, he says, dealerships should let customers complete paperwork online ahead of time and have one person handle sales and F&I. The next best thing to the one-person approach: seamless turnovers.... Read More »

 

F&I TIP

Use test drives to pitch tire-and-wheel plans

9:00 am U.S. ET | June 18, 2014
Mike Cassinelli, a finance and sales training specialist at the IPS Agency in Georgetown, Ky., suggests that salespeople can make a subtle plug for tire-and-wheel coverage during the test drive. When the customer drives near a piece of debris or a pothole in the road, he urges: “Use the words ‘Now, be careful of that pothole. These alloy wheels are really beautiful, but they sure are expensive to replace.’”... Read More »

 

Have salespeople recommend F&I products

10:04 am U.S. ET | June 11, 2014
The Rusnak Group of Pasadena, Calif., has its salespeople recommend F&I products before customers reach the F&I office. Some F&I trainers say salespeople shouldn't mention F&I products for fear of creating sales resistance. But CEO Victoria Rusnak counters: “Because the salesperson has already built rapport with the client, their recommendation on products makes it easier for the F&I manager to present options during contracting.”... Read More »

 

F&I TIP

Why atypical pricing on F&I products works best

9:28 am U.S. ET | June 4, 2014
F&I managers should choose atypical prices for service contracts and other F&I products, then stick to them, advises F&I trainer Ron Reahard. “Charge $1,822, not $1,795. A number like $1,795 conveys two messages: one, the price is negotiable, and two, you're trying to make it sound cheaper.” Once you've set a price for a certain level of coverage, don't deviate from it. “Remember, if you don't think it's a good deal, the customer certainly won't.”... Read More »

 

F&I TIP

Reverse roles with lender reps. Ask them to lunch

9:51 am U.S. ET | May 28, 2014
Do lender reps typically show up when your dealership is at its busiest? Offer to take them to lunch on your day off, Ralph Larson, finance director for Dick Hannah Dealerships in Vancouver, Wash., advised during an Automotive News Webinar last week. “It goes a long way to build a sort-of friendship,” he said. “At some point, you’re going to have to ask for favors, exceptions, things like that.”... Read More »

 

F&I TIP

Inspiration for an F&I close can strike anywhere

10:01 am U.S. ET | May 21, 2014
F&I managers must stay alert to real-world examples that could work to close a sale, F&I trainer Tony Dupaquier says. At a car wash recently, he realized a high-end wash with detailing could actually cost more per mile, depending on the number of miles between washes, than an extended service contract would. In his case, it did. The $44 car wash -- “I got upsold really good” -- worked out to 6.8 cents a mile factoring in the car had been driven 650 miles since its last wash.... Read More »

 

F&I TIP

Don't tee up F&I products during the sale

11:50 am U.S. ET | May 14, 2014
Exposing customers to F&I products early in the deal makes them defensive, says George Angus, head trainer at Team One Group. He acknowledges many F&I trainers endorse the tactic of salespeople teeing up F&I. But in an e-mail bulletin to F&I managers, Angus asked: “Who is the most qualified person in your dealership to present service contracts, GAP, credit insurance and the other F&I products? The answer is you.”... Read More »

 

F&I TIP

Never use 'best' to describe finance rate

10:47 am U.S. ET | May 7, 2014
Promising a customer the “best” rate is one of the “seven deadly sins of F&I,” says Dave Robertson, executive director of the Association of Finance & Insurance Professionals. “NEVER use the word 'best' when discussing the finance charge,” he wrote in a blog on the association's Web site, afip.com. “The word 'best' implies that the rate quoted is either the dealer's buy rate or the lowest rate known to man.”... Read More »

 

F&I TIPS

Make sure customer signatures are valid

9:58 am U.S. ET | April 30, 2014
To ward off potential bank fraud problems stemming from dealership employees signing for customers, maintain a “kickback log” for deals that get held up because of missing documents or signatures, advises F&I trainer Gil Van Over of gvo3 & Associates. If a missing signature appears in an unreasonably short period of time, vet it to make sure it's the customer's.... Read More »

 

F&I TIPS

How to spot a phony pay stub, speed loan approvals

9:32 am U.S. ET | April 23, 2014
An F&I manager who misrepresents a customer's income on a credit application can be accused of bank fraud.... Read More »

 

F&I TIPS

To sell more F&I, build trust, add photos

10:03 am U.S. ET | April 16, 2014
Building trust is more effective than “trying to pull too many rabbits out of a hat in terms of salesmanship."... Read More »

 

F&I TIP

Just say 'no' to credit applications by phone

11:57 am U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
Why phone-in credit apps are risky.... Read More »

 

F&I TIP

Why informing customers trumps overcoming their objections

10:14 am U.S. ET | April 2, 2014
F&I managers need to get away from the decades-old approach of an overt sales pitch followed by an “argument” with the customer.... Read More »

 

F&I TIPS

To lure the budget-conscious, rearrange the menu

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 26, 2014
Rearranging an F&I menu to show just the monthly payment for F&I products instead of the payment for the products plus the vehicle can help sell a customer who's on a budget, F&I trainer Scott Donaldson says.... Read More »

 

F&I TIPS

How to nudge customers off the phone

9:31 am U.S. ET | March 19, 2014
Getting customers to hang up and looking out for suspicious pay stubs.... Read More »

 

F&I TIP

How to find gold in potholes

10:45 am U.S. ET | March 12, 2014
It's pothole season, and that helps sell tire-and-wheel policies, says Kelly French, business manager for Graff Chevrolet in Mount Pleasant, Mich.... Read More »

 

F&I TIPS

Looking to sell more prepaid maintenance? Try using a worksheet

10:06 am U.S. ET | March 5, 2014
At Team Ford Lincoln in Las Vegas, F&I managers use a special worksheet to sell customers on prepaid maintenance.... Read More »

 

F&I TIPS

Want to beat insurance company products? Start studying

9:49 am U.S. ET | Feb. 26, 2014
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.... Read More »

 

F&I TIPS

Train, train and train again

10:29 am U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2014
Learn why your best F&I manager needs more training and how being credit score-savvy can save you in a spot.... Read More »

 

F&I TIPS

Be your own F&I customer

9:49 am U.S. ET | Feb. 12, 2014
Why buying F&I and pictures and props can help your pitch... Read More »

 

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