Steve would always disclose the extended protection plan as optional, but because it was already in the contract the customer usually said, “Yes.” There were times, though, when he would get objections. Here's how he handled the most common objections.
Customer: We don't want the extended protection.
Steve: Have you had extended protection before?
Customer: No, we never buy stuff like that!
Steve: Allow me just one minute to share why more and more customers like yourself are changing their minds about this option.
It has been a number of years since you bought your last vehicle. A lot has changed over the years. I'm sure you've noticed that prices have increased. However, the technology and improvements have also increased dramatically. With these wonderful enhancements comes a vehicle that is more sophisticated and technical than ever before.
For the most part, the days of you working on your own vehicle are gone. With these more complicated vehicles, there may be service repairs that are more costly than you've seen in the past. Just look at the fuel injection, for example. All it takes is one major thing to go wrong (after your original warranty) and the extended protection plan will have paid for itself. Let's give yourself that added peace of mind. The investment will be only a few dollars more when we add it to your monthly payment.
Customer: Sorry, I don't think we can afford it right now.
Steve: I can certainly relate to living under a tight budget. That's why I believe so much in the extended protection plan. If any of the mechanical problems on this list should arise, there is no need to panic. They are paid for you. Also, that includes using “genuine” parts.
This extended protection plan was designed for customers just like you. It gives you the peace-of-mind that will help you enjoy your new vehicle that much more. I strongly recommend it, and for only a few more dollars a month it really makes sense.
Here's another way to answer that objection.
Steve: “I can personally relate to your wanting to save money whenever possible. That is why when you are under a tight budget, it's comforting to know that should any problems (on this list) arise, you are covered. In other words, we are eliminating the unexpected that can cause you financial stress. That's exactly why most of our customers put the extended protection into the monthly payment. For just a small amount of money each month, you can get the peace-of-mind and security that you need.
Or, you may try this approach:
Steve: Let me mention one more thing and you can make your decision. Just like you, many people are under a tight budget nowadays. That's all the more reason why you need the security of extended protection. If things are tight and you should have a problem after your original warranty, you may be put into a difficult financial situation. Think how thankful you'll be when you can get these repairs for free (less deductible, where applicable).
Customer: But I thought your product was known for quality. Aren't you being hypocritical by selling me extended protection?
Steve: You're right about getting a quality vehicle. However, sometimes things can happen even with high-quality products like ours. One thing I know for sure is that if anything happens (on this list), and you have the extended protection plan, you will not have to pay extra (excluding deductibles, where applicable).
Also, remember an extended protection plan will enhance the trade-in or resale value of your vehicle.
Customer: Well, I just don't know.
Steve: I can understand how you feel. I've had a few customers who initially had reservations such as yours. However, when they measured how little it cost and how much benefit they could gain, they saw the wisdom in having the extra protection. Besides, you can certainly cancel the policy anytime you wish.
Let's go ahead and put it in your monthly payments. If you never need the policy, you'll be grateful for the peace-of-mind. However, if you do someday need it, you'll be very glad you made such a wise decision when buying your vehicle.
Customer: I don't want the extended protection put into my payments. Can I pay you some other way?
Steve: You certainly can. We can (a) accept cash, (b) take a check, (c) place it on your credit card, or (d) seek approval for you to pay part now and the rest in 30 days. Which method of payment is best for you?
EDITOR’S NOTE: Gart Sutton wrote the book on selling finance and insurance products — literally. His “The Professionals Guide To Finance & Insurance” has been a learning tool for dealers in the boating, automotive and powersports markets for years. His column will use excerpts from that book to help readers understand the opportunities they have with F&I.