When it comes to closing, communication is, without a doubt, the most crucial skill involved. You can be armed with the strongest closes and smoothest word tracks, however, if you cannot effectively communicate a message to your customer, you won’t realize your true potential as a professional. Think of it like this: If your customer speaks one language, but you present your entire menu in a different one, does it really matter if you hit all the value points correctly?
On the surface, you would think this idea is so obvious it almost goes without saying, yet the vast majority of finance managers in our business continue to unknowingly present to their customers using the wrong language. When I say they are using the wrong language, I am not talking about English or Spanish — I am talking about basic communication.
To Close, You Need to Understand VAK: Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic Learning
According to Barbe’s VAK learning styles, humans have three basic methods of absorbing information: Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic (hence, VAK). Visual learners understand best when they see information presented to them. Auditory learners take in information by hearing instruction. Finally, kinesthetic (or tactile) learners can listen to information all day long, but they need firsthand experience in order to learn efficiently. Because we sell intangible protection products, I will not be delving into the Kinesthetic learning approach in this article.
I know what you are thinking right about now: “That is all well and good, but I am not in school anymore, so how does this make me more money?”
Here’s why. The majority of people are visual learners. In fact, according to the Social Science Research Network, this is true for 65% of the population, while 30% percent of the population are auditory learners. Of course, that leaves 5% left for the kinesthetic club. The problem is that most seasoned finance managers present to their customers strictly through auditory forms of communication. You may have heard the saying, “Preaching ain’t teaching!” If you are using the auditory method, that means you are speaking a language only 30% of your customers understand!
See the issue?
Cover Your Bases
Knowing this, how do we make use of this information? Naturally we cannot ask people, during the customer interview, what type of learner our guest is. Instead, we need to reinvent our presentation so that it caters to both auditory and visual learners. This promotes guided discovery opportunities by the customer, for the protections being offered. A professional visual and auditory presentation should promote consumer clarity questions about how the products can benefit the consumer.
One of the telltale signs of a poor performing store can be found with a simple compliance audit. Almost without fail, the menu in the deal will be a blank print out, if there is even a menu in the deal at all. On the other hand, in a store that has strong F&I production, you will find the menu has writing all over it, front and back, and on every deal.
What is the lesson here? Understand your audience, and tailor your presentation so that the customer best receives the message you are sending. Constantly drawing and using visual props throughout your presentation shows you are engaged in the conversation with the intent on helping the consumer choose the best protection options for their own situation. Visuals not only help us communicate, but they also fully engage customers, and help you retain control. Whether you can draw well or not, implementing this change will result in a noticeable boost in your production.