In the dealership, time is everything. Your staff needs time to sell the car, appraise the trade, and work the deal. Time truly is money.
When F&I managers have a huge menu of products to present, customers get frustrated and both PVR and CSI suffer. Pitch too much and nothing gets bought. But find a way to pare it down to a few high margin products and suddenly the numbers start increasing.
How can you sell more when you have little time to present and as a dealer still maintain a solid Line 1 profit? Preloaded ancillaries.
Smart or Shady?
Ancillaries like appearance protection used to be frowned upon back in the day when lenders would not allow it as a Line 1 add and they were priced entirely too high. Dealers eventually gave up on them and just threw it in with the menu for F&I to push.
Dealers had the notion that every customer would look at a preloaded product as some shady tactic to force them to take a product that they did not want. It was a tougher sale than it needed to be.
|Related: Is your dealership leaving money on the table in the F&I office?|
Reliable Money Maker
By preloading a bundle (think interior/exterior, key replacement, tire & wheel, PDR, windshield, and 24/7 roadside) into Line 1, you free up the F&I managers to focus exclusively on the high margin products that really require a more in-depth presentation like VSC and GAP. Those products involve asking customers the right questions about their driving habits and financial resources to help illustrate their benefits. That takes time.
Both of those products yield a higher commission for F&I and are the biggest sources of aftermarket profits. Let’s be honest, no F&I manager ever got rich selling tires & wheels.
Car buyers want an easy experience when buying a car. The last few months have been particularly tough and frustrating with the chip shortage alone much less the new COVID variants. If F&I managers can streamline their presentations by focusing on just a few products instead of bulldozing their way through a giant menu, customers will appreciate that minimalist approach.Happy Buyer, Happy F&I
By moving appearance protection to a bundle with other low-margin ancillaries, your dealership sends the message that you respect their time. It’s all about the experience and when your customers fill out the surveys after they take the car home, you want those to reflect the easy and straightforward F&I approach taken with them by keeping it simple.
Change is Good, Especially Now
F&I departments are having to evolve at a rapid pace during the ongoing pandemic and chip shortage. Some stores are already seeing a higher PVR on used cars even though there are fewer shoppers in the showroom. Why? They have more time to narrow their focus and be more efficient with the time they DO have even in a digital/remote environment.
Add solid training for the sales staff to help explain the bundle to each buyer and your store has a recipe for success with preloaded ancillaries.
Change is necessary and dealerships should be looking at anything they can to make their F&I staff’s job easier while squeezing as much profit as possible.
Preloading bundled ancillaries are the most cost-effective way to achieve that. It’s easy, hands-off, and provides extreme value to the customer. F&I staff can focus on higher-margin products and have the time they need to dig into the interview and close with the extra time they have presenting a more streamlined menu.
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