On this week’s episode of F&I Today, Becky Chernek explains why the F&I manager at your dealership should be active on social media and implement it as a part of their process.
Becky Chernek: Welcome to F&I Today. I’m your host, Becky Chernek and I’m happy you’re able to join us today. We all know that F&I is vital to the dealership’s bottom line, so that’s where I’ve come in. I have been in the automotive industry for more than 30 years and in finance and insurance since 1989. I’ve seen a lot and I know how to get results that stick. I’ve worked with hundreds of F&I managers over the years with amazing results. Now, should your F&I manager post on Facebook? Conventional wisdom tells us that it’s important to go where our customers go and having your sales person establish social media accounts is an important touch point in customer engagement. But what about your F&I manager? Should your F&I manager have a social presence or are they better off staying in the shadows?
Becky Chernek: They absolutely should have a Facebook account and they should be active on it. Remember, people buy from people that they like and people that they find credible and trustworthy. Needless to say, you do have to be careful about what you post on social media, but if you really want to do something to separate you from the competitor, consider this. Allowing and encouraging your F&I manager to discuss financing on social media. Think about how refreshing it would be to potential customers to find someone willing to discuss products and the benefits of those products, someone willing to step outside that box and address the customer questions directly. Some F&I managers even produce videos for their customers. How crazy is that, you might be asking yourself? Not crazy at all, especially when you consider the role that social media can play in your efforts to bring in new customers.
Becky Chernek: Why not have your F&I manager offer a Facebook live Q and A on how to reestablish credit? Or the advantages of leasing or why shorter term financing is just better than extending terms out to 84 months? These kinds of F&I clinics held on a consistent basis will differentiate you from the rest of the dealers who will not do it because they’re still stuck in the 70s. This kind of transparency makes a huge impact and your customers would love it. Can you imagine the increased sales you’d get from customers who may be thinking of purchasing a vehicle and watch your Facebook live event on the advantages of leasing versus buying? Information like that coming directly from the dealer on an open forum that fosters group discussion would put your dealership’s name at the top of their list of where to take their business. But you don’t have to stop there. There are innumerable topics that you can talk about on live discussions, like the advantages of service contracts and how much a common repair will cost them.
Becky Chernek: Naturally, you’ll want to make sure you do your due diligence and offer accurate information they can rely on. And why not be the expert in the field, the thought leader that everyone comes to when they have questions and when they want to buy a car? Another reason to get your F&I manager active on Facebook is because it’s a great way of getting back in front of your customers after you sell them a vehicle. This is priceless. Customers remember that friendly face and the likelihood that they’ll recommend you to their friend or family member is much higher if they remember you and if they can share something that you’ve posted online. Maybe the customer didn’t purchase a product at time of sale, but you are still connected with them on Facebook. And if they see you discussing the advantages of an ancillary product you offer, it could set them up to be more than willing to buy a product now or the next time around.
Becky Chernek: It’s important to remember that customers are more open minded to new ideas and products when they are in a more relaxed state of mind. So when you host a Facebook Live event, don’t pitch your products, but instead describe their benefits and why they bring value. You may even consider playing a video that shows the product in greater detail. Any visual statement that supports your presentation is hugely important and impactful. Statistics are even better. Turn Facebook Live events into clinics that answer questions or talk about things customers want to know more about, like financing, extending terms isn’t always the best way to go, or how gap protection works. Ultimately, these Facebook Live clinics will serve to separate you from the rest. You are open, you’re informative, and people will see you that way. And another bonus is that you can make yourself more personable, more people will respond to you. You need to approach this with a bit of a personality.
Becky Chernek: Remember, you’re not selling, you are being the face of the dealership. Facebook is not intended to reach the intentional buyer. That’s what Google is for, but Facebook is a great way to interact with customers who have interests and that is exactly what you want to attract. Be different. Be daring. Be the first dealership on your block to go live on Facebook, and if someone else has already done it, do it better. These are the kinds of things that will ensure your dealership is trusted and credible. And have fun, go social. Well, thank you for joining me on F&I Today. Be sure to come back next week, right here on this CBT Network, for our next edition of F&I Today. Also, feel free to contact me regarding my consulting services at (404) 276-4026. My specialty is providing F&I training, helping auto dealers achieve a higher level of performance by improving internal processes that begin the moment that customer touches down on the dealership website and ends with finalizing in-person transactions in F&I or later.
Becky Chernek: Start making a difference today and check out my F&I online platform, Chernek Consulting Virtual Pro, and take your F&I department to greater heights.
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