August '20

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90 • RV PRO • August 2020 rv-pro.com RV I N S I G H T Maximizing F&I During COVID-19 With customers spending less time in the dealership, it's important that the F&I representative use technologies like web meeting platforms to make compelling pitches to customers for F&I products and services. T he new paradigm dealers find them- selves working in during this time of the coronavirus pandemic is starting to become the new normal. As a result, the world of finance and insurance is changing almost faster than the technology can be updated. During the past two quarters, many dealers taught customers that it is OK (and maybe even preferable) to shop online, to take vir- tual tours of inventory and to submit a credit application online. The operative word seems to be "online" – which means orientations are done using YouTube videos and there is no-contact delivery. Even now, though, some finance representa- tives have taken the posture that if a customer wants to purchase an RV, they must come into the dealership. Granted, I see the logic. After all, in-person closings are in dealer agreements with the manufacturers and lenders. However, that is not in the mindset of today's potential customers, many of whom want to purchase their unit in a safe and healthy environment and take off for the great outdoors. So, I believe dealers should continue to ask the lenders about accepting electronic signa- tures on contracts and ask manufacturers to amend their agreements to allow for delivery on the units to be off the dealership's property. In those instances when customers are coming into the dealership, think of ways to make them feel welcomed and safe. For example, you might let them know the measures your dealership is taking on their behalf, such as sharing details of your building-cleaning regimen and social distancing practices. Smile, and perhaps offer an elbow touch in place of a handshake. Let them know their business is appreciated. Meanwhile, many dealerships have changed the customer closings to the conference room in order to observe social distancing require- ments. Still others have taken the contracts out to the customer's cars to obtain their signatures. In today's marketplace, a finance professional must be able to successfully complete a product presentation online, which includes being comfortable being on video while presenting the products to the customers. By Jan Kelly Jan Kelly is the president of Kelly Enterprises. She is a sales trainer and consultant, convention speaker, and writes frequently for industry publications. For information about training opportunities or joining an F&I training group, call 800-336-4275 or visit www.JLKelly.com.

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