Making Sense and Protecting the House

Posted by Erik Landrum on April 13, 2019 in Administrative Topics, F&I Selling Strategies, General Communication Skills

Recently, a colleague showed me a menu from a local restaurant. He asked me to take a look at the names chosen for some of the menu items.

“Does that make any sense to you?” he asked. “By looking at the name of several of these items, do you have any idea what the dish is?”

Looking at the menu, myself, he had a good point! Creativity for its own sake (while, unfortunately, sacrificing clarity), seemed to be the idea behind some of these names. Good thing our menus in the Business Office don’t share this trait!

Or do they?

Routinely, confused looks confront us in the Business Office. It is NOT our Guest’s problem to try and figure out what we are sharing with them. It is ours, ALONE! Confused folks don’t buy things. We must construct and follow a process that is plain and easy to understand. From our initial greeting and interview, to the introduction of ancillary / ”house keeping” documents, through menu presentation and, finally, closing paperwork…does it ALL make sense?

It may not, and our Guests may quickly become lost and confused. Production WILL diminish!

An easy way to ensure we are on the right track is to put together a sample deal. Let’s make it a new vehicle deal, for all the franchised stores out there, or a low mileage used vehicle for non-franchised stores. Take care to include ALL the documentation that a typical deal would include. Bring your sample deal home with you and present it exactly as you normally do.

Does everything make sense to your audience? What suggestions are they making that you might consider implementing to improve communication? Not getting much feedback? Explain to them what’s at stake.

No one wants more placed upon their plate. Undoubtedly you are already putting in a sizable number of hours, weekly, and probably don’t want to bring work home with you. However, a minor investment in time, tonight, may pay huge dividends when your washout check hits your hand, next month.

In addition to meeting our production goals, are we meeting all of our obligations to protect the house? Short-cuts, particularly those that we have sort of “experimented” with, over the years, may be disasters looking for a place and time to happen! Consider what, if any, of the documentation that makes up your sample deal jacket may be missing. Are all of your disclosures in place? Lately it seems as though a little less emphasis is being placed on some of these items, many of which aren’t just best business practices.

A thorough review of your documents and disclosures will help ensure that each of your Guests has ample opportunity to fully understand your process. It was designed to work that way. Skipping steps may lead to confusion. Not only that, but remember, when that one Guest who “nope’d” you has a catastrophic, budget destroying failure and claims you never offered them a plan to protect their investment, you’ll be able to prove otherwise…in writing!

Think about it. Give it a go.

Good luck and good selling!

Erik Landrum
F&I Performance Coach at Conley Insurance Group

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