Our group has noticed a huge increase in penetration when dealers strategically trickle in information prior to the menu presentation. Our customers’ thoughts are focused on the selling price or payment when they enter the F&I office. There is an abrupt threshold created when you try to pitch an extended warranty or extended service contract while the client is focused on price. In contrast, if we can slowly turn the client’s thinking toward the reality of ownership, the threshold is minimized and the conversation is seamless.
The automotive industry is required to present a document called a Federal Buyers Disclosure or “Buyers Guide.” This is the document that states the vehicle is sold “As Is” or if sales price includes some sort of warranty. We recommend the powersports industry take advantage of this document to increase VSC penetration.
The document has a box that states; “A service contract is available at an extra charge on this vehicle. Ask for details as to coverage, price and exclusions.” The reverse of this document lists some major defects that may occur in used motor vehicles. This form is not used to sell anything! It is pure disclosure that machines can have mechanical issues and there is protection available.
Prior to our menu presentation, we state the limits of any existing warranty and that the vehicle is eligible for further protection. When the form is turned over, we ask the customer to read the potential hazards and ask any questions before they sign the disclosure.
We are prompting the consumer to ask us about further protection. The consumer’s mind is now open to the No.1 best seller on our menu. You can download a copy of this form at www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/resources/forms/buyers.pdf.
Most OEMs produce a separate warranty manual for every product. Some have gone so far as to make a separate sheet that explains what is not covered under the limited warranty. We recommend the F&I manager highlight the limitations of the OEM warranty prior to the signing appointment.
Prior to presenting the menu, the manager simply hands the client the book or limitations page with the highlighted exclusions. “Mr. Smith, we get a lot of questions about what is covered by your limited warranty. We have found it is easier to highlight the items that are not covered rather than everything that is covered. I can tell you that the unit is eligible for extended coverage beyond the limited warranty. Read though the highlighted section and let me know if you have any questions.”
Focus on Ownership
In either case, we have now turned the thought pattern of the consumer toward ownership and off of price. The object is to work these tools into the other paperwork necessary for the sale of the unit. This is pure disclosure, as we have not attempted to sell anything yet. The idea is to get the client asking questions about extended coverage or maintenance plans prior to offering a solution.
There’s a big difference between being sold and being educated. When we allow the consumer to process the information in relevant order, they generally ask for further information. This means they have thought of a potential need for additional security.
By answering questions and presenting a solution, we have now allowed the consumer to upsell themselves. We know that 69 percent of the global population is focused on reducing risk. When we let the process drive the conversation, the result is higher penetration and higher CSI scores.
Try inserting this strategy into your existing program for 30 days and let me know your results. This process is easy to monitor. Simply create a “Limited Warranty Receipt” document for your dealership.
Make sure it states: “I have received a copy of the Manufacturers Limited Warranty and the exclusions have been explained to me.” Mandate either a signed Buyers Guide or Limited Warranty Receipt document be filed in the deal jacket.
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.