Advancements in technology and steps toward the online transaction seem critical to a dealership’s future. Maybe they are, but it’s also important to remember that each consumer’s priorities are different.
F&I managers should aim for the easiest, simplest and fastest transaction, said George Angus, president of F&I consulting firm Team One Group. Depending on the F&I manager and the car buyer, a paper process may yield the strongest results.
Angus suggests that F&I managers take care in using technology to sell to young buyers in particular.
Some younger buyers are unimpressed with F&I managers’ use of a tablet, especially if they can operate it better than the manager can, Angus said.
“It’s cumbersome if [the F&I manager is] flailing around on an iPad with a millennial buyer,” he said. “You lose all your credibility.”
And because younger buyers are so connected to technology, they have grown up inundated by online and mobile ads and could now tend to block them out.
“They are used to being sold online and have a very short attention span. I think the time element is more critical here,” Angus said. “Long sales pitches fall on deaf ears.”
Aggressive tactics can backfire, too. If young buyers feel like they are being sold, he said, “they react the same way in terms of sales resistance” as older customers.
That means increased tech training is essential, or if that’s not possible, dealers should customize their F&I process based on the consumer.