To sell more service contracts, make the pitch stand out.
F&I managers miss out on profit and leave customers unprotected when their product pitch is easily forgotten. Many customers say they were never offered a vehicle service contract, or if the F&I manager made a pitch, the customers didn't remember it, according to a survey.
Assurant collected 1,411 responses from vehicle owners in a 70-question survey last summer about general vehicle ownership, customer pain points and vehicle service contracts and products.
Nearly half of respondents said they were not offered a service contract. And just 21 percent of those who said they were offered a contract bought it.
Of the customers who bought a service contract, slightly more than half recall the sales pitch. That number is surprisingly low to Dave Worrall, senior director of global training and development at Assurant Global Auto, Assurant's F&I product and training company. F&I managers should stick to the 300 percent rule, Worrall said. That means presenting 100 percent of the products to 100 percent of the customers 100 percent of the time.
Consumers are concerned about total vehicle costs after the sale, including repairs, Worrall said. F&I managers, if they aren't already, should emphasize that service contracts can save customers money on costly repairs. "I think we're missing the opportunity," Worrall told Automotive News.
Other findings from the survey support that point, according to Worrall. F&I managers should try to consistently educate customers on vehicle service contracts in the dealership because that's where customers would rather buy them. More than three-quarters of respondents cite the dealership or automaker as their preference for buying the contracts, rather than insurance companies, credit unions or other financial institutions.
F&I departments should also encourage customers to get up to speed on protection products ahead of time, Worrall said. Customers who research F&I products online before visiting the dealership often have a smoother conversation in the F&I office, particularly when the information they hear in the F&I office aligns with their research.
Customers don't invest in products they haven't heard of or don't understand. F&I managers who fine-tune the quality of their presentations have a greater chance of creating a lasting impact on their customers' experience and their product penetration.