When F&I and sales departments team up, dealerships sell more F&I products, especially on used vehicles, finance managers and dealers say.
The sales staff at Soerens Ford in Brookfield, Wis., knows when to talk with customers about warranties or F&I products, said Ella Golovina-Kamoske, business manager. When customers are interested in a 1-year-old vehicle, for example, the salespeople tell them right away how much time remains on the warranty. But they also know when to ask for help, she said.
"It's not unusual for a salesperson [to] ... call me – right in front of their customer – and ask me to come out and explain an extended warranty or other product," she said.
But Golovina-Kamoske and the two part-time F&I managers at the store don't offer just a brochure or basic information. The F&I managers also ask the buyers about how many miles they expect to drive, how they plan to use the vehicle, how many people will regularly drive it and how long they plan to keep the car, among other details.
The transparency of the interview and the F&I product pitch results in an F&I product penetration of about 53 percent on used-vehicle sales, she said.
"Salespeople love it because they know the customer has the right information and is happy," Golovina-Kamoske said. "And if the customer doesn't buy a warranty [or another F&I product] and wishes they had, we field those calls. Sales aren't involved."