29 Jun Higher PRU During COVID-19? Not So Crazy After All…
Way back in March when COVID-19 shutdowns rolled across the US (seems like forever ago, doesn’t it?) dealerships were one of the businesses that took an immediate hit. Showrooms and lots emptied and either transitioned to online sales or closed altogether. It was like a bad 80’s science fiction movie. Society just seemed to stop.
Then something funny happened. The stats from F&I in particular for May showed a higher average PRU than BEFORE the shutdowns occurred. How did that happen? What is this all about?
Sales are still slow and customers in many states are still slow to leave their homes. But it seems that with lower than usual lot traffic, the F&I managers had something they rarely were afforded before COVID-19…
Time to get to know their customers. Time to ask the right questions to figure out what products they really need. Time to walk through presentations properly and thoroughly. When you are not rushed with deals stacked up at the sales desk, it gives F&I managers a chance to be better prepared to dive into the benefits of each product or package.
It’s still not ideal to be behind year-over-year in sales and yes that impacts the overall monthly profits behind F&I but maybe the better way to think about it would be that this lull actually can help give the staff a chance to sharpen their skills and slow down a little to make the real human connections that result in higher penetration and even higher CSI.
Is There A Bigger Lesson Here?
If and when sales numbers start to increase and customers begin to venture out to the lots again, F&I may look back on this slowdown as a blueprint for how to maintain a higher PRU by simply slowing down the process even just a little bit. Sure Saturdays get crazy-busy but maybe there is a way to pace the deals or tweak the process just enough that they have more TIME to dig deep to sell more.
There is something to be said for not rushing through every deal. Taking your time can yield big results and big profits.
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