Knowing Your Customer Eliminates F&I Objections

Have you ever started a role-playing session like this?

The vehicle service contract is too expensive. Go.

I bet you have. And I bet the F&I manager then struggles to overcome an objection for which they have no background information on the potential customer in front of them. There could be several reasons why the customer thinks the coverage is too expensive.

  • Do they think they won’t need or use it?
  • Are they concerned with the monthly payments?
  • Do they think they can get service on their vehicle done at a cheaper rate than the deductible on the service contract?

One of my favorite quotes was spoken by the late, great Maya Angelou. “When you know better – you do better.” And “knowing better” is at the heart of any successful customer interaction. Knowing your customer starts with the sales process.

In most situations, consumer objections come from a lack of understanding of the product benefits. Simply rattling off product benefits without emphasizing the ones the customer would care about leads to a situation where they tune out and start objecting.

The sales team is often the first group to engage the customer. Much knowledge can be gathered throughout the showroom and during the test drive. What type of vehicle do they like – or need? What are their care-abouts – and concerns? What are their financial objectives? All good information that can impact the entire dealership process. But, all too often there is a disconnect between sales and F&I.

In a perfect world, these interactions would be seamless. Unfortunately, what typically happens is the vehicle is chosen and the customer is ushered to the F&I office. The “knowing better” information is not relayed and objections quickly arise. The customer feels railroaded and the F&I manager is frustrated. Luckily, this situation can be completely avoided!

At Empire Dealer Services, we spend significant time training our teams to work as a cohesive unit. I firmly believe that the strength of any organization is its people. A key step in overcoming F&I objections is to strengthen the connection between sales and F&I.

Your F&I managers can gain greater awareness about their customers by:

  • getting out of the office and walking the floor;
  • gathering information from the customer;
  • assisting the sales team by taking turns, and
  • being available to address all questions related to the down payment and rates before the sale is complete.

Meeting with the customer early in the process also helps F&I managers ease the customer’s fears related to the financing options that will come later. Again…focusing on “knowing better” helps the teams “do better.”

Creating a cohesive unit between sales and F&I is vital for lasting dealership success, with benefits extending well beyond successfully reducing and overcoming objections, like reducing the F&I timeline and improving the overall customer experience.

Every day, I challenge myself and our team at Empire Dealer Services to “know better” in order to “do better.” Let us help you find ways to know your customer better – and “do better” in the F&I office.

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