3 Min ReadDecember 21, 2023

Pull Back the Curtain on Your Dealership’s F&I to Modernize the Car Sales Process

Pull Back the Curtain on Your Dealership’s F&I to Modernize the Car Sales Process.

Today’s car buyers value a fast, easy and convenient experience. Transactions have become faster over time due to tools like digital retailing and mobile applications. However, the F&I office continues to eat up time. A CDK study found that 65% of consumers spend up to 45 minutes waiting to see the F&I Manager.

Dealers need to innovate the F&I process to truly modernize the buying process and deliver on customer expectations. The promising news is that remote selling and showroom tools provide an intuitive F&I experience for customers while remaining within guardrails set by managers.

Going this route does require the F&I office to trust sales staff to take the wheel when required. If this sounds daunting, consider the long-term costs to the dealership if waiting for F&I results in a poor consumer experience. Here’s how to get started.

Train Sales Staff on F&I Product Menus

Even customers who prefer to do most of the purchase steps online appreciate an expert consultation. Sales staff need to be familiar with F&I menus and trained to speak about the benefits of the products to the customer. This can put the customer more at ease when they finally do enter the F&I office.

Build a Strategy and Share It

Assess your F&I profile and build a strategy around selling the products that are most valuable to your dealership. Share the strategy and compensation structure with sales staff. For example, prioritize pre-paid maintenance and other downstream revenue-generating products instead of focusing first on guaranteed asset protection (GAP), which has no benefit to the dealership beyond that initial sale. One caveat: Don’t jeopardize personalization. Make sure presentations are still tailored to the customer’s needs by referencing buying history and comparable shopper data.

Include F&I on the Sales Platform

Allow customers to view your entire menu of vehicle accessories, protection plans and other F&I add-ons as part of the sales process. This enables a continuous, intuitive experience with the benefit of showing the customer exactly how the selected products will change their total monthly payments.

Loosen the Reins

The ingrained habit of bringing customers to the box will be hard to break. But loosening the reins and allowing customers and sales staff to handle remote interviews and presentations can net many benefits. Start the interview before the customer comes in — give them the option to see products on a tablet away from the dealership — to eliminate time spent in the F&I office.

At the dealership, the salesperson also doesn’t have to leave the customer’s side to get approvals because managers can track activity from a dashboard so they can run deals faster. This makes for happier customers and more productive sales staff.

If you want to modernize the F&I process, include F&I on one sales platform with prescribed and mandatory steps. This modern retailing approach will speed up transactions and improve the customer experience. And with a selling strategy that prioritizes downstream-revenue-generating products, you’ll speed up the purchase process, which ultimately delivers happier customers.

F&I at the Dealership white paper

Share This

Jason Swiech
By Jason Swiech
Product Marketing Manager

Jason is the F&I Product Marketing Manager for CDK Global’s Modern Retail portfolio, orchestrating the launch of multiple solutions to help dealers meet the needs of customers in this ever changing market.  This includes the signing experience as well as the processes to move the F&I office into a fully digital workflow. He is responsible for the coordination between CDK customers and our product teams to improve the F&I experience for both dealers and car shoppers.

Recent Insights

Ease of Purchase Hits New High in February

Ease of Purchase Hits New High in February

Despite hurdles when it comes to affordability, more car buyers said it was easy to complete their purchase in February...
2 Min ReadFeb 27David Thomas
That’s a Wrap. Takeaways From N A D A 2024.

That’s a Wrap: Takeaways From NADA 2024

The camaraderie and partnership that comes with being at NADA were in full effect at this year’s show in Las...
3 Min ReadFeb 19CDK Global
Buyers Take the Wheel for Car Sales in 2024.

Buyers Take the Wheel for Car Sales in 2024

After three years of dramatic post-pandemic market swings, buyers in 2024 are poised to take back the wheel with plenty...
3 Min ReadFeb 13CDK Global
What’s the Key to Win the Automotive Service Wars.

What’s the Key to Win the Automotive Service Wars?

Although 2024 is shaping up to be a buyer’s market, new and used vehicles continue to be painfully expensive for...
3 Min ReadFeb 9David Thomas
Friction Points 2024

CDK Releases the Friction Points 2024 Study

The automotive industry has returned to somewhat of a pre-pandemic state at the end of 2023, but car buyers are...
1 Min ReadFeb 1CDK Global
The Game Changing Value of an Automotive C R M.

The Game-Changing Value of an Automotive CRM

The automotive industry is known for its love of acronyms and buzzwords. Most of the time we see dealers change...
4 Min ReadFeb 1Amber Good
Busting the Top Five Myths About the American Car Dealer.

Busting the Top Five Myths About the American Car Dealer

When you live and breathe the industry you work in, you tend to get a little protective of your colleagues...
5 Min ReadJan 29Barb Edson
Service Shopper 3 point 0 white paper.

What’s Changed in Service Shopper 3.0

Winning over a shopper is difficult for any type of retailer. Securing someone’s business looking to service their car however,...
1 Min ReadJan 12CDK Global
F and I Manager Tips. Hidden Opportunities in the Service Department.

F&I Manager Tips: Hidden Opportunities in the Service Dept

At first glance, the F&I and Service departments may seem worlds apart. Yet, both departments are critical linchpins in connecting...
4 Min ReadJan 12Saundi Crandall
New Cars Easier to Find, Bolstering Buyer Attitudes.

New Cars Easier to Find, Bolstering Buyer Attitudes

Car buyers raced against the clock to secure deals before the end of the year while inventories and incentives were...
2 Min ReadJan 3David Thomas