Here’s the script for the “F&I Sales Process” video above:
Now that we’re seated comfortably in the business office, it’s important for you to understand the F&I Sales Process through which the business manager will lead you to wrap up your deal and, hopefully for them, to generate a bit more revenue.
If you’re dealing with a true professional, The whole process begins in quite a friendly manner. The F&I Manager will start to build some rapport with you, likely by talking about you, your family, or the car you’re about to buy. They will also go over the preliminary agreement that you made with the sales manager just to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
They should also inspire confidence by telling you what to expect and talking about their responsibilities to you. Their job from your perspective will be to process your state-mandated paperwork, go over your vehicle warranty, and potentially to arrange your financing.
Once you seem compliant and ready to go, they’ll have you start signing papers. Basic, easy ones, really just to get you into the habit of signing things they put in front of you. They will tell you what the document is, maybe a sentence about what it is for, and then highlight where to sign. They aren’t going to lead with the heavy-duty stuff because that would be too contentious in the beginning.
He or she will also start to ask some probing questions.
- What do you do for work?
- How long do you plan to own the car?
- What would happen if an accident happened to you?
- How would you make the payments?
They may tell a third-party setup story like,
“Yeah, I recently had a customer named Jim buy a car from me who works in construction just like you. I feel so sorry for him because He broke his ankle on site a couple of months ago and hasn’t been able to get back to work. It can be a dangerous job.”
These types of future-pacing third-party stories are an extremely effective sales technique. Note that The business manager isn’t pitching a product yet, but they’re setting it up by getting you to think about how the payments would be made if you got hurt at work. That’s just one example, though, and the best salespeople are highly adaptable.
If you were to ask why they’re asking personal questions, they always have the fallback position of,
“I’m trying to secure a loan for you, and the lender may ask me questions like that. I just want to know how you would answer them.”
Just be aware that most of these folks are extremely talented salespeople who aren’t trying to make friends with you. Sure they want you to have a pleasant experience, but they also want you to buy more things. Untrained car buyers go back into their office every day, not realizing that the entire F&I sales process and conversation up to this point is a setup for a sales pitch.
There is only one case where it’s not a pitch.
An auto lender will approve funds for the front-end purchase as well as extra for back-end products, often several thousand dollars above the vehicle price when the buyer falls into a favorable tier. Sometimes credit scores or financial capability are tight for a buyer, so the lender may say to the dealer, that yes, we’ll give you the front-end but nothing else. The business manager will call the rep directly at that point and ask for more, but sometimes they get told no as well, and they may be the only lender willing to approve anything for certain buyers. In this event only, they will not attempt to sell you anything even if you offer to pay cash for back-end products.
Because now, if you offer more cash, they must resubmit to the lender anyway, and since they were already shaky on the deal, the lender may just want the newly offered cash as a down payment instead. Trust me, folks, there are a lot of moving and unseen parts to a car deal. If you can be sold something, then it will definitely be offered to you.