When selling F&I products, put the payments -- and the benefit of the products -- into the context of consumers' daily lives, says F&I trainer Gerry Gould.
Consumers reject F&I products often because they don't want to spend the money, said Gould, of Gerry Gould & Associates.
"When the customer says no, you need to build value in that customer's no. Why did they say no? After they've told you why they said no, give them some reasons to reconsider," he said.
So when customers say cost prevents them from buying a product, he asks them: "If cost wasn't an issue, what two products would you be somewhat interested in?"
If customers say they may have considered tire-and-wheel coverage or paintless dent removal, for example, they have probably had a problem that related to those products, Gould said.
"You have to play off that," especially with products that cover unpredictable events, he said. "The minute you drive off the lot, every mile you drive you get closer and closer to a pothole. That's the type of dialogue you should embrace with your customer."
It can be a more effective approach than simply going over what's covered by the manufacturer warranty and what's not, he said.
At many dealerships, the F&I presentation is a one-way conversation, he said. F&I managers should break away from the traditional menu, he said. "Try to devise a way to condense it, get all the information out quickly and sell from the information" that customers share, Gould said. If customers are still reluctant to spend the extra money, break down the cost and compare the payment with their other bills, he said.
Note that a $60 monthly payment is only $2 a day, he said. Then ask: "Is $2 a day really going to change your lifestyle?"
Most consumers immediately put their cellphones on the F&I manager's desk when they enter the F&I office. Use that phone as a selling point, he said.
"That cellphone costs the customer anywhere from $100 to $300 a month," he said.
On a cellphone, consumers will buy a screen protector, a phone case and insurance.
"All you have to do," Gould said, "is point out the fact that they're willing to pay that much for the cellphone, but they're not willing to spend" $2 a day, for example, to protect their car.