Learn What They Know

It's late and your financial services manager is with the last customer of the day. The manager wants to get one more F&I purchase on the books to qualify for that spiff you offered. With such pressure, how can you be sure your customers are getting the type of ethical and effective presentation you demand at your dealership? Unless you have the time to observe every transaction conducted in your

It's late and your financial services manager is with the last customer of the day. The manager wants to get one more F&I purchase on the books to qualify for that spiff you offered.

With such pressure, how can you be sure your customers are getting the type of ethical and effective presentation you demand at your dealership?

Unless you have the time to observe every transaction conducted in your financial services office, you can never be sure that your customers are being treated properly. You could videotape every transaction. But that could require expense that you may not want or need.

The experience of working with thousands of finance managers points to the main reason many consistently give unethical and ineffective presentations is that they simply don't know how to do otherwise. While they may give an effective initial presentation, many stumble when the customer raises an objection.

The best way to discover the quality of the presentations that your customers are receiving is to receive a presentation yourself. If they cannot present it effectively to you, it's likely they're doing no better with your customers.

These are key points that should be incorporated into all presentations.

  • Dialogue — A proper presentation entails entering into a conversation with the customer. This allows the customer to be involved rather than just being “sold”

  • POV — Focus on the customer's point-of-view. This means that a customer is presented with products that they have a need for, rather than just products that the financial services manager wants to sell.

  • Illustrations — Keep the customer involved with clear and concise supporting illustrations.

  • Features and benefits — Allow the customer to see not only what the features of the product are, but also how they will benefit the customer.

  • Consistent — Start presentations at the beginning. Never pre-judge the customer and then try to “save the sale.”

  • Confidence — Demonstrate confidence that the product being sold is valuable and that it performs as promised.

  • Knowledge — Present from a firm foundation of knowledge. The common objections most finance manager hear after a good presentation are: “It costs too much.” “I will take my chances.” Or, “I am buying a quality car and won't need an extended warranty.” The professional knows at least seven objection-handling presentations.

Are you comfortable that your financial services manager can present using the key points outlined above? How can you be sure? Don't take their word for it. Have them present to you. It's the only test that you can trust.

If your manager doesn't present in a manner you approve, consider training, either a comprehensive two-week class or a one-week refresher. The best training companies focus on the aforementioned key points and will certify that your manager demonstrated the desired behaviors before returning to your dealership. You should also expect specific feedback on your manager's experience while in training.

Remember, what you don't know can hurt you. Spend 15 minutes with your finance manager. What you discover may come as a surprise, but better now than later.

Andrew J. Blazsanyik is Senior Vice President of Combined Automotive Training, a division of the Combined Automotive Group, an Aon Company. He's at 847-953-6057 and [email protected].

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