According to Xzilon, auto dealers are constantly seeking methods for smoothing the F&I sales process. After making the sale on an automobile, dealers often endeavor to sell clients on related services, including extended service plans and wheel-and-tire protection plans. Sometimes these upsells work, but often they do not, as customers are still reeling from the major expense of a new vehicle. According to a recent article from Automotive News, however, there are several steps that dealers can take as they attempt to “smooth” the F&I process and to increase their F&I sales. The company has responded to this article with its own statement to the press.
Certainly, Xzilon is a company that would know about F&I. Long committed to the automotive F&I process, the company is best known for manufacturing protective coatings. These coatings are applied by auto dealers to ensure that cars and trucks remain lustrous long after they roll off the lot. The company is also known fro being outspoken in its support of auto dealers as they attempt to provide clients with the best F&I products.
“The points made in this article are good ones—and they all boil down to the fact that interviewing a customer early in the buying process is important,” the company says in its press statement. “Talking with customers, and using the information you glean to customize your offer, is a great way to smooth the process and make F&I seem like the natural extension of the sales process itself.” Indeed, the Automotive News article recommends that dealers interview car-buying customers early in the process; this is an absolute “must,” the article contends.
From there, Automotive News encourages dealers to get the interview done as early as possible, so that customers have reasonable expectations. Engagement should take place well before the customer even settled on a specific car. The alternative is that a customer gets to the sales desk and finds that his or her payment is going to be larger than expected, and as such, the mere thought of purchasing additional products becomes overwhelming. Dealers are prudent to sow the seeds of an F&I sale as early as possible, then.
Another tip from Automotive News is for dealers to explain the entire sales process, mapping it out in advance. It is recommended that dealers explain to their customers the exact stages of the sale—from the test drive all the way down to the F&I pitch—so that customers not only know what to expect, but can also see progress being made along the way. Seeing milestones as they pass helps customers to remain patient.
The company also recommends that dealers restrict their F&I menus to just five items or so. Again, this helps to prevent customers from being overwhelmed with options. “The average customer will simply stop paying attention once you move past five options, so keep that menu restricted to a tight set of extended service plans and the like,” the company says.
Dealers are also encouraged to never give up on cash customers—even those who say they are flat-out uninterested in purchasing any F&I products. As adamant as these customers are, it is often because they are daunted by the major purchase before them. Allowing them to make that purchase, then step back and review their F&I options anew, can sometimes result in a surprising, last-minute F&I sale.
A final tip is for dealerships to integrate F&I with the rest of their departments. In other words, the first time a customer hears about F&I offerings should never be while sitting in the F&I department itself. Sales representatives should be trained to explain the F&I options to all customers, long before the sale is closed. “What this tells us is that more and more auto dealers and even manufacturers are aware of the fact that the F&I process is, in many cases, anything but smooth,” Xzilon affirms.
Xzilon is heavily invested in automotive F&I; the company manufactures protective coating products, originally designed for the aviation industry but now used to keep automobiles looking lustrous and new.
Xzilon is a company that proudly manufactures protective coating products, designed to keep automobiles and airplanes safe, lustrous, and looking brand new. The company provides its products to dealers and auto retailers across the country. Additionally, the company is pleased to lead its industry in the manufacturing of “green” products. Ultimately, the company is zealous to provide auto owners with the most reliable vehicle protection products on the market.