Why the Walkaround is So Important for Higher F&I PVR
How the sales presentation goes out on the showroom floor often dictates how easy or difficult it will be to sell F&I products. You could have the most polished and on-point staff with killer sales tactics and it can all STILL go flat when the time comes for a commitment.
So many customers walk into F&I with the same tired objections…no need, I’ll take my chances, I can’t afford to add anything to the payment.
But sometimes the most beneficial strategy to convince a car buyer that they need critical protections for the new vehicle is not found in the F&I office but rather on the sales floor.
We know. It sounds a bit odd to say that as an F&I provider ourselves but think about it…
If the salespeople are able to execute a thorough and detailed walkaround BEFORE ever walking them into F&I, they are in the best position to see the value of VSCs and other ancillary products.
Why the Walkaround?
If your customer comes in with a 2012 model they have been driving since they bought it, chances are they will be a little overwhelmed with how far technology has come in that time since. Here’s where the walkaround comes in…
A skilled salesperson hones in on this and highlights ALL the new and exciting tech for entertainment, connectivity, and safety that differs from what they have in their current vehicle.
Now as they describe all that fancy new tech, the seed is being planted that if/when that tech malfunctions, it’s no longer a cheap part at their local Auto Zone that they can just DIY it. Nope…it’s expensive and they HAVE to go to the dealer to get it fixed.
And they won’t be ready for the labor cost, that’s for sure.
If sales explains that thousands of lines of code, wires, and motherboards make up all of these features, the F&I manager can immediately review all the coverages designed to help with the cost of having to repair or replace them.
After all, there is no ‘maintenance’ of these complex electronic systems…it’s simply replacement.
F&I and Sales Working Together - Everyone Wins
To make sure there is a synergy between the departments, regular training can be helpful. F&I can do in-depth reviews of the products they offer and show how each can fit seamlessly into the sales walkaround.
For example, if you want to sell more Key Replacement, then show the sales team how to make that a specific focus of the walkaround with the customer, explaining that even though the remote start fob is a convenient piece of technology, it’s also expensive to replace due to the chip inside and how it has to talk to your new car.
That simple mention will make them more likely to ask about whether or not F&I has a plan for that ‘just in case’.
Same with sales doing a deep explanation of how their old car did not have blind spot detection or lane-keep assist but now their new car does and how those systems have hundreds of component parts that are working together to keep them safe.
Then you stick the landing by saying that when you have a VSC with us, you pay no deductible when we replace that important safety system for them when you let us fix it.
Now F&I staff have a customer already primed for the VSC discussion after having a few minutes to think over how much that blind spot monitoring system probably costs to replace.
Before the pandemic, not many F&I managers ever thought much about having a video call with a customer to discuss financing options. Now we don’t think twice about it. For F&I staff in particular, being able to have a video call with a prospective customer can make or break a deal.
No F&I manager likes a cash deal. Most see them as a ‘dead’ deal where there is little or no chance to sell any F&I products.But it’s really not a lost cause at all. Sure it’s a little more challenging but in this current market, there is still a way to make these deals a positive one for F&I.