Touch Customer Emotions to Boost F&I Sales

Car dealership F&I managers should be motivators, not order takers.

Jim Leman, Correspondent

September 14, 2015

3 Min Read
ldquoFampI managers must make it personalrdquo Hirschfield says
“F&I managers must make it personal,” Hirschfield says.

To boost F&I product sales, align with the customer’s emotional motives to buy, says dealership trainer Mike Hirschfield.

“It’s all about being a motivator, not an order-taker, and motivation happens on an emotional level not on a logical one” says the president of Cornerstone Dealer Development.

Customers don’t simply buy products, they buy into how they envision products will make them feel.

“Everything purchased on this planet is purchased to feel important, to feel independent, to feel responsible, to feel rewarded, to feel secure, or to feel loved,” he says.

Dealerships won’t find success just by using a few scripted word tracks, Hirschfield says. “The ultimate formula for F&I sales success is connect, then compel, and then commit.”

In building rapport with customers, F&I managers must show interest, demonstrate empathy and respond appropriately.

“Average F&I managers are experts at what they are selling, but great F&I managers sell more by becoming experts at who they are selling to – that’s the connect part,” Hirschfield says.

Typical customers care about their families, future livelihoods and fun, he says. “F&I managers must make it personal – that’s the compel part. Focus on emotional reasons to buy.

“Talk in terms of desired ownership experiences. Save the specifics of the programs you present for overcoming objections, for answering customer questions and for reviewing contracts.”

The final link to F&I gross, Hirschfield says, is to get the buyer to commit, by aligning emotional motives and desires to buying, then supporting the decision with logic and facts.

“The most powerful way to commit someone to buy is to demonstrate that not buying is inconsistent with who they are as individuals,” he says.

He shares some ways to secure commitment based on customers’ emotional motives to buy. These aren’t word tracks, but rather word-track ideas, based on customers’ identified emotional “trigger.”

Important: “It’s not like you to settle for less. You didn’t settle for less in buying your new vehicle, and you don’t need to settle for less with your ownership experience either.”

Independent: “It’s not like you to be willingly dependent upon others. You and your family are stronger than that!”

Responsible: “It’s not like you to take unnecessary risk. You are more responsible than that.”

Reward: “It’s not like you to intentionally deprive yourself and your family.”

Secure: “It’s not like you to willfully put you and your family in harm’s way. You are more protective than that.”

Loved: “It’s not like you deny a loved one. You are more caring than that.”

Hirschfield also shares examples of focusing on the customers’ logical motives to buy.

Affordability: “I understand payment is a concern. Everyone has a budget and wants an affordable payment. Have you considered that this payment may not be the most affordable payment? Let me show you why.”

Credit/Budget: “No one likes to think the worst, but if something happened and you absolutely had to pick between your loan payment or paying for an unexpected vehicle repair, which would you pick? Let me show you how you can avoid having to pick.”

He says, “Customers will buy more products more often when you link product packages to ownership experiences by painting pictures of experiences that are aligned with the customer’s emotional reasons to buy.”

About the Author(s)

Jim Leman

Correspondent, WardsAuto

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