1 Surprising Way to Improve Your F&I Sales

We all know how the traditional F&I sales process works – and how customers react when a new round of hard selling starts, just when they thought their deal was nearly complete.

According to the Cox Automotive Customer Journey research, more than half of car buyers are dissatisfied with the length of time it takes to complete a vehicle purchase. Interactions with the F&I department are a sore point, so for car dealerships, streamlining the process and making it more customer-friendly is essential to increasing profit.

The same research also found that one out of every three customers arrives at the dealership with no awareness of F&I products – and awareness of these options is crucial for sales.

An article from WardsAuto showcases the future for F&I sales: customer self-selling. In the article, Kevin Cook, general manager of Straub Automotive Group, explained how his dealerships use menu selling to introduce customers to aftermarket products in a friendlier and more comfortable way.

Before customers leave the salesperson’s desk, they receive a tablet from the F&I manager to watch a brief video presentation touching on available aftermarket options. The dealership receives data in real-time showing them which product videos the car shopper watched the longest, which helps the F&I manager determine which vehicle protection products most appeal to each customer.

Here are six reasons why this makes the aftermarket sales process more customer-friendly:

  1. It keeps customers occupied and engaged when they might otherwise be waiting idly for the F&I manager to finalize the rest of their deal documents.
  2. Many customers who started their research online will observe a seamless transition between the dealership website and the in-store introduction to the F&I options.
  3. Each product can be showcased with multimedia presentations including video – and the customer can choose to dive deeper to get additional information.
  4. The presentations include accurate, up-to-date cost information for each product.
  5. Customers get the opportunity to consider their own needs and realize the value of each aftermarket product and how it will protect their vehicle.
  6. The F&I manager can take the information gathered and complete the sale of aftermarket products knowing which ones the customer is most interested in purchasing.

Straub Automotive Group has found that menu selling positions their F&I managers as problem-solvers for their customers, which is a far cry from the hard-sell approach. And it’s been effective, with their stores reaching 80% penetration for sales of vehicle service contracts.

In today’s online, self-service world, customers expect new ways to handle their automotive purchases. In this case, technology paves the way for positive interactions with the F&I manager that make finishing the sale faster and more satisfactory for the car buyer.

Dealertrack F&I offers a seamless connection with Darwin Automotive to provide dealerships with an enhanced F&I Menu process that eliminates data re-entry and creates a more efficient contracting workflow. Learn more and request a demo.


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