When Value Exceeds PriceMar 07, 2022
For years, we have been coaching our sales and F&I departments by telling them, “When value exceeds price, your customer will purchase from you”. Is that really the case? I have always believed that, but lately I have put my own spin on it. I think if value exceeds price, your client is “likely” to buy from you. If value exceeds price, and your client likes you, they are more likely to buy from you. What if value exceeds price and the customer “loves” you? The answer is that they will most likely buy from you.
MY CHALLENGE TO YOU
Serve your clients like they are guests in your home. Offer them something before you ever ask them for anything. Robert Cialdini, an American psychologist, author, speaker, and professor, teaches on this very subject. One of his principles of persuasion is “reciprocity.” People will give back to others what they have received. Studies have shown that if your server at a restaurant offers you a gift before bringing the check, the tip will increase. If the server personalizes the gift, the tip will increase substantially.
Offer to serve the customer before they ever say yes to the transaction. As F&I professionals, we need to get out of our office and spend more time on the showroom floor. Introduce yourself to the potential client and let them know who you are, what you do, and how you will enhance the buying experience for them. After you make your great first impression, offer your guests some refreshments. This is super simple and extremely useful. Put together a cart of a few beverage and snack options and offer them to your guest before they come into the F&I office to complete their transaction. Here is an example of a refreshment tray that we use in one of our groups:
Instead of asking your client if they want something to drink, simply bring over the refreshment tray and serve them. They will select something, and that selection will play a physiological role later on in your objection handling. If you are more urgent to serve than to sell, you will sell much more. People buy from people. Do not ever forget that. If you can identify the personality type of the customer that you are attempting to do business with, then you can provide them with solutions in a frictionless environment. You’ve heard of the “Golden Rule”: treat others as you would like them to treat you. In sales, I do not agree with that. I believe that we should treat others the way they want to be treated. How do we do that? We must slow down and get a better understanding of the personality types of our customers. For example, if we have a red, this is an A-type personality that wants to skip the sales pitch and get straight to the point. This customer is impatient. This customer demands the facts and will not tolerate being misinformed. If the F&I manager skipped important steps in their process, they may not have realized what personality type this customer actually is. This costs many people at the dealership money, and most importantly, the customer suffers as a result of not receiving the level of coverage that they truly deserve.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
The most profitable decision one can make is to commit to growth. Set your ego aside and understand that there is always more to learn. This business changes so often that we must stay on top of trends and embrace change. As the industry changes, remember that people still buy from people. Focus more on serving than selling, and you will sell more. If you treat everyone you encounter like they are a guest in your home, you will continue to enhance the buying experience for your customers. At the end of the day, that’s our most important role in F&I.
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