How to Wow Your Customers

Success in life comes by helping others become more successful, says finance and insurance trainer Ron Reahard, president of Reahard & Associates. He says dealership success comes from establishing a consistent and compliant sales and F&I process (preferably in writing) utilizing a needs-based consultative approach in the F&I office and demonstrating on a daily basis a commitment to customers. At

Success in life comes by helping others become more successful, says finance and insurance trainer Ron Reahard, president of Reahard & Associates.

He says dealership success comes from establishing a consistent and compliant sales and F&I process (preferably in writing) utilizing a needs-based consultative approach in the F&I office and demonstrating on a daily basis a commitment to “wowing” customers.

At an F&I Management and Technology conference in Las Vegas, Reahard offers these 15 “action ideas” on how to wow customers:

  1. Be Fast, Get Faster

    “Customers hate to wait! Bring them to the F&I office immediately, rather than make them wait outside while the F&I manager is retrieving their information on his computer. You are not doing secret spy stuff in there. There is no reason they can't be there while you download their deals.”

  2. Polish Your Anchors

    “People with little time make snap decisions based on first impressions — and remain ‘anchored’ to those impressions. Meet every customer with a smile and a spring in your step. How many times has Jimmy Buffet sung the song ‘Margaritaville’? Regardless of how many times he has, if you pay $100 for a concert ticket, you want to hear him sing it enthusiastically.”

  3. Eliminate Customer Risk

    “Give customers an out. It reduces risk and pressure when you give customers all the options and then say, ‘It is entirely up to you’ or ‘I would recommend this, but it is up to you.’”

  4. Exceed Expectations

    “Don't just satisfy customers, delight them. Satisfaction is the lowest rung on the ladder.”

  5. It's All In How You Say It

    “Use vivid imagery. Tell stories. Tell how a customer would use that extended service contract.”

  6. First Fix Your Message

    “Avoid verbal vomit. Stop making sales pitches and sell based on customer needs.”

  7. Make 'Em Thirsty for Your Knowledge and Expertise

    “By saying, ‘You can buy a service contract at any time the vehicle is under warranty, but there are four important reasons to buy now,’ customers are going to ask, ‘What are the reasons?’ Suddenly they want to know. If you say, ‘There are two reasons why GAP (guaranteed auto protection) is critical,’ the customer will want to know what those reasons are.”

  8. Collapse Confrontation

    “Break down the barrier by showing a genuine desire to help customers, not by trying to win the argument when they have objections.”

  9. Shut Up!

    “Remember the 70/30 rule. Let the customer speak 70% of the time, you speak 30%. That way, they will give the information you need.”

  10. Add Value

    “Sell what the customer needs, not what you make the most money on.”

  11. Sell Based On the Customer's Agenda

    “When you go through the menu, go where they lead.”

  12. Make the Invisible Visible

    “Sixty-five percent of human communication is with the eyes. Use visual aids. People trust their eyes before they trust their ears.”

  13. Use a Menu

    Use it for every customer, every time, whether the customer is paying with cash, through outside financing or subprime lending. And use the menu honestly.”

  14. Passionately Believe

    “Believe in all your products. If you don't you can be your own worst enemy. Believe that your products can change people's lives for the better.”

  15. Risk Yourself

    “This isn't just a job. It's a career. Make a commitment to continuous improvement.

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