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From: Jared Hamilton
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Mike Gorun

Mike Gorun Managing Partner/CEO

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Selling in the Service Drive with a Twist

It’s not a new idea to have one of your salespeople working the service drive. Opportunities and circumstances exist where it may be beneficial for the customer to trade-in their car that needs to be repaired. Having someone who can not only identify those opportunities but who also knows how to present it to the customer properly is rare.

That being said, have you ever considered having your F&I manager work the service drive? Most F&I managers have been in sales at one point in their career, so they are well equipped and have the skills to take advantage of every opportunity.

An F&I manager can see opportunities everywhere. If he and the service advisors work as a team, there are many more circumstances, which could lead to additional revenue for the store.

Consider this:

  1. An F&I manager can present pre-paid maintenance plans and extended warranties to customers with the knowledge and sales ability to explain the features and benefits.
  2. An F&I manager also has the ability to determine when it may be beneficial for both the store and the customer to investigate whether it makes sense to trade-in the current vehicle for a new one rather than make costly repairs.
     

Except for the most ambitious salespeople, most consider having to work the service drive as being sent to work in the Arctic Circle. They aren’t able to watch for or help any walk-in customers and they aren’t able to take any incoming phone calls; both of which are what they would consider their bread & butter that leads to a sale.

Don’t get me wrong, your F&I manager is busy (hopefully), and likely will not be too pleased at the idea of working the service drive. However, he may be not only one of your BEST people to put into the service drive but he also has the most to gain from it as he would get the commission and penetration from the sale of any maintenance plan or warranty. If he were to convert a service customer into a sale, he would have the opportunity to make more money by being able to type the deal and present the whole F&I menu to the client. In this situation, the F&I manager would benefit from additional income.

There are many opportunities that exist in the service drive to increase revenue for your store, and having someone looking for these opportunities is a great plan of action. I’m not talking about having them all day – try it for an hour or two. I’ve heard of a couple of F&I managers that picked up 2-3 additional deals a day by doing this.

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