There are two ways your service drive can substantially increase the sales of vehicle service contracts and priority maintenance agreements. We studied a few of our top producers to find a well-established cross selling culture at the service counter. These dealerships promoted an “all for one and one for all” approach to each revenue center. These dealerships nearly doubled their contract volume by creating a multi-tiered selling strategy.
The importance introducing your new client to your service department prior to signing paperwork is huge. If you don’t have a client tour implemented at your dealership, get with the program. In addition to that tour, you need to coach your service advisors to sell themselves properly.
Use this four-step approach:
1. Explain the technician’s certification level and what that means to the client
2. Explain the value of the special tooling inventory
3. Explain the exclusive diagnostic equipment and free update check
4. Schedule the first appointment
By giving the new client a preview of what to expect during the initial service, they nearly guaranteed the return of the client in 600 miles or 10 hours. These dealerships soft scheduled the initial service appointments by making confirmation calls to the client prior to the scheduled date. This was usually 10 to 15 days from the delivery date.
Once the client had mentally committed to utilize the service department, and not cousin Jimmy, they were more likely to take advantage of a Priority Maintenance Agreement (PMA) savings and/or Extended Service Contract (ESC). You will notice the service advisor only sold the client on the skill and benefit or using their service department, not the finance products.
Let’s say your business manager failed to convince the client to purchase the ESC or PMA at delivery. These dealerships realized clients were more inclined to purchase PMAs and ESCs when faced with the reality of servicing the vehicle. The key components of their success were timing and the ability to stretch the payment.
At the initial service, the service advisors asked every client if they were enrolled in the PMA program. If the answer was yes, they processed the repair order accordingly. If the answer was no, they reminded the client of the potential savings and the opportunity to break up the cost. The customer simply signed an agreement to charge their credit card in equal payments. The critical point of success for this second swing is timing. The client was already at the dealership for the first service appointment. It only made sense to save money and receive the exclusive benefits of the program. This second swing actually increased one dealership’s PMA sales by 44 percent in one month.
The service advisors asked every client if the vehicle was under the initial factory warranty period or the extended period. If the client said the vehicle was in the initial period, the service advisor asked if they had elected to extend the protection. If the client said no, they simply offered to get them a quote from the business manager. If the client declined, they mentioned the ability to extend the protection as long as the initial period had not expired and went on with the vehicle check-in.
By utilizing this two-tiered practice, the dealerships effectively doubled the client’s ability to elect two of the highest penetration and highest grossing F&I products. In every case, the service advisors were spiffed on the successful sale of F&I product. In most cases, this was a flat bonus paid out of the F&I manager’s commission. A few dealerships were set up to sell the F&I product directly from the service counter. The net payroll remained the same.
Based on the success of this study, our organization has now created a Service Drive Kit including staff training, process structure and POP promotional aids. Would you miss any opportunity to double the profitability of your F&I department? What if the opportunity came with no increase to your payroll? The optimal timing of delivery and increased product exposure are the cornerstones of success when instituting this cross selling culture.
RPMOne is a leading provider of F&I products and dealer development services dedicated to serving the powersports market. Due to its comprehensive experience with dealerships, lenders and insurance companies, RPMOne has created top-tier F&I programs, web-based tools, training programs, and sales and marketing systems to meet the unique demands of the industry. RPMOne’s mission is to increase client profit to its fullest potential.