Think about it. You currently know what your ratios are (right?), but what if you single out the phone and Internet buyers? Exclude the walk-ins, be-backs, referrals and service customers.
Now if you’re like most everyone else in the world, those numbers suck, right? What if you could immediately improve them? I just finished meeting with some dealers that did just that.
With a 10-minute process, you can immediately increase those closing ratios.
And interestingly enough, according to our studies over the past seven months, this will skyrocket YOUR personal income as well. Hopefully that wasn’t a surprise, but it’s just what they told us. You know ... more sales means more money.
The process in most stores for Internet and phone buyers is that the customer and salesperson typically just negotiate a price. When the price is agreed upon, then the salesperson gets a small deposit over the phone. We’ve noticed that the majority of customers that do this end up paying cash. This is where some of our research comes in. To find out what the customers were really doing, we called them after the purchase. Most of the “cash” buyers actually had secured a loan somewhere else but they just told the salesperson they were paying cash because they felt they might get a better deal and the sale would go faster. The money came from home equity lines of credit, credit cards, credit unions, conventional lenders, business loans, refi’s and true cash savings accounts. These were not all of the sources, but it’s a pretty good indicator. They seldom had real cash.
Since we have hundreds of thousands people in our database, we took a look at how many of those customers had payments presented to them. It’s not rocket science but we all know, someone won’t finance if you don’t show them payments. Not surprisingly only 23 percent of the phone and Internet buyers had seen a payment presented by the dealership (if you want someone to finance with you then shouldn’t you show them some payments?). The good thing here is that over half of those phone and Internet buyers said they would have considered financing with the dealer if someone would have showed them some financing options. This is where salespeople and managers need to slow down for ten minutes and present a menu.
Because this blog is about F&I and not sales, I’m going to stick with the F&I portion of this.
Unless your dealership changes the way it sells to Internet and phone buyers (with an interactive sales menu) then the only way an F&I manager will increase their sales with these customers is by deciding that they’re going to start talking to every single phone and Internet buyer, over the phone, as soon as the deposit is taken.
Here is how we have these top-performers handling the phone and Internet buyers.
FI Manager: This is Tommy. I’m the business manager over at ABC Powersports. I
was told that you’re buying a new (insert OEM here). Is that right?
Customer: Yes. I am. I just gave them a deposit and I’m bringing in a check on
FI Manager: Great. I do have a mandatory disclosure that I’m required to go over with you. What’s your email address? It’s going to take about five minutes. What time is best for you to view your email and talk on the phone with me for that?
Customer: I can do it anytime today.
FI Manager: Great. How about 2:15 today. I’ll send it over at about 2:10 and call at 2:15.
We setup a group of dealerships that were able to present F&I menus over the Internet as soon as they knew a buyer was coming in to make a purchase. I’ll always say that the best way to sell something is to a customer that’s sitting right in front of you (there is no better way), but with buyers willing to travel further distances for a deal, it often means that they show up with a check from their local lender, and they didn’t include a little extra to buy your protection products.
Call these buyers as soon as you find out they’re buying.
Our dealers that were part of this group have a few common things.
- F&I managers have a schedule posted on a wall or door in their offices.
- Desk managers are required to immediately notify the F&I managers when any customer commits to buying, whether in store, over the phone or Internet.
- F&I managers immediately call the customer to introduce themselves, get an email address and email a menu (interactive or not) to them. A phone appointment is setup during this call, along with a pick-up day.
- F&I manager calls the customer back at the scheduled time and reviews the menu just as if they were sitting in front of them.
So by performing this 10-minute process, it has created a chain of various benefits:
- A minimum 22 percent increased closing ratio on product.
- 14 percent more finance deals.
- $233 higher back-end deal average.
If we only show payments and protection products when a phone or Internet buyer says they’re financing, we’re going to hit roadblocks.
Don’t give up potential finance or back-end sales by failing to present proposals to customers. Rather, focus on taking those extra 10-minutes.
If we follow those simple steps, you’ll be surprised how quickly you increase those all-important ratios. If you need some more help then watch my video on it.
Tommy Ady is a powersports sales expert with more than 25 years in powersports retail business. He founded The WriteBack in 2013, which has become the #1 performing sales tool in the North America. Top 100-ranked dealers use his programs, along with the highest performing F&I managers in the country. His entertaining training shows are broadcast via YouTube to dealers every week.