Introducing F&I Products Early Is Key Online for Better PVR
Dealerships have had to lean into their online presence more over the last 3 years than before the ‘COVID-times’. Sure, many had websites with the standard new/used/service/parts pages but the one department that either was overlooked completely or simply just had staff listed was F&I.
With the pandemic moving car shoppers to their laptops to find good deals, it also meant there was a higher expectation of information being available to help them navigate every piece of that process. It was easy to see what inventory was on the lot but rarely was it clear what F&I products were available for them.
Online presence for F&I is becoming more important as most car shoppers are looking for more information earlier in the process than waiting until after they have chosen the car. Introducing products and services early online can make all the difference in both PVR and penetration across the board.
Let’s look at what form that can take to make it easy for buyers to be educated and more receptive to adding products to their purchase…
Shoppers Want to Be Educated
It’s common knowledge that car shoppers, particularly Millenials and Gen Z, want to research everything online before coming into the dealership. They will still be open to your menu presentation but having that base knowledge of what products you offer and why they are important reduces the friction in that discussion. They will already have familiarity before sitting in your office.
Give them more on your F&I page than their staff listing. It’s nice but it tells them nothing about how F&I is there to help in both financing and critical protections for their second-biggest investment.
- Explainer videos for each major product
- Weekly F&I chat with Q&A
- Case studies
And don’t be afraid to offer info on all of your products, even the ones that may not sell as well as others. Trouble selling etch? Appearance packages? Key replacement? Now is your chance to highlight the advantage of adding them at a time when shoppers are spending more than ever on their new purchase.
While this next tip may be a bit controversial, it speaks to the transparency issue that continues to be a concern with today’s car buyers. Shine a light on the finance options available if you don’t already.
List the captive options of course but also other local banks and finance companies you partner with that can help all ranges of buyers. If you have strong indirect relationships with local credit unions, mention that, too.
Hint…..TruFinance can help add more finance options. SCORE!
Too many F&I departments keep most of those finance options secret but listing all the various options for a buyer can give them the confidence that your dealership is ready to do whatever it takes to get them financed.
Social Media Can Reach Even More Buyers
Most dealers are still not tailoring their social media messages to the F&I department and that may be a mistake. With most social media platforms being used daily by car shoppers, F&I managers can offer a range of messaging and education that can help boost the profit-per-deal and even boost CSI.
Here are some quick reasons why now may be the time to leverage this medium:
1) Offer links in posts/tweets/pins to simple dealership landing pages that give all the specifics (to stay compliant!) on current finance/lease deals. This is another way to help push buyers down the sales funnel.
2) Use Facebook or Twitter for short posts to link back to YouTube videos that provide some education on topics such as the importance of extended warranties or the difference between buying & leasing.
3) Post about upcoming product specials such as discounts on service contracts, tire & wheel, or maintenance specials at the time of purchase.
4) Have your F&I managers post about themselves. This may sound simple but again, social media is supposed to be all about connecting with others. Let your F&I staff have that connection with local car shoppers.
Give your car shoppers a fun and informative way to be aware of the products you will offer and give them the transparency they expect. Even older generations who are used to the ‘old’ way of dealing with F&I are starting to look at dealership websites more for information that can help them make decisions faster.
The earlier you introduce F&I online, the faster your PVR and penetration rates will grow. Don’t make buyers wait for the information they want now to make a more informed decision.
In light of the latest moves from the FTC regarding F&I products and what is or is not looked at as a ‘beneficial’ product to sell, dealerships may have to polish their sales skills a bit to make sure customers see the value in every ancillary product you offer.
When times are good as they are now in the market, this is the best time for F&I directors to take the pulse of the department