Is your dealership’s current auto finance F&I process pulling its weight?
Or are you constantly underwhelmed by its results?
If you’re leaning more toward the latter, you’re not alone. But you still want to address this problem ASAP before it continues to cost you.
Why Your Current F&I Process Falls Short of Its Profit Potential
After years of working in a dealership, it can sometimes be very easy to forget what it’s like to be a customer. We deal with auto service contracts and other F&I products all the time, but that’s not the case for other people.
For the vast majority of customers, dealerships can be uncomfortable and even intimidating, especially the F&I process.
First of all, by the time they reach this step, they’ve already spent an hour or so negotiating with your sales staff, doing everything they can to keep the car they want in their budget.
Then, there was probably another hour or so spent on receiving the valuation for their trade-in.
That’s almost two hours of running some pretty big numbers and, now, they need to spend another hour hearing about the various auto service contracts you offer.
Worst of all, most customers don’t all the different products in the various upgrades and service packages you’ll offer them. They know that if they do make a choice, it might not be the right one.
Throughout this entire ordeal, the customer feels confused, frustrated, and maybe even pressured. None of these emotions are going to help your bottom line.
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The Solution Lies in Automotive Consulting
Fortunately, one of the most important ways forward – toward greater profitability from your F&I process – is fairly simple.
All you need to do is shift your perspective slightly and your customers will have a much easier time spending more money with you.
Best of all, they’ll actually leave a lot happier, too.
Train your people to take an automotive consulting approach. They should act as an advocate for your customers, which will first entail explaining an F&I product in detail before trying to sell it to a customer.
Often, that’s all it will take. Once the customer is comfortable – because they’re not facing a high-pressure sales situation – and understands the value represented by your F&I product, they won’t need much encouragement to purchase a vehicle service contract.
How to Increase Customer Comfort Long Before the F&I Process
If all you do is implement the above advice, you should soon enjoy a marked improvement in your F&I sales.
However, you can also take one further step to dramatically increase customer comfort and, by doing so, improve your chances of greater profitability, too.
The inspiration for this tactic actually comes from the world of real estate, where realtors have been employing it for more than a decade.
Homebuyers faced similarly intimidating situations until realtors realized they could put a lot of the buying process online. Everything from applying for a mortgage to signing documents can now be done on a computer.
Dealerships have the same opportunity to put their customers at ease and see more sales. Online checkout options allow customers to walk through the entire buying process, including picking accessories, estimating the value of their trade-in, and reviewing your selection of F&I upgrades.
Customers are already spending more than a dozen hours online researching what vehicle to buy. You might as well connect with them while they’re doing so and improve your prospects for auto service contracts.
Prioritize Comfort for Better F&I Profits
Customers want to feel comfortable when purchasing a vehicle and the associated F&I products. You can accommodate this and benefit from greater profits if you train your people to offer automotive consulting and give customers the opportunity to conduct as much of the process as possible online from the comfort of their own home.