Many dealers look to offer customers every F&I product they might ever need, which can result in a dizzying array of options for customers to digest.
To hone menus and keep them in check, dealers should periodically review their F&I product offerings against the vehicles they sell and the general wants and needs of their customers to "make sure everything aligns," suggests Marie Knight, vice president for strategic relationships at Zurich North America.
"If they've got products consistently in low-single-digit penetration levels, they should consider removing them for products that have more appeal and value in the market," Knight said.
She encourages dealers to stick with core products -- such as service contracts or maintenance products -- that "add value to the customer and create retention."
After a review, a dealership typically ends up with around six products, Knight said.
It's frustrating for customers to have to scroll through a tablet menu or turn over a paper menu when trying to understand all the product offerings, Knight said. And when customers are overwhelmed, it "reduces the chance the customer will understand the value of any products presented," she said.
Even with a short list of six products or fewer, Knight suggests that F&I managers point out which products might be most valuable to that specific individual. Dealers should inventory their F&I product portfolio to make sure they have products to meet the needs of all buyers, whether they opt for a new vehicle or used or choose to pay via loan, lease or cash. And dealers should follow a consistent F&I process, Knight said.
She added, "When you do all those things, the penetration and profit go up."