A salesperson can hear many “no’s” before getting a “yes.” You have to dig for the gold.
F&I trainer Mike Hirschfield however says most F&I managers don’t dig long enough.
Most sales are made after the fifth to seventh attempt, but 90% of F&I managers never take more than a few rejections, he says. “Those who push through to a close do so out of their confidence in the value of what they’re selling to the customer.”
The best sales tool F&I managers have is their feelings about the products they sell, he adds.
How persistent are you when that “yes” decision does not come to fruition? Do you simply let a buyer decide something you know is wrong for them?
Staff must understand the difference between pressuring a customer and persistence to demonstrate product value, Hirschfield says. “I’m not a fan of pressuring customers, but I am a fan of persistence.”
Here’s his cited difference: “Pressure is saying the same thing over and over, but skilled and unapologetic persistence to show product value is not. If the F&I manager doesn’t believe in what he or she is selling, he or she comes across as order takers. It’s easy to say ‘no,’ to them.”
He says F&I managers who don’t “hang in there” and sincerely, if persistently, recommend a product that’s in a customer’s best interest must ask themselves, “What do I cost my customers when I don’t hang in there?”
Hirschfield recommends each F&I team member master talk-track transitions to keep the conversation moving. “If you don’t know what to say next or how to handle a ‘no,’ it can be too easy to give up early and move on to the next customer.”
Shaka Dyson, a former dealership group F&I trainer who founded and heads Dealer F&I University, says the modern buying environment itself creates hurdles.
“Bottom line, the F&I world has evolved, so knowing your product as well as you know how the furniture is arranged in your living room is key to being confident in selling today,” he says.
“What was taught and what one learned 15 years ago makes no difference today,” Dyson says. “The approach to selling F&I products needs to focus on value, and I mean incredible value.
“That approach becomes the whole dynamic of who you are, and what you’ve become as an F&I professional is better.” There’s this, too, he says: “It’s different from what the customer is used to.”