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It pays not to be lax in your F&I services

August 12, 2011
Filed under From the Editors

What is it that customers like about department stores like Wal-Mart and Target? What drives consumers there week after week? The most obvious reason is department stores are a one-stop shop.

At a department store, a customer can walk in and grab nearly everything for their day-to-day life, from clothing to groceries, jewelry to toilet paper, iPods to camping gear and a lot more. Customers like the convenience of going to one place to finish all their shopping. So how does this apply to your dealership?

Your dealership should be a one-stop shop for every vehicle you sell. Sure, at nearly every dealership, a customer can buy a motorcycle and be geared from head to toe and have that bike accessorized before they walk out the door. But there’s more you can do.

Dealers have the opportunity to provide even more value to their customers and truly become a one-stop shop by providing F&I services. If a customer is interested in a bike, offer them financing options. Do they want to drive it straight out of your dealership? Offer insurance too. What if they’re worried about maintenance? Give them a reason to come back to your service department with a warranty and an extended service plan.

But why should you add all these and other F&I services? The primary reasons are for customer service and retention and profit.

Steve Jones, senior project manager for Gart Sutton & Associates, reports that surveys have shown customers are more satisfied with dealers who can provide the F&I services they need.

Sarah Weaver of Dairyland Cycle Insurance adds that, “basically, the reason I feel that they should do it is to create a social experience at a dealership.”

Profits are also found in that there are very little costs to sales, and no inventory is held, so most of the money spent by customers goes back into your dealership, which can tack profits on to every sale.

Need more of a reason? Pick up the September issue of Powersports Business, which will feature several F&I articles and dealer success stories. If you’re concerned about F&I because of the latest federal rules, make sure you catch “The New Rules of F&I” session to be presented by Peter Jones of Galt Enterprises at Profit Xcelerator, Powersports Business’ Conference and Expo. The event is set for Sept. 25-27 at the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Las Vegas. Click here to register.

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