Tag Archive | "sales tools"

F&I Sales Tools


Confidence and selling ability go hand in hand in the F&I office. The more confident an F&I manager is, the more convincing they become. Building confidence can be tricky though, given the overall spectrum and daily responsibilities today’s F&I managers are faced with.

Having a solid process they can rely on as well as a strong understanding of their products is a good start. On the other hand an efficient presentation along with effective closing techniques is the ultimate confidence booster. Providing F&I managers with the most up-to-date and clear-cut methods to present and close will build confidence and quickly take an average F&I manager into super star status.

There are countless tools we can provide to our clients that will enhance their F&I mangers’ business aptitude and confidence, from sharing specific word-tracks and closes to providing them with various props and point of sale material. I believe the single most effective tool we can craft for them, however, is an “Evidence Manual”. When filled with the proper content and used appropriately, an evidence manual is the game changer, by providing two very important and influential components that will certainly boost an F&I manager’s confidence in their process as well as their products:

1. It provides third party validation in the products that were offered; and
2. It provides a visual component to the intangible.

Each of these can create the comfort level customers need to make a favorable purchase decision.

Crafting the Tool
Filling an evidence manual with useful information is as easy as visiting the service department to gather information, such as ROs, replacement cost examples or even broken parts to display in the F&I office. Additionally, you can browse the Internet for relevant articles, such as a road condition problem in your area to support tire and wheel protection, vehicle theft statistics or how the environment can damage a vehicle’s appearance.

And as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. So, dust off your camera and snap a few shots of their service department, diagnostic equipment and toolboxes. You also want to get a few shots behind the parts counter, as this will help illustrate to the end consumer the investment the dealership has made to keep the shop running efficiently. Placing a list of the current month’s parts inventory in the binder substantiates the fact the shop does much more than oil changes. Pictures of vehicles that have been repaired by paintless dent repair technicians are also helpful.

Before-and-after photos of reconditioned vehicles treated with environmental protection are also good to include in their evidence manual. Photos of trade-ins being appraised by the used-car manager are another must. They help illustrate how a vehicle’s condition can affect its resale value. Copies of repair orders — particularly those showing the cost of a claim related to the products they offer — are also good additions to their evidence manual. You may also want to provide the F&I manager the current month VSC, GAP, theft, tire and wheel or any other product claims summary paid you receive from your provider to place in their binder. Just remember to make their evidence manual look neat and tidy.

Once you have taken the time to develop an evidence manual, now it’s time to teach the F&I manager how to use it properly. There is a time and a place for everything, assuming the F&I manager presents products and services off a menu. Utilizing the evidence manual any time before or during the initial menu presentation is not the right time or place, as it will most certainly create unnecessary sales resistance. The evidence manual should be nearby so that it is easily accessible when the time to present is right.

The time is right when the customer says “no” when asked to enroll or subscribe to product, plan or option. When the customer says “I’ll take my chances”, the F&I manager should respond by asking, “Do mind if I share something with you?” Since they sell intangibles, F&I managers will at times need to create additional ways to close on their offerings, ways that stimulate and initiate a buyer to take action. The evidence manual when structured and used properly will often provide the incentive the customer needs to say “yes I’ll take it.”

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When Buyers Hesitate


You’ve just invested the last 90 minutes with someone who really needs a new vehicle. You feel like you’re on a roll. You firmly believe that the truck, car or van they’ve selected is good for them and that they can afford it. They’re giving you both verbal and visual buying signs: touching the vehicle, pushing the various buttons, opening and closing the doors and windows. Some will even take a look at the engine. They’ve started talking about taking that road trip with the whole family in comfort and style. Or maybe they’re planning to join friends on a camping trip or helping other family members move some things. Everything is going along smoothly. They are envisioning their lives with this new vehicle.

Then, the brakes go on. They start hedging, asking questions you have already answered or being very quiet and physically backing away either by getting out of the vehicle, crossing their arms or leaning or stepping slightly away.

What happened? Something perfectly normal.

Few people get so excited about a new vehicle that they just whip out their checkbooks or credit information and say, “Let me have it!” It does happen occasionally. However, it’s not the typical situation you encounter.

When people get excited about owning something new, little voices start talking in their heads. I don’t mean that they have any kind of mental issues. It’s just that they’ve been told ever since they were little to “Think twice before making decisions” and “Never sign on the dotted line unless you’re absolutely sure of what you’re getting into.” They start second-guessing themselves and questioning whether or not they’re making a wise decision. They might even flash back to a bad past experience. They’re considering change and change can be hard for people — even when it’s a change for the better.

They may have thought they were ready for a new vehicle when they drove onto the lot but, when it comes right down to handing over the keys to old Betsy and pulling their personal items out of the glove box, what they thought was a welcome change can generate second thoughts. When that happens, nasty old Mr. Fear creeps into their psyches and cause them to freeze like deer in the headlights. Their hesitation might turn into an outright objection to the vehicle they professed to love just a few minutes before. This may seem irrational to you since they were so excited about it a moment ago but if you’re going to make it long-term in your selling career, you need to learn to expect it. It’s a perfectly natural aspect of the buying experience.

Let’s take a closer look at what happened: It’s a case of rational vs. irrational. Emotion vs. logic. Buying is not done logically. It is an emotional decision that is made. Then, it’s rationalized. When the brakes come on, it just means that the rationalization hasn’t happened yet. It’s your job to help them rationalize the buying decision.

The rationalization is that the amount of money you are asking for the vehicle equals or outweighs the discomfort they’re feeling by not owning it. In other words, they have to come to terms with feeling better owning the vehicle than having the money in their bank accounts (or with having another monthly bill to pay).

Rather than physically prying the money out of their hands, you must learn to psychologically nudge, prod and lead them to the decision that you and they truly believe is a good one. This is where the art of selling comes into play.

The next time a buyer you think is heading for the close stops dead in their tracks, say these two simple sentences. “Obviously, you have a reason for hesitating. Would you mind sharing it with me?”

If you deliver those two sentences warmly — with sincerity — and then wait for their answer, they’ll tell you exactly why they’re hesitant and you’ll have something to move forward with. If you don’t know what’s holding them back, you could say or do something that completely turns them off about owning that vehicle.

The holdup could be because of any number of things. Usually, it’s the money. Sometimes, they start thinking they don’t have to make the decision today now that they know the right source for the vehicle they want. The point is you can’t address the cause of the hesitation until you know what it is. And those two little sentences will show you the path you need to take to the sale.

Don’t let buyer hesitation keep you from closing sales. Ask the right question and you’ll learn exactly what’s holding them back.

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MaximTrak Technologies Launches MobileTrak, Fully Mobile iPad and Android-based F&I Menu System


WAYNE – MaximTrak Technologies, announced the launch of MobileTrak, a fully mobile F&I menu, reporting and e-contracting platform for the Apple iPad and Android devices. MobileTrak enables a completely virtual F&I experience and empowers dealerships with new portable tools to more effectively present products, interact with consumers, and ultimately increase Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) scores and dealership profitability.

MaximTrak is a systems developer for the retail automotive, motorcycle and powersports finance and insurance industry (F & I).

The entire MaximTrak digital platform can be utilized on iPad and Android devices including the company’s flagship product lines: MenuTrak™ (F&I Sales), Dashboards™ (Enterprise Reporting) and E-Trak™ (e-Business Suite for e-Rating, e-Contracting, e-Signature and e-Remittance).

MobileTrak also eliminates the need for duplicate data entry into multiple systems because of the Certified DMS Integration the Company maintains with all major Dealer Management Systems including Reynolds & Reynolds, ADP, DealerTrack, Auto/Mate, ACS as well as the RouteOne credit application system.

MobileTrak effectively untethers the F&I Manager from his desk, allowing him to operate a virtual office. Utilizing the iPad or Android operating devices, products can be moved in and out of packages, terms and rates can be adjusted in real time, down payments can be increased and products can be discounted.

To assist the F&I manager in presenting product features and benefits, MobileTrak includes a comprehensive suite of interactive Sales Tools for each F&I product sold, as well as statistical and other visual information that can be reviewed with customers.

Real-time reporting is built into MobileTrak, as it includes the MaximTrak Dashboards™ reporting application, which automates the management of the department and provides dealers with real-time sales and performance statistics.

“MobileTrak has taken the interactive nature of sales and menu tools to new level for mobile users in the F&I office,” said Jim Maxim Jr., President of MaximTrak Technologies. “The enhanced connectivity through our F&I Network™ to product providers places real-time rates and quotes right in front of the consumer.

For instance, MobileTrak could get a direct quote from the insurance company or administrator and show it live on the tablet for the consumer to view, purchase and execute a signed contract without having to print forms or go back into a Dealer Management System. There is no need to be in the office any more to sell F&I products; with MobileTrak you can conduct the entire F&I sales process right on the showroom floor.”

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Watch Your Words – That Seven Percent Will Make or Break You


Our words in sales may only make up 7 percent of effective communication, but they are almost always deal breakers or deal makers. ‘Words’ doesn’t just mean learning the correct question to ask or knowing all the facts about your product, it means carefully choosing every word you say and when you say it. I’ll say it again, because this is so important…

“You don’t miss sales by a few dollars, you miss sales by a few words.”

It’s amazing how salespeople will choose their words carefully if they’re around their grandparents, or a potential new girlfriend, or at church – but not in sales. Cussing around my grandmother would have gotten me smacked for sure. Not being on your best behavior might get you a stern look from grandpa, it can cost you a girlfriend, and you know the unwritten rules about what to say in church.

But when it comes to their career, and the job they depend on to make a living for themselves and their families, a lot of salespeople blow sales out of the water every day. They don’t want to do simple stuff like dress like a professional and they don’t want to change what they say either.

The stand-by excuses are, “I’m more comfortable dressing like I do,” or “My customers don’t want to talk to someone in a suit.” And when it comes to learning a better way to greet the customer or close the sale they’ll say, “I’m not going to learn some canned script,” or “I don’t want too.”

What’s that definition of insanity? “Doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for a different result.”

It’s true, and if you won’t change how you look, how you act, how you sound, and won’t develop new skills or change what you do or say in sales, you won’t change your income either.

Let’s look at some words and things you say now, that you need to change right away because they’re costing you sales every day. These aren’t skills, they’re just words that create the wrong impressions, reactions or the wrong focus in the sale.

First, we all know our customers are nervous and uncomfortable when they’re out buying a new car. They don’t do this very often and they know if they’re not careful when they’re shopping, they’ll end up paying too much or buying the wrong vehicle for them (like a lot of them did last time).

Our customers also have a few built-in objections when they hit the lot. The key word in that last sentence, though, was a few objections. They start out with five potential objections (on the next column) and salespeople either add a few more or make the ones customers already have even worse.

  • Price is a standard potential objection. It’s always a question or concern, but price is number 16 on their list of buying motives. Most salespeople only hear price though, and that’s all they talk about (their words focus on price).
  • Trade-ins, another potential objection. Watch your words and do not knock their trade or toss out stupid numbers on its value to get their reaction. You’ll get a reaction, but you won’t like it. Those words may cost you a deal.
  • Payments are standard objections, but this is really a budget issue if you say the right words and handle it right. Learning to bypass price and build value is the key.
  • Down payments are an objection for most. Say the right words (scripts), you’re OK. Wrong words, you’re toast.
  • Trust is critical. They don’t know you, like you or trust you (at least not yet) … that’s what the selling process and the words you say are designed to help you accomplish.

Those are the built-in objections, the rest we tack on along the way by not listening and by saying the wrong things (the words we use). Selling is like running a race with hurdles. There are five on the track and 50 more on the sidelines that somebody throws out any time we don’t handle the sale professionally.

  • Profanity. There’s no place for it at work. TV language for mature audiences is not OK with customers. Pretend you’re in church or wake up and show respect for the person in front of you who may let you earn $500 in a couple of hours.
  • Trade slang costs you money, too. You understand the words, but people outside the car business don’t.
  • Rejection words have negative connotations and create objections. To avoid adding more objections, replace the words on the left with the ones on the right…
    Buy – Sell……………………………. Own
    Price………………………………….. Current Market Value
    Price (Used)…………………………. Live Market Value
    Sign…………………………………… OK – Approve
    Monthly Payment……………………. Monthly Investment
    Down Payment………………………. Initial Investment
    Contract……………………………… Agreement
  • Pre-qualifying people. The negative people in the huddle are wrong. You never want to pre-qualify, whether you’re talking to a buyer or not. 78 percent are going to buy and you can’t tell who won’t by looking or by asking those dumb things the six-car guy taught you. You’re guessing wrong six out of eight times right now, so just stop. You’re creating objections and losing deals.

Cars and trucks are the easiest products you could have picked to sell. Everybody has one, they’ll always buy more, and to send them home today, just listen to find out what’s really important to them, and just say the right words.

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Joe Verde Releases Pocket-Sized Weekly Planning Guide


ORANGE COUNTY – There is nothing more discouraging for most salespeople than working long hours, forgetting appointments and missing sales because of one simple reality: they struggle to organize and plan their daily activities. It is exactly for this reason Joe Verde created his new Weekly Planning Guide (WPG) for salespeople.

“Here’s a reality check for salespeople,” said Verde. “If you don’t learn much about selling and just hang around, wait for an ‘up’ and wing it every day, you’ll end up putting in brutal hours, and selling cars will be one of the lowest paying, toughest, and most frustrating jobs you’ve ever had. But when you organize your day, you’ll immediately start selling more units and earning bigger paychecks and spend less time doing it.”

Verde said the WPG is easy-to-use because it was designed to fit into a shirt pocket and allows salespeople to quickly record prospect contact info, log sales and keep appointments. The WPG also serves as a weekly ‘on the lot’ companion to Joe Verde’s Monthly Planning Guide (MPG) and his Web-based automotive CRM, the Virtual Sales Assistant® (VSA®).

The VSA®, along with the MPG and now the WPG, are the result of the tried and proven methods Verde learned as a salesperson selling cars.

“I spent five years struggling to average eight units a month, quit, took two years off, then learned how to sell and manage my career in sales,” Verde said. “When I started selling cars again, I sold more units and earned more money in just seven months, than I had sold and earned in my first five years combined.” Verde added that the planning system he developed in those years – which ultimately became the VSA®, MPG and the new Weekly Planning Guide – was the key to his success selling cars.

To learn about Joe Verde’s virtual automotive sales training programs online, visit www.jvtn.com or call (800) 445-6217. For information about Joe Verde workshops and training products, visit the Web at www.joeverde.com.

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