How to Use Vehicle History to Sell More VSC and PPM
Selling VSC’s and PPM in the current automotive climate is, well…. a bit tricky these days. Both new and used car prices (and payments) are historic highs and F&I staff are having to get creative when it comes to adding arguably the most profitable products to each deal.
Buyers are looking to save money where they can, not add to their payment. Inflationary fears, increasing layoffs, and more talk of recession have even the most financially capable shoppers taking a more cautious approach to spending more in F&I.
But there is a little-used tool that can help make that sale a bit easier and for buyers who have a trade as part of their purchase, that tool is sitting right there in the deal jacket.
The vehicle history report.
What? How is that going to help sell a VSC? That’s crazy….or is it?
A Peek into the Past Helps You Sell Now
If your buyer is trading a car, it’s almost a certainty that your UCM or other staff member ran a vehicle history report as part of the ACV appraisal process. You can’t put an accurate number on a trade without knowing what’s happened to it in the past and what the true miles are no matter what the odometer says.
But that report will reveal 2 other things to the astute F&I manager looking to sell a VSC or PPM…
- Maintenance patterns - You’ll be able to see (in most cases) whether or not the buyer took their car in at regular maintenance intervals. Oil changes are great but did they go in for 30-60-90K major services? Tire rotations? Did they keep up with everything the manufacturer expects when ensuring the longevity of the car?
- Major Repairs - If your dealership uses Carfax reports, you will see fairly robust repair data from shops that report to them (and yes, that is the one limitation here…some shops do not report so it’s never a 100% certainty that all repair data will show up but it’s the only report that gives you this peek into the service past).
This will uncover major repairs to systems of the car that lead to a heavy price tag. AC compressors, starters, CV boots, etc. This lets you know they have paid out big money to keep the car running.
Leveraging All That Repair Info in F&I
The challenge when selling VSC is that you are selling an intangible. You’re selling the unknown, the ‘maybe you may need this’ proposition. It’s like health insurance… you don’t want to HAVE to use it but you’ll be happy you have it if something goes wrong.
You are selling the buyer on making sure they have that peace of mind in place if/when a major system fails. And statistically speaking, most that buy a VSC use it at least once during the purchased term to help make it worth the investment.
All that data helps the F&I staff use that in their presentation as a way to illustrate the need for a strong VSC. Seeing that they replaced a master cylinder 3 years ago out of factory warranty means they are more likely to be receptive to a plan that covers something like that in the future while they are still making payments on the car.
If there are 2-3 major repairs, point them out to the buyer and ask if they have a previously purchased VSC to pay for them. If they say ‘No’, your window of opportunity has just opened. Mention that you know those are pricey repairs and that you’d like to be sure they don’t have to shoulder that expense while paying for this car they are buying today.
Tee Up the Perfect PPM Sale
If the Carfax report shows ‘like clockwork’ maintenance on the trade, compliment the buyer on how dedicated they were to taking proper care of their car. After all, everyone loves a compliment, right?
Use this data to pivot to a PPM for the first couple of years of ownership (assuming your OEM doesn’t already include it). If they are already used to following the rules, now make it even easier and less expensive for them to continue to do so with their new car.
And it never hurts to ask how much they paid for simple oil changes and services. If you can show that a PPM is a cheaper solution and can be done right there at the dealership, even better.
And if your F&I department has been thinking about looking at other VSC/PPM providers, you’re in luck. We here at TruWarranty eat, breathe, and sleep top-shelf F&I products including TruVSC and TruPPM to give you the margins you need for better profits and the claims experience your customers want. Reach out today for a demo…we’d love to meet you.
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