The key to the sales boost was the addition of color photos to help illustrate the benefits of service contracts, GAP, fabric and paint protection and credit insurance.
“Customers can come in and test drive the vehicle, but we had to sell F&I products with just words,” she explains. “It was hard. Most people are visual.”
Until recently, Kleinpeter was a finance manager at Courtesy Chevrolet-Buick-GMC, in Franklin, La., part of the same group. Using the old menu, customers were too distracted by the cost of the products. They missed the finance manager's presentation of the benefits, she says. The new menu is a two-sided sheet of paper with color photos on one side and a list of product packages and prices on the flip side.
Kleinpeter maximizes the menu's use as a sales tool by:
n Using the photos as a starting point. Finance managers begin explaining the benefits using the photos. As they present the products, they try to gauge customer interest. Then the managers turn the sheet over to the text menu.
n Grouping the photos by product category for easy presentation. Each photo helps explain what's covered. The photos are placed in one of these sections: service contract, GAP, fabric/paint protection and credit insurance. The sections are printed in different background colors to make them stand out.
n Giving the product categories titles that emphasize the benefit to the customer. For example, the service contract photos are labeled “avoid costly repairs.”
n Localizing the photos. Louisiana vehicles commonly have problems with damage from love bugs, so that damage is shown in the exterior protection section. Under the GAP section, there's a photo of a flood-damaged car. Many cars in the area were damaged by flooding during Hurricane Katrina a few years ago. And in the Deep South, customers rely heavily on air conditioning, so an air conditioning system is featured in the service contract section.
n Featuring photos that help tell a story. The credit insurance section has a photo of tombstones and a photo of a bill stamped “past due.” The service contract section features costly parts that are covered -- including sensors, power windows and locks and water pumps -- as well as a flat tire because tire-and-wheel coverage is included. The fabric/paint protection section features a stained seat and bug-damaged bumper, as well as a photo of how a car should look -- spotless and shiny.