How To Sell An Intangible – A Finance And Insurance Sales Training Example

Finance and insurance sales training:

Many years ago I had my first sales assignment as a finance and insurance salesperson at a Chrysler automobile dealership in North Carolina.

I remember one of my first customer’s was Mr. & Mrs. Jacobs. They were a middle aged couple with one teenager still at home. They were buying a new Chrysler that would primarily be Mrs. Jacobs car.

There is one big difference in auto sales training and finance and insurance sales training. In car sales you are selling a tangible item the prospects can see and feel. In finance and insurance sales you are selling an intangible the prospects can’t see and feel. One is not better or worse they are just different and require different sets of selling tools.

The products I sold as a finance salesperson were things like extended service contracts, credit life insurance, accident and health insurance, and the actual financing of the vehicle they were purchasing.

Two intangible selling tools used in finance and insurance sales training

Intangible selling tool #1 – Savings / cost comparison:
First I presented to the Jacobs an extended service contract and Mr. Jacobs said he didn’t want it.

Then I showed him a list of 10 of the most common types of major repairs people need to have done on their vehicles that the extended service contract covers. Next to each item was listed the labor hours required to do the repair multiplied by the average per hour labor rate for the local area. And next to that was the average parts cost of that particular repair. Most of these individual repairs came to a total of parts and labor cost of over a thousand dollars some were several thousand dollars.

I then showed him and extended service contract that was priced at $599. I also showed him the details of the coverage and how each of my 10 common examples would have been fully covered. This could possibly save him thousands of dollars in repair costs depending on the type of repair.

After showing him how much his potential savings could be and then comparing it to the much lower cost of the service contract he agreed to buy it.

Intangible selling tool #2 – Protecting a loved one:
The second product I presented to the Jacobs was credit life insurance on their car loan. Again Mr. Jacobs responded by saying, “I don’t need it.”

I agreed with Mr. Jacobs that he may not need the credit life insurance but his wife, who was a stay at home mom, may need it one day. I explained that if he were to unexpectedly pass away his wife would be required to continue making the payments on her car if she wanted to keep it.

I them gave him two examples of actual situations I knew of regarding credit life insurance on cars where the husband passed away.

After that, Mr. Jacobs wanting to protect his wife said he would take the credit life insurance on their car loan.

The finance and insurance sales training take away tip
How to sell an intangible? In both situations I was selling a product that my prospects could not see or feel. And with the above two selling tools I turned the product’s benefits into something my prospects could see and feel.

Try using these selling tools on your next intangible product presentation and watch it improve your closing success.

How Does Floor Plan Financing Work For Car Dealerships

Floor plan financing is a key element of the auto industry in both Canada and the United States . Exactly what is floor plan financing and how does it work?

This type of financing is in effect a short term inventory financing for both new and used car dealerships . Traditionally the floor plan industry was geared towards what we know as franchise dealers, i.e those dealers representing product for the likes of GM, CHRYSLER, FORD, etc .

The financing allows the dealers to carry sufficient inventory to satisfy customer needs and demands re model types, accessories, options, etc . It is an extremely large market in what is of course a multi billion dollar industry .

When floor planning financing works properly it is effective, has a reasonable cost attached to the financing, and is totally transparent to the consumer . As consumers when we drive past auto dealerships, either new or used, we don’t care how the inventory got there, we just know its there for us to examine and purchase .

Floor plan financing is executed on both a small and large basis . It is not unusual for finance firms to use more esoteric finance vehicles such as asset backed commercial paper, Special Investment Vehicles ( commonly called SIV’s ) etc. to finance the billions of dollars of inventory that the industry needs to move product through .

Naturally, whether we are talking about the largest GM dealer in town, or a small used car dealership with multi lines of vehicles there has to be a finance program that can grow and backstop that inventory .

In the Canadian marketplace as an example, with which this writer is more familiar , the independent dealers have as much need as franchise dealers for this valuable type of financing .

We have all read recently that many of the tier one floor plan firms such as GMAC and CHRYSLER CREDIT have withdrawn substantially from the market . This has allowed a number of private firms to enter the market and capitalize on the withdrawal of the ‘ big boys ‘ . Additionally, as the banks perceived the auto market as significantly more risky in the current 2008-2010 economic turmoil they also have scaled bank in their previous focus on floor plan financing for car dealerships .

Finance firms that execute well on floor plan financing initiatives are those that of course properly funded ; they also know how to collateralize the inventory through proper legal documentation and registration. The average term for a car being on the auto lot tends to be within 30-90 days . The floor plan financier registers liens on the vehicle, and when the vehicle is sold that lien is removed . The finance firm of course profits from the ability to charge the dealership interest over that 30-90 day period . Naturally this process repeats itself continuously . Lenders must have reasonable confidence in the financial viability of the dealer, more experienced and financially solvent dealers can naturally command larger floor planning facilities . Dealers also are subject to rigorous audits of the inventory . The lender wants to know the car is still there and hasn’t been sold and not paid for of course! Therefore VIN ( vehicle identification numbers ) are checked regularly by finance company personnel , insurance is validated, and random inspections are common

Overall the auto floor plan facility is a key aspect of the automotive market , and is a significant benefit to both new an car dealers alike .

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