Selling an F&I product to a disillusioned customer requires confidence, conviction and a little bit of flair. As with any sales process, a killer closing line could make all the difference for a customer on the fence, F&I trainers say.
Some of the best F&I one-liners work against three major objections: the time it takes to go through the F&I menu; the value of the recommended products; and the cost of those products. F&I managers should explain the value of going over F&I product options and stress the benefits of the F&I products they are selling.
According to Eric Mélon, president of sales at Innovative Aftermarket Systems IAS in Philadelphia, a key phrase for an F&I manager is, "Have I answered your questions to your satisfaction?"
Asking a customer if they're satisfied, Mélon says, draws out lingering thoughts the customer may have with the F&I product presentation, allowing the F&I manager to address objections, put the customer at ease and seal the deal.
Atlanta dealership consultant Jim Ziegler of Ziegler Supersystems swears by the phrase, "As you know."
"Anytime you say to a consumer, 'as you know,' it implies you're supposed to know whatever I'm about to say, and you're going to appear to be a complete dumbass if you don't know it," Ziegler said. "No matter what you're closing, that is one of the strongest closes in the world."
Some lines can be even more effective at the end of a presentation. Matt Woods, south regional manager for Service Group, relies on the phrase, "Which way makes the most sense?"
The goal, he says, is not to sell the customer, but to steer them toward the most logical option for them.
"We're not asking if they want it. We're asking if they should spend the money and be covered, or not spend the money, and potentially be exposed," Woods said. "What makes the most sense?"
Oftentimes F&I managers will offer a product and then ask the customer if they would like to purchase it. Rather than open a window to rejection, create a situation where the customer thinks critically about what would work for them.
From there, Woods said, there's an easy transition to how to incorporate the coverage into the customer's budget.
An important element of a close is that it keeps the focus on benefits and not options, according Tony Dupaquier, director of F&I school The Academy.
"An option is something that can be turned down. Let's talk about packages," Dupaquier said. "Packages are designed to upgrade or even enhance their purchase."
Whatever the selling style, having a few tried-and-tested phrases in the arsenal can help drive profits, trainers said, and even persuade customers to get protection they need to preserve the value of their vehicle.