Cars Are Like Light Bulbs, Says F&I Trainer

Get car dealership customers thinking about extended warranties, trainer Ron Reahard says.

Steve Finlay, Senior Editor

October 15, 2015

2 Min Read
Get car dealership customers thinking about extended warranties Reahard says
Get car dealership customers thinking about extended warranties, Reahard says.iStock/Thinkstock

To get a light bulb to go off over a dealership customer’s head, F&I managers should use a real light bulb as a visual aid, says trainer Ron Reahard.

He calls it a good way to show car buyers the benefits of purchasing an aftermarket vehicle-service contract that covers potential repairs after a manufacturer’s warranty expires.

He draws an analogy between a car that breaks down and a light bulb that zaps out.

“There are five things about a light bulb,” he says. “It burns out. The more you use it, the faster it will burn out. It doesn’t give any warning. It burns out when you’re using it. It can’t be fixed.”

The same goes for a vehicle. “Every car ultimately breaks down. The more we use it, the faster that occurs. We don’t know when that will happen. It happens when you are using it. With today’s parts, there’s no fixing them; they’re replaced.”

Making that connection helps customers understand how a vehicle-service agreement can help them, he says. That, in turn, increases the chances of them buying one.

“Make them see it,” Reahard, head of Reahard and Associates, says at this year’s F&I Industry Summit in Las Vegas.

Besides a light bulb, other “props” also are effective in selling protection plans, says Gerry Gould, director-training at UDS, an F&I service and product provider.

Those include a dinged-up stainless steel beverage container and a damaged cell phone. “They remind (car buyers) of the risk ahead,” he says. “You’re more convincing when they discover it on their own.”   

Consult more and sell less, Reahard recommends. Here’s what he says customers ask themselves when facing an F&I manager:

  • “Can I trust you?”

  • “Do you know what you are talking about?”

  • “Do you care about me as a person, or are you just trying to sell me something?” You can’t make customers care until they know you care about them, Reahard says.

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