It is essential to continue to track your performance monthly. - Pexels/Pixabay

It is essential to continue to track your performance monthly.


Sometimes we can prepare and train daily, watch online videos and do training assignments. Even have a one-on-one session with a coach who teaches us all the right things to do. And then we do everything right and still get rejected. We took the shot, and we missed it. If your mindset is right, WE didn’t miss it, it just wasn’t the right time to help a customer.

However, everything can change in one day in the car business. The great news about the following three simple things is that because of the timing and the strategy behind this idea, time is on your side. The sense of urgency and call to action are here in greater presence than ever before, and the customer knows it.

Maybe they leased the vehicle. Maybe they thought they were going to trade but because of a change in their job, or a life change in general, their ownership period has been extended. Perhaps, one of them started driving for Lyft, racked up a ton of miles, are severely upside down and have some drive time left. Timing is everything, especially when people are making big financial decisions.

And timing is critical for your F&I performance. This is why it is essential to continue to track your performance monthly. Tracking your product sales is key to using the three simple things:

Simple Thing #1

Every time you sell a vehicle service contract, you log it and track your performance. Therefore, every time you “miss” one, you have a record of it. Go back into your records and look at the last 36 months’ worth of data. I would start at the 35th month. For example, if it is May 2024, look at the logbook for April 2021. You will then be able to see where all the zeroes are for the VSC category. Start at the top of your list. Type in the stock number of the first missing VSC into your dealership management system. Familiarize yourself with the deal. And perhaps jog your memory. If it was a deal that you signed personally, pick up the phone, call the customer, and let them know that you were reviewing your files and wanted to make sure they had the opportunity to protect the vehicle while it was still under factory warranty. Reassure them that what you are going to offer them is backed by the dealership and has some sort of insurance behind it as opposed to the multitude of offers they have received. They get calls daily and emails soliciting them for bogus contracts with terrible coverage.

That is if you can offer them a service contract and close it over the phone. But in most cases, they will ask how long they can think about it. The great news about this follow-up program idea is that if you do it every month, you always have a sense of urgency. This is because you are calling customers within the last 30 days of their existing coverage. Even if they do not close on the phone with you, you can let them know that they have only a few weeks left before this offer will no longer be available. You can then advise them that if their vehicle falls into disrepair, they will be fully responsible because their factory warranty will have expired. Let them know that they can get back to you by the end of the month and that you will be able to help protect the vehicle.

Simple Thing #2

You can then tell the customer you will send them some information if that is all right with them. “Email me for a sample VSC follow-up letter [contact information below].” You can change the information to fit you and your store along with your phone number and e-mail. Send the letter in the mail in a hand-addressed envelope. In most cases, this will only be two or three calls and letters per day.

Simple Thing #3

You can then follow up a few days later with an e-mail and attach a parts cut-a-way showing the latest component prices on today's vehicles. You can mention that you wanted to make sure they received the letter “you personally mailed” and that it was great talking to them on the phone the other day. Add that you can help process this quickly and get the coverage in force before it is too late.

That then gives you three positive touch points with the consumer within a few weeks of their warranty expiring. It gives you an opportunity to connect with your customers and to help protect their vehicles one last time. You are the trusted source. And if you reach out, you will be surprised how many additional service contract sales you can add that will consistently replace those zeros you are taking each month.

Bonus Pro Tip

Obtain a list of service appointments each evening for the following day and look at the mileage of the cars coming in and what they are coming in for. This is an effortless way to see who is about to expire or who is paying for a repair and might still qualify for coverage, pending an inspection after the repair is completed. Go work your service drive and create some of your own follow-up.

It's a beautiful day … to help a customer!

Gasman is a senior training consultant with Reahard & Associates. With a father who was an F&I manager, he began his own industry career in 2003. He is AFIP Master-certified and ACE-certified.


Originally posted on F&I and Showroom