Gaining Customer Trust In The F&I Office
Perhaps the most difficult obstacle to overcome in the F&I office is getting your customers to trust that the products you’re offering will be worth the added cost. Establishing that trust is the first step in building the foundation for long-term F&I success.
But how do you go about gaining the trust of someone whose money you’re looking to spend on additional products like a vehicle service contract? Just like most things in life, honesty is the best policy in the F&I office. Being upfront about monthly costs, coverage limitations and the company backing your products will help customers feel the confidence they need to feel in order to make a service contract purchase.
Payment Transparency. For most customers, you’re negotiating on monthly payment and getting them on board with how the cost a service contract impacts what hits their bank accounts each month. At a glance, the added cost can be staggering, especially in a world where 78% of people are living check to check. But breaking it down by daily cost could help overcome this hurdle. For example, the daily cost of $300 payment is roughly $10 a day. If you add $50 per month for a service contract, that daily cost is just over $11 a day. This nominal daily increase compared to the cost of major repairs can help customers see the value in added vehicle protection.
Coverage Transparency. Not all coverage levels were created equally. It’s important to impart this on your customers. If you’ve mastered your menu selling strategy, working backwards from the highest level of coverage achieves this goal for you. Focusing on what customers miss out on and using this technique in tandem with highlighting small daily cost differences, it’s easy to spell out value that will help your customer see that you have their long-term financial interests in mind.
Provider Reputation. Customers may object to a service contract due to the industry’s reputation. But working with a reputable partner has its benefits – most notably your ability to showcase that reputation to customers. When you can show customers that the product you’re selling is backed by a company with decades of experience and billions in claims paid, peace of mind will come easily – and quickly.
Showcase Past Results. Does your customer still not trust your F&I process? Even the most difficult customers can’t deny real-life results. Keep close a file of past work orders or a claims paid report and show that difficult buyer all the money VSCs have saved your past customers. No customer can refute the value of a VSC after seeing exactly what it’s done for people in their shoes.