F&I Selling Tips: Verify. Empathize. Address.

Posted by Erik Landrum on September 17, 2015 in F&I Selling Strategies

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Have you ever made the following statement to your customers: “Your lack of willingness to succumb to my will is very disappointing”? Of course you haven’t, at least I hope not! Some of you may be conveying this very sentiment via a level of communicated anxiety misconstrued (by yourself) as enthusiasm.

Some of the Business Managers with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working can’t wait to respond to an objection. So much so, in fact, that the guest may not have even finished presenting their thought before they are hit with a “canned” response, often times barely addressing the issue. When this occurs, things are awkward at best and usually ineffective. Disingenuous is not an accolade. These misguided closing attempts typically devolve into a debate and our guests don’t want to argue their point with us. They want to be given something for their money. Lets consider a different tact to convince them the merits of what we have to offer.

You have finalized your presentation with the column option you recommend (in this particular instance) and conclude, “Which option works best for you and your family, Mary?”

Mary responds with, “You know, I just don’t think I need it. My old car never gave me any issues.”

Instead of arguing, with Mary, that she was lucky her old car never broke in half, lets proceed in three easy steps:

  1. Verify. Confirm the objection and restate the concern. “Mary, I think I understand what you’re saying. You made a decision, in the past, regarding your old car.”
  2. Empathize. Demonstrate your understanding of the objection. “You didn’t buy a service contract, then, and you haven’t needed it.”
  3. Address. Contrast the previous thinking with current needs. “However, not more than a handful of years ago, who would’ve thought we’d be sitting here discussing the very real likelihood that the factory radio in your new car, alone, could cost between $2500 – $3500 just for the part. Then someone has to pay to have the old one removed and the new one installed. That’s one of about 5000 parts on your new car.”

*String it together and, by all means, be sincere: “Mary, I think I understand what you’re saying. You made a decision, in the past, regarding your old car. You didn’t buy a service contract then and you haven’t needed it. However, not more than a handful of years ago, who would’ve thought we’d be sitting here discussing the very real likelihood that the factory radio in your new car, alone, could cost between $2500 – $3500 just for the part. Then someone has to pay to have the old one removed and the new one installed. That’s one of about 5000 parts on your new car.”

The bottom line here is to listen with the intent to understand, not to merely reply. Be sincere and avoid the debate. EARN the right to be an advisor.

Give it a try. Good luck and good selling.

Erik Landrum
F&I Performance Coach at Conley Insurance Group

Conley Insurance GroupCopyright 2015 – Conley Insurance Group Inc.,

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