A question that I always get from F&I managers, general managers and dealers is, “What products should we be selling?” They also want to know how to sell the products once they have them and how much of each product they should be selling.
With such a large assortment of product providers out there, it’s pretty easy to locate someone that will supply your dealership with most everything that’s available. First, you need a minimum of five products for each unit that you sell. It’s easiest to locate the products for a street bike, which would be warranty, GAP, theft, tire & wheel and also pre-paid maintenance. Move over to the ATVs or UTVs, and you’ve got the exact same product offerings, although some dealers have struggled to locate an off-road supplier for tire & wheel. However, I’ve got a lot of dealers with just a few suppliers offering it.
Now, that you have your products, you’ve got to present them in a meaningful way. There are many F&I managers who only focus on finance reserve and warranties, but what if your customer wants something else? How do you know what they want, and how do you sell it?
Salespeople have tangibles to sell and typically nothing else. F&I managers have a very difficult job because they’re trying to sell tangibles and intangibles. The difficult thing is that way too many menus mix them together in bundles. Tangibles would be theft protection or even paint and fabric protection. Intangibles would be GAP and even a warranty. What we’ve learned is that a lot of people who will buy tangibles won’t buy intangibles and vice versa, but how do we know who these buyers are? We don’t.
Now look at your menu. There’s a pretty good chance that it has four columns with the first one presenting all of your products, the second column missing an item, until you get to the last column, and then all of the sudden it has a warranty and maybe one other product. What’s the biggest back-end product in the industry? A warranty. Why is that? Because it’s in the last column, the easiest thing to sell and an intangible. What about the tangibles? They got dropped off in column two and three. There was never a good chance of selling them because they were barely presented.
So, what you need to do is separate the tangibles and intangibles on your menu. Can you tell who the customers are that want the intangibles or the intangibles? Neither can I. So we need to break them out and let them decide.
For example, take the four-column menu found in many F&I offices today. If you watch the F&I manager while observing your customers’ eyes, they typically end up drifting to the furthest box to the right. And that column typically contains a warranty and maybe one other product.
This scenario effectively allows an F&I managers to feel like they presented all of their items, but they really only effectively presented one or two items. And as we all know, customers won’t buy a product if it’s not presented, which probably explains why low-performing F&I offices rely so heavily on finance reserve and warranties to meet their deal averages.
Don’t isolate your products, but instead, let customers choose what they want by selecting their own products. Most menu providers will help you rearrange your product offerings to present them correctly. Once you do, then you’ll no longer be presenting just a couple of items; you’ll be presenting all of your products.
This will result in the presentation of the right products to all of your customers, every single time.
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.