We know that the majority of car buyers today walk into the showroom pretty well settled on what they want and how much they want to pay. They want to get in, do the deal, and be on their way as promptly as possible. If your selling processes address this desire, customers will like doing business with you and the word will get around.
Surveys tell us customers loathe the finance office process the most. The time this phase of the deal can take drives them nuts! Because finance managers know this, they are prone to rushing through the F&I aftermarket product presentation or skip it altogether.
This inconsistency costs the dealership product sales, lowers PVR, and can shortchange customers the benefits of using products they might value. Not conducting a thorough and complete F&I presentation with every customer on every deal also puts the dealership at risk of violating F&I trade compliance practices.
Let’s get efficient in F&I
It may seem an insignificant amount of time to us, but to the customer any time saved in the F&I office is a big deal. When the right F&I process can shave 15 to 20 minutes off a thorough and compliant aftermarket products presentation, both customer and dealership win.
Study upon study show that F&I office efficiency and profitability improve where F&I managers use an electronic menu system. Their use helps them organize, price and present aftermarket products so customers better understand their value – and want to buy them.
Compared to situations where managers use no menu versus when they do, dealerships can boost service contract penetration 30 percent and more and PVR 25 percent or more, our studies with dealers show.
Repeatable, measurable and recordable F&I practices on every transaction you do, will help you:
- Save the customer time in the finance office and address customers’ desire today for transaction transparency and efficiency.
- Add value to the customer’s vehicle purchase, by ensuring the right products for their vehicle and their stated or discovered needs are presented clearly. Only then will customers be clear about what aftermarket products are available to them, what the product or products do for them, and how by adding it to the deal affects the total vehicle purchase price.
- Increase the dealership’s ability to sell more aftermarket products and boost PVR.
- Ensure recordable compliance to all essential F&I trade practice regulations.
Best practices to boost results
Dealers using eMenu systems that integrate with the dealer management system say these best practices help them achieve improved F&I results:
- Insist on menu use: eMenu systems make even novice F&I managers more professional and successful. This competitive edge is delivered through a centralized F&I platform that combines the many different generic applications most F&I managers use.
- Be proactive: Begin saving customers time by tackling the initial inquiry phase of the F&I presentation by speaking with them while they’re finishing up with their sales associate. Ask a few quick questions that gauge areas of potential interest: Is GAP of interest? Might Paintless Dent Removal be valued for handling dings from kid’s bikes and wayward grocery carts? Would a tire and wheel package give them peace of mind? Would a service contract to cover future maintenance and repair costs have value to used vehicle buyers?
- Customize their presentation: Take what is learned from this initial query back to the F&I office and start building the presentation. A customer-specific menu can now be ready for the customer’s arrival into F&I. Confirm with them what was learned about their needs before they left their sales associate’s desk, and then start the presentation.
- Build value: Never assume the customer understands the value of products like GAP or Etch – or any you present – so be sure to explain to them, in words that convey product value and benefit. Because you’ve packaged your presentation so the menu focused on the products the customer has already showed interest in, focus on them first to get the customer saying “yes.”
- Capture the deal: Upon agreement of the products presented, obtain customer signature to the menu, either as a signature to a print out or digital signature. Electronic systems that time-stamp and record ensure proof that every F&I customer received an aftermarket products presentation, what they agreed to purchase, and how those purchases affected their total deal price.
A final advantage of electronic menu systems is the depth of insightful reporting that many of them can provide. These systems’ use will provide managers with real-time insight for observing and managing for peak outcomes:
- F&I department practices
- Penetration by product
- PVR by sale
- Identify staff members doing a great job selling in all key product categories
- Identify which staff members require additional training to improve results.
In a market of shrinking margin opportunity, technology tools like eMenu software can help dealers boost aftermarket product penetration and PVR, improve customer satisfaction and keep the F&I process compliant to the law.