Some Business Managers love to talk
They feel compelled to tell their customers all about their products and services without first understanding their needs. Often times, they only pretend to be listening to what their customers are saying because they’re so eager to talk.
Interested in 20% of what you have to say
Studies have shown that most consumers are only interested in about 20% of what the average salesperson has to say. If you’re talking about things that your customers aren’t interested in, chances are you won’t build rapport or make sales.
Ask Questions and Listen to the Answers
To become a top F&I producer you must develop the skill and discipline to ask well-crafted questions and carefully listen to the answers. People still buy from those that they know, like and trust and the best way to establish these qualities is to ask questions that allow you to identify and fulfil your customers’ needs.
Do questions control thoughts?
If I were to ask you “What did you have for dinner last night?”
1 of 2 things would enter your mind, “Why did he ask me what I had for dinner?” or you thought about last night’s dinner, remembered what you had and you answered the question in your head. That simple question redirected your thought process and made you think about what I wanted you to think about.
“Studies have shown that most consumers are only interested in about 20% of what the average salesperson has to say.”
Here’s another illustration of the power of questions.
If I ask you a question, but tell you not to think of the answer, what would you do?
For example: “Where are you?
You probably thought about the answer, even after you were asked not to. For many people it’s virtually impossible not to think of the answer when asked a question.
That’s why the cornerstone of any effective F&I sales presentation has to be the questions you ask as opposed to the product information that you have to share.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
- Open-ended questions encourage meaningful answers that allow your customer to share their knowledge and feelings.
- Closed-ended questions solicite abrupt one word answers like “Yes” or “No”.
M.O.R.F. your questions
- O.R.F.: Motivation, Occupation, Recreation, Family. Use the M.O.R.F. formula to ask questions that focus on the things that are the most important to your customers.
- In the automotive space the Motivation to buy is a key part of the decision making process, which is why it’s presented first.
Questions build relationships!
Asking thought provoking questions also shows that you care about your customers needs. The more relevant questions you ask, the more they will feel that you’re interested in them. The more interest you show in them, the greater the likelihood that they will buy from you!
Questions lead to informed decisions!
Well-formed, questions about your customers needs are very powerful sales tools! When you ask questions about subjects that are important to them, you penetrate their mind and redirect their way of thinking along a path that you’ve created. When your customer is on that path, the conversation flows naturally because it’s based on the answers they give.
“What prompted you to buy today, the finance programs or the end of model year discounts?”
“The average American drives about 13,500 miles per year, would you drive that many or more?”
“The average American keeps their car for about seven years, will you keep your car that long or longer?”
“Will you be the only person driving your new car or will other members of your family be driving it too?
“Do you commute, or do you live close to your work?”
“Is the resale value of your new car important to you, or will you be passing it on to a family member?”
“Will you be using your new truck for work or is it a personal vehicle?”
Questions convey your competence
Your competence is determined more by what you ask, than what you say. The focus and precision of your questions does more to give your customers the perception of your competence than virtually anything else you do.
Questions show that you care
Your customers also need to believe that you actually care about them. Questions are the best way to instill a sense of caring because they reveal your customers needs and give you the perfect opportunity to fulfill those needs with your F&I product offering.
Mastering the ability to ask questions and deliver needs based presentations is the ultimate way to maximize your profitability while maintaining excellent CSI and earning great reviews.
Author: James De Luca
James De Luca, Vice President of Digital Road to a Sale Inc., has been increasing profitability at car dealerships with innovative training solutions since 1998. In 2015 he developed the world’s first Omni-Channel F&I process to empower dealerships with the ability to eliminate “No T/O’s” by delivering equally effective F&I presentations to anyone, anytime, anywhere, on any device. In 2015 he founded the Digital Road to a Sale Inc.