The Seven Deadly Sins of Finance & Insurance

You may not be doomed eternally, but your paycheck might be if you commit these errors.

Wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony — these seven deadly sins are a pretty serious matter. Fortunately, there is nothing you can do in the F&I office that could lead to eternal condemnation, but there are many things that you can do or not do that can condemn your paycheck. If these seven things happen in your dealership, you should be scared.

Sin #1: Failing to perform a proper customer interview.
Would you marry someone you had never had a conversation with? Would you allow a stranger to date your teenage daughter without meeting them? Would you leave your kids with a babysitter you did not know? Why not? You have to establish some sort of a relationship to build trust. It is easier to build value in the F&I office once you know what is important to the customer.

Sin #2: Failing to use a menu for the presentation of product and payment options.
There are so many reasons to use a menu. Compliance is a big one. A menu is the easiest way to show that all products were explained and offered to the customer. As important as the compliance feature, statistics also show that dealers that use a menu presentation sell more products per vehicle and have higher PVRs. Use the declination forms as a back-up to the menu and another swing.

Sin #3: Failing to take more than a few swings at overcoming objections.
You only get one shot at having the customer’s full attention, so come to the box ready to swing away. Be prepared with logical reasons that the products are valuable to the customer. Don’t be shy. Hint: it is easier to time your swings if you do the interview.

Sin #4: Assuming that a cash customer is not going to buy any products.
Two out of every three customers’ biggest fear is the fear of loss, regardless of their ability to write a check. Take the time to find out about the customer’s motivations to buy. Hint: It all comes back to the interview.

Sin #5: Failing to assume the customer is going to finance with your dealership.
How many times a day do you hear the salesman ask the customer if they are going to pay with cash or finance? Why does it matter to the salesman? Are they discounting the first pencil if the customer is financing? Not in a smart store! Are they raising the price if the customer is paying cash? Fat chance! The only thing that question does before using a four-square is remind the customer to call their credit union and check the rates. Dealerships that assume the financing get more deals.

Sin #6: Allowing the salespeople to discuss financing or protection options.
The salesperson has enough to worry about. They have to worry about making a friend out of the customer and finding the right unit to meet the customers’ needs. Let them do that, and you can worry about the details of F&I. We will all make more money that way.

Sin #7: Failing to teach the salespeople what to say when F&I questions come up. We can’t expect the sales staff to be F&I experts. Make their jobs as easy as you can and maybe they will return the favor. Whatever your choice for the salesperson’s involvement in F&I, you need to train them on what to say and how to say it. This training is not a one-time thing, it will need to go on and on and on.

F&I doesn’t have to be scary, but you should be scared of the opportunities you are missing by committing any of these deadly F&I sins.

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.

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