Sunday, April 01, 2007

F&I Express-Station #4-Boarding the Presentation


Station No. 4 - Boarding for the Presentation
by: Jan Kelly

The customer is in the F&I office. The manager and customer have already discovered some common ground. Time to verify the figures in the computer. Many sales managers use computers to desk the deal with the sales consultant. When this is the case, always verify the figures as well as the spelling of the customer’s name and address. Full disclosure up-front builds credibility in the F&I process.

Your Train of Thought
In a conversational mode, the F&I professional needs to ask questions that provide information about the use of the vehicle, the customer’s occupation, or the activities enjoyed by the family. From the conversation, the F&I professional needs to be able to determine the customer’s motivation to buy.

Think F-O-R-M: Family – Occupation – Recreation – Motivation

Examples of questions to ask might be:
1) Do you go on long trips, or do you enjoy more of the local campgrounds?
2) Who takes the vehicle into the service department?
3) Would you like to set a ceiling on the cost of your future repair bills?
4) How much money do you set aside for future repairs?
5) Who takes care of the exterior and interior of the vehicle?
6) When you are camping, do you take advantage of the natural shade provided by nearby trees?
7) Where do you store your RV when you are not traveling?
8) What do you do with your valuables when you are on the road?
9) What do you enjoy most about the wide-open spaces?
10) What toys do you take with you in order to maximize your adventures?

The purpose of these questions is to help the customer see a picture in their mind, and to agree that they have needs. When you present a solution before the customer can agree that there is a need, the presentation is merely a stream of words that no one will absorb. Consequently, when you ask for the business, the customer will usually say, “No, thanks.”

Avoiding Derailments
When the sales consultant sells the vehicle it is new and shiny, and the graphics stand out against the blue sky. The customer feels that life is wonderful and that the days and nights are filled with dreams of future adventures.

While we never want to throw arrows at the products we are selling, the fact remains that all of our vehicles are made here on earth and not in heaven. This fact of life will help you remind the customer that everything made by man eventually breaks.

F-O-R-M questions used in conjunction with tie downs can help to ensure that your points will be on track. When you conduct the right F-O-R-M questions, you lay down the rails for a F-A-B (Features – Advantages – Benefits) presentation.

Remain on board the F&I Express for our next stop: The Presentation – Building Value.

RV Executive Today, April 2007, P. 40-41.