Nothing is as effective as a visual aid in presenting the benefits of F&I products to car buyers.
Why? Visual sales aids "substantiate product claims," said Glenn Roberts, national training and business development manager for Zurich Insurance. He spoke to Webinar participants last month during Automotive News F&I Week. Replays of all six Webinars from the online conference are available for free at fandiweek.com.
Roberts said that unlike a car, the benefits of F&I products are intangible. Buying them poses a risk in customers' minds, he said, because the customers may not understand exactly what the products do and may not experience the benefits themselves until much later.
F&I managers can use visual aids or props passively or actively, he said. Passive use means the F&I manager lets the customer notice a prop on the F&I manager's desk. Active use means the F&I manager uses the prop as part of a pitch and includes a direct solicitation to buy.
During the Webinar, "Point-of-Sale Tools That Work," Jeffrey Bennett, director of automotive technology management at Northwood University, presented sales props submitted in advance by F&I managers. Here are two samples:
1. Prop: Miniature alloy wheel, purposely bent
Product: Wheel-and-tire plans
Submitted by: Chris Markey, Internet sales and finance manager, BMW of Austin, Austin, Texas
Quote: "It gets them asking questions of me rather than me trying to tell them something."
2. Prop: Photo of a van crushed by a tree, captioned "Got GAP?"
Submitted by: Bob VandeSande, finance director, Tom Edwards Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep, Bartow, Fla.
Quote: "A lot of folks associate a car wreck with GAP, but a lot of other things happen. It could be a tree, or it could be stolen car. ... It gets folks chuckling a little bit. If you can get folks to relax, it opens up a dialogue."