When trying to convince customers of the importance of having an extended service contract to protect their tech-laden new vehicle, do your F&I managers spell out the intricacies of Bluetooth or stability control? If so, tell them to take a step back and zero in on the customers' interests.
"We bring the conversation to points that affect them, like the touch screen," said Anthony Velardi, finance director at Findlay Toyota in Henderson, Nev., outside Las Vegas. "Even if they only use the touch screen to play the radio, if that goes out it will affect them. There is no [radio knob] to use anymore."
Most car buyers understand that automotive engineering has advanced to such a degree that cars are more reliable and easier to maintain than at any time in history. That knowledge is a double-edged sword, though, causing confusion in the F&I office, especially when they are presented with a choice of extended warranties.
"It's important to present extended warranty information in the appropriate way," Velardi said. "You'll get people saying, "Well, Toyota has a warranty. Why do I need an extra one? Are you saying the car [isn't any good]?' Of course we're not saying that. What we're saying is the technology takes the car to another level, beyond the engine. The technology runs the car."