There was once a time when F&I departments had such a limited lineup that a customer who paid cash could drop their revenue streams by as much as 75%. Ever since then, “cash” has become the least-welcomed word in departments all over the country.
5 Ways to Make the Most of Cash Customers in F&I
What if people paying with cash wasn’t something you needed to fear in your F&I department? What if it represented just as much of an opportunity as a customer who needed financing? Here are five ways to accomplish both by increasing how productive you are with cash-paying customers.
1. Embrace Cash
Sometimes, all it takes is a different perspective to see the benefit of a customer who wants to use cash. After all, if they can write a check for $37,000, they can probably write one for $42,000 after you explain the benefits of a product which will give them greater peace of mind with their purchase.
2. Find Their Minimum Balance Amount
Just about everyone has a minimum amount they insist on keeping in their bank accounts. Whenever their balances drop below this line, they are quick to leverage an option for replenishing it ASAP. Many people will choose to finance instead of having to cross this line. Therefore, one strategy when speaking with customers is to get a sense of where their line is. While you’ll still need an irresistible offer to get them past this amount, you’ll at least know when financing will become necessary.
3. Don’t Allow Customers to Write Checks Before Entering Your Office
If a customer arrives in your F&I office and already has their check written out, it’s going to be extremely difficult to sell them any products. Speak to your dealership’s sales department and explain to them the kind of challenge this presents for you and your people. All their team has to do is ask customers to wait on writing any checks until after they speak to yours.
4. Offer Plenty of Ancillary Products
What does your current lineup of ancillary products look like? Does it have something for all the different types of customers you see at your dealership?One especially valuable option for cash customers would be high-mileage service contracts. That’s because so many customers who pay with cash are buying pre-owned vehicles. Road hazard, theft, and appearance protection tend to be popular, as well.
5. Stay Focused
It’s never a good idea to put too much pressure on your F&I customers. At the same time, don’t give up on pitching your products just because their checkbook is out. Too many professionals in our field see this as a sign they must switch gears and start explaining dealership financing. Instead, continue explaining your product line and establish some credibility. This way, even if they stick with cash, you can still convert them on some of your offers.
Quit Fearing Cash
As you can see, there’s plenty you can do to increase the value of each customer who wants to pay in cash, so there’s entirely no reason to treat it like a four-letter word anymore.
Instead, keep the above tactics in mind and teach them to each of your F&I professionals. Then, going forward, someone paying in cash doesn’t need to hurt your bottom line.