For most people, “popping the big question” usually involves an engagement ring. In the world of F&I, it involves something entirely different.
All the same, for many of us – even those who have been doing it for years – it can be every bit as stressful. Of course, this is for a good reason. Many customers want to get the F&I process over ASAP so they can return home with their new car.
That’s why it is essential that you understand how to pop our version of the “the big question effectively.”
3 Simple Steps for Popping the F&I Question
Before you ever pitch another customer your F&I products, memorize and practice the following three steps, and you’ll immediately see greater success.
1. Establish Common Ground and Credibility
Learning to establish common ground with customers is vital because people are more likely to buy from those with which they share commonalities. Don’t simply recognize or reference them, either. “Establishing” means taking the time to turn the similarity into a two-sided conversation – strengthening the connection.
Building credibility with customers is equally important. After all, you may have plenty in common, but no customer will buy from someone they don’t find credible.
This first step may seem simple enough, but there is no point in attempting any sale until you’ve managed to establish common ground and credibility with the customer.
Sales expert Brian Tracy has even gone so far as to claim that if you mention your product before you establish “a high enough level of likability, trust, and credibility with a prospect, you will kill the sale.”
2. Remember Whose Needs Come First
Even during that first step, it’s important you stay focused on the customer. Obviously, you need to talk about yourself, but don’t go too long before coming back to the customer and their needs.
Unfortunately, this becomes difficult when you’re also trying to focus on a particular product to sell.
While focusing on products will work from time-to-time, you’ll see much better numbers if you rely on a customer-centric sales process.
3. Partake in the Discovery Process
At most dealerships, the discovery phase is something the sales associate handles with customers.
That’s fine, but this is information that must be shared with the F&I department, too.
Then, you can partake in a second discovery process with the customer. You’ll have information about the trim level they chose, including its technology, composition, rim size, and much more.
Make it a two-party mission to assess their needs and – aside from building credibility and staying focused on them – you’ll educate your customers about what products will serve them best.
Practice Makes Perfect
While the three steps outlined above will make you more effective when it comes to pitching your F&I products, you’ll still need plenty of practice to optimize this process.
Fortunately, you can roleplay each of these steps with other members of your team. In no time at all, they’ll become second nature and you’ll enjoy much greater success with actual customers.