Apologizing for Your Menu, and Working with The Interrupter
“I’m sorry Folks…what I’m about to do, next, the Government forces me to do!” You might as well be the reason they have to pay taxes!!!
Well it isn’t quite that bad, but, frankly, some of the menu lead-ins I’ve heard are conveying that very sentiment.
What I have witnessed goes something like… “I’m required by law to cover your repayment options.”
To be clear, what we’re really trying to do is maintain best business practices by offering 100% of our guests, 100% of our applicable products, 100% of the time!!! Blaming this on “The Man” doesn’t instill confidence in your Guest(s) or bode well for the outcome of your deal. Therefore, it isn’t recommended and really isn’t a factually accurate reason for the presentation, either.
Compliance (defined as the action or fact of complying with a wish or command) is a far more appropriate term to use, if one must be used! That said, I wouldn’t recommend any type of “out”, so to speak. The use of which, again, engenders a sort of veiled apology, and I would never consider apologizing for offering my Guests the products (and their corresponding protections) that I have available for them to take advantage.
To review, after I’ve dispatched with my housekeeping paperwork / ancillary documents (envelope, insurance confirmation, incentive verification, bailment & hold harmless agreement, pricing and acknowledgement form, etc.), I will proceed to the privacy notice, hand-written credit application, printed credit application, and credit score disclosure / risk based pricing notice.
Once completed, …“Folks, these are probably the two most important documents we’re going to look at today. Let’s go over it and make sure I have everything on here correctly” (referring to the hand-written Buyer’s Order presented in tandem with the Menu). I then proceed to check the accuracy, one figure at a time, with their participation …”Again, we have an approved sale price of $47,304” (referring to this figure on the Buyer’s Order), “which I have right here” (referring to this figure on the Menu). “We have an incentive package of $2500, which I have right here” (again, cross referencing the numbers).“We’re buying your old car from you for $10,000 … on which your exact 10 day payoff is $12,367.51. Between our administrative, the states $2.50 lien, and the $5.00 temp tag fee, we have a total here of $106.50.”
“Now you’ll notice here that I’ve secured for you a choice of terms, both 60 and 72 months and the corresponding interest rate is the same for both terms” (where possible). “And I want you to know that you can take delivery of your new car, right now, for that, with approved credit. I have to say it like that, I’ve already got you approved” (if applicable). “Now, that may, or may not be your best choice. We’re going to take a look at some of your options, and I’m going to make a recommendation, in your case, here in a minute. However, I have to make you aware of all of your options. Here we go. It will go pretty quick!”
From here we go directly into our menu presentation, concluding with re-direction to the Option Column we would recommend as most appropriate, in their particular case.
Nowhere, in the body of the presentation, was there an apologetic sounding reference!
Then, of course, we’ve all dealt with The Interrupter.
We’re attempting to conduct our menu presentation and he blurts out… “I can stop you right there…I don’t want any of that stuff!” We’ve all experienced it.
Instead of scratching out a quick note, “Customer Forfeits All Options” (and hoping he ends up regretting it later), perhaps we could continue with, “Mike, I appreciate you trying to save both of us a little time. I have to review this with you. I tell you what…I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version.” We then proceed with a slightly abbreviated version of our regular menu presentation.
By acknowledging the concern and adjusting to it (not to mention the importance of the presentation, itself) chances are that our Guest(s) (once we proceed with the presentation) will still see value in our products possibly 20-25% of the time. Contrast this outcome with the given 0% success rate resulting from surrendering to their un-informed demands, and it’s easy to, once again, conclude why this is a best business practice.
After all, I’m sure it happens in your store. I see it all the time, myself. Calls come in from Folks who’ve purchased a vehicle a few (to several) years earlier. They’re desperately hoping you’ll confirm they purchased a VSC that will pay for the thousands of dollars worth of work their vehicle now needs. Try to save them from making a bad decision, today, resulting in really bad news, later!!!
Give it a try.
Good luck and good selling!
F&I Performance Coach at Conley Insurance Group