When we are being sold a variety of products or services, do we as consumer like to hear about them one at a time or do we want to simply see a ‘package’ of a few products and make our decision from there? Which is easier? When it comes to the presentation of F&I products, it’s complicated.

F&I has the unenviable task of not only having to execute all the paperwork from contract to tags, but also presenting the array of aftermarket products that the dealership relies on for extra profit per unit. Over the years, menu selling has taken over as the preferred way to present all of these products and now menus have crossed over into digital platforms to give customers an experience that is supposed to be easier to understand.

F&I managerF&I managers still have the basic struggle of whether or not to offer products individually tailored to the specific customer information gathered early in the process or to offer bundled packages.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both of these approaches and perhaps there is no clear winner between them but it’s worth taking a closer look at both in case one is better for your particular store.

Individual Product Presentation

  • Advantages: This doesn’t overwhelm the customer. The F&I manager may find that the customer needs to have products explained one at a time if they have not bought a car in many years or they are a first-time buyer with no experience with F&I at all. Each product can be described in more detail and some customers may feel it’s easier to make a decision.
  • Disadvantages: This could take a lot of time especially for the buyer who is in a hurry or is showing that they are in a hurry. It may appear more ‘salesy’ to go item-by-item and can ultimately lead to more confusion when discussing features and benefits due to varying types of products (GAP pivoting to Tire & Wheel).

Package Presentation

  • Advantages: Depending on how your store pairs up product together, you could be offering complimentary products that make lot of sense for your customer. It can be easy to offer 3 or 4 packages of varying costs that can be easier to ‘sell’ to a customer when they are giving off signals that they don’t want to be ‘sold’. It’s great for the ‘show me what I need NOW’ buyer to make their decision quick and painless. It also adds consistency to all F&I presentations and profit margins.
  • Disadvantages: Packages can lock your customer into a lower amount of choices. If there has not been a proper interview with the buyer, the F&I manager may not understand which package would be the best based on their driving habits, financial situation, etc.  The packages may not be right at all for the buyer and without the flexibility to simply show each product individually, a sale could be lost. They could silently assume there are no other options. Package pricing also may not be the right fit for every customer’s unique situation regarding payment.

In the end, the decision to offer individual products or bundled packages is one that has to consider the strength of the F&I manager to figure out what the buyers needs and the importance of keeping the process consistent.

Margins will likely dictate that and many dealerships succeed with both models but only if their staff is adept at reading the signals from the buyers across the desk from them. That’s the key to what will work best at your store. Be flexible, try both strategies, and simply see which yields the most PRU. Then you have your answer.

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Kristine Cain is a freelance writer who loves the car business, hiking long trails, and the Steelers (not necessarily in that order). After finishing a degree in psychology at George Mason University in Virginia, she got her first taste of the dealer world working in the service department of a high volume Honda store. Warned early on that the car business would ‘get in her blood’, it did and Kristine made the leap into F&I departments at several stores around the Washington DC area and later to an automotive information company in dealer sales. A veteran of over 20 years in B2B sales to dealers, she leverages that knowledge to help write within the dealer market. Kristine lives in Holly Springs, NC with her husband and family.

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