JM&A: How dealers can adapt F&I for EV buyers

Though the EV is relatively new to the automotive world, the building blocks to success remain the same. At the heart of that is creating a reliable foundation for building relationships with your customers. Your dealership needs to present intentional, tailored customer service and stellar follow-through. Regardless of the type of vehicle they plan to drive, customers want to know you care about them and want to earn their business. EV shoppers are incredibly knowledgeable about the product they’re buying. Product knowledge, both from a vehicle and F&I perspective, will go a long way in establishing reliability with your customers.

Once you establish trust and communication, opening the door to F&I is another element of the value you’re adding to the ownership and driving experience. And while the structure of the F&I conversation may not change much for an EV customer, your approach and product offerings should. Just as you sell products for new, used and leased vehicles, having a suite of products designed specifically for EV models is necessary to provide your customers with the coverage and protection that are the trademark of F&I products. Remember, your EV customers are purchasing a vehicle with the relative unknown of how long electric components may last and may want a menu of coverage options for mechanical breakdowns, necessary service and repairs.

Like internal combustion vehicles, EVs present a crucial F&I opportunity for your dealership to find enhanced profitability and create additional touch points to help extend the customer life cycle. To effectively sell F&I products on electric vehicles, it’s essential to provide ongoing training to your F&I managers so they remain product experts and can communicate the value to your customers. The principles of active listening to understand the motivations and concerns of your customers are especially relevant for EV buyers in the F&I office.

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