“But we don’t drive that many miles!” & “Are you telling me this is a bad car?”

Posted by Erik Landrum on April 13, 2019 in F&I Selling Strategies, How to Present Your Menu, Objection Handling

Recently, while visiting a Chevrolet store, I was caught gawking at a ZO6 on the showroom floor. “What a car”, I thought. “This thing’s got everything but an electric dog-polisher”, I said to the Business Manager walking out to greet me. “In fact, they probably offer that as an option, as well”, I said, failing to elicit a laugh.

“You know, I’ve processed several of these, this month”, he shared with me, “and the response to my VSC’s is always the same. ‘We don’t drive that many miles’ is all I ever hear!”

Now, we’ve covered a lot of ground, at this point, in my column. Certainly something that has been reviewed almost ad nauseam is the importance of determining our Guest’s usage patterns, along with a lot of additional information, via our initial interview. Click here for a review. However, let’s expect that this has been done and our VSC offering is in keeping with our Guest’s anticipated usage patterns. Let’s say that they have shared with us that they plan to keep the vehicle for 8 to 10 years, and that they are probably going to be driving 3000 to 5000 miles per year. This is clearly a Sunday driver.

Again, in keeping with material we’ve covered previously, we aren’t going to make our initial VSC offering on the long end (time and mileage wise) of this range but, rather, on the short end. So, for this example we might offer a 6, 7, or 8 year paired with maybe 40,000 miles (and let’s make the deductible $100 to $200 disappearing to foster return visits to our shop…we need to support the back-end, after all).

You make your menu-presentation and it happens…they respond with, “but we don’t drive that many miles!” or, “are you telling me this is a bad car?” This second possible response is particularly scary because now you may suddenly be overcome with dread! You’re thinking, “oh no, did I push too hard? I don’t want to blow-up this deal, the Boss will kill me!” Relax! You’re not pushing too hard. Realistically, at this point, all you’ve done is make them aware of their options and it is now where the poise is called for. Everything will be fine because this is your opportunity to provide much needed perspective.

They are right, 3000 to 5000 miles per year is not a lot, certainly compared to industry averages of 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year. However, these folks, as well as anyone who asks if you’re telling them this is a bad car, will all benefit from what you are now about to share with them.We’ve all (including your Guests) heard of the Takata Airbag Recall. Why?…because this is a massive undertaking affecting vehicles from many different manufacturers. Roughly 37,000,000 vehicles are currently being recalled. By December 2019, the total number of affected airbags is expected to be approximately 65,000,000 to 70,000,000! Click here.

The recalls aren’t limited to bad vehicles. Click here.

And mileage has apparently not been determined to be of issue. Click here, from which I will point out this, from the third paragraph… As postulated early on, environmental moisture, high temperatures, and age as associated with the defect that can improperly inflate the airbags and even send shrapnel into the occupant.

Clearly, we now have evidence, in print, from very reputable industry sources (NHTSA, Cars.com, and none other than Consumer Reports) to back-up our claim that things wear-out with time, as much as mileage, and heavens knows we have more than our share of humidity, here in the Midwest. This is the idea we might share with our first objection, “but we don’t drive that many miles!” As far as the second objection, “are you telling me this is a bad car?”…it’s a ‘global village’ when it comes to much of the parts sourcing. Good cars fail, too!

Are you currently sharing this perspective-enhancing information with your Guests? And don’t forget, that unless (as is the case with the airbag situation) the issue involves a serious safety component, the repair won’t be paid for by the manufacturer. Your Guest will be on the hook!

Think about it.

Good luck and good selling!

Erik Landrum
F&I Performance Coach at Conley Insurance Group

For a printable version click here.

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