Pack a Punch with Protection Product Presentations
By Ted Ings, Executive Director
Anyone who’s bought a car from a dealership or worked in an auto sales department can identify with “The Box”.
The sales agreement has been signed. The next step is to visit the F&I office, also known as "The Box", to settle the money matters. It’s also when extra insurance coverages, service plans, and vehicle protection products are presented for the first time.
It’s about that time that a customer goes on the defensive.
They’ve already committed their hard-earned money to buy a car, and now they’re being pitched expensive add-ons. It’s easy to show benefits of certain items – specifically extended service plans and insurance coverage – with numbers. But it’s not so easy anymore to work the protection packages into the deal.
Where Is the Protection Product Presentation?
People are keeping cars longer than ever. New car owners are keeping their cars, on average, almost 72 months. That’s six years. The average age of cars on the road today is over 11 years. Yet despite the increasing ownership length of new cars sold, protection packages aren’t becoming more prevalent. With just over 10 percent of customers buying the ProPack, there’s money left on the table.
There’s no dispute over the benefits in protection items.
Appearance protection is self-explanatory. Undercoating provides sound insulation and an extra barrier against corrosion. Anyone with kids or a messy husband can see the value in fabric protection. And because everyone loves to keep their car looking great, paint protection has to be desirable.
Can you demonstrate the benefits?
That’s where the hang-up likely lies for most buyers. Aside from small chits on a product's demo sheet, the customer doesn’t get to see the true benefits of a Protection Program. But there IS something your dealership can do about it.
Have a demo vehicle for Protection Products. It can be the accessorized vehicle in the showroom or any other new vehicle in inventory. Apply the complete protection package so customers can see the real-life product in action. It should include:
- Windshield Protection
- Theft Protection
- Tire and Wheel Protection
- Appearance Protection
- Maintenance Programs
Ever thought about an F&I walk-around? Place a mirror under the car to show off the undercoating protection.
Point out the rustproofing spray or electronic rust module and explain the process and benefits. Do a ‘pour test’ on the upholstery to show why the fabric guard is important.
There’s great gross profit available in Protection Programs. Help your customers see the value in protection products and you won’t be able to stop them from buying it.
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