The basics of menu selling


Duane Marino

Are your F&I menu selling results starting to make you think somebody put you on an income-restricting diet?  Has finance and insurance become frustration and irritation?

What ever happened to the good old days of fun and income?

How can a good F&I manager become a great F&I manager, selling more, selling
faster, increasing customer satisfaction and without risking liability?

The sales, service and finance staff should not be working in a vacuum, but as a team.A business manager must position themselves as a manager, being part of the showroom floor, the sales meetings, assisting sales people and networking with service advisors.

Too many F&I offices are seen as a separate part of the store, with the business
manager rarely coming out of their office or interacting with the team.
Being out of sight and out of mind are not good approaches to maintaining awareness, building respect, selling yourself or growing the merits of your products to those who can (and will) support you.

Dealership first
The business manager must not be working just to earn commission; they must put the company’s principles and reputation first.

For many reasons, the dealership must present and disclose to the customer that coverages are important, but optional. This can be done while still building a strong case for the appropriate coverages.

If the respect between the business manager and customer is exchanged and the customer’s trading and driving habits are understood and compared to current coverages and limitations on the vehicle, making the case for additional coverage is easy.

All manufacturers’ warranties are called limited warranties and the lender expects the customer’s payments will be repaid regardless of income fluctuations. In presenting the options for consumers to protect themselves from unforeseen loss, the dealership’s long-term reputation and liability must not be sacrificed for short-term income and commissions.

Getting technical
Menu selling does not always equate with menu sales. A professional business manager must be able to discern between effective and ineffective sales techniques, study only the strongest methodologies and then execute them, consistently and efficiently.  

I am a huge proponent and user of menu selling, but many Canadians don’t know that menu selling was developed to reduce litigation brought against unscrupulous F&I practices in the U.S.

As a result, many menu selling sales techniques currently being touted to Canadian business managers are primarily full-disclosure tools, not sales tools. Thus, you may be at 100 per cent product disclosure, but not 100 per cent product presentation and your sales numbers are anemic as a result.

Proof in the presentation
Most software programs may support a compliant menu selling presentation; however, no software program runs on its own. A manual menu presentation is every bit as effective, perhaps more so, if presented properly. It takes training and practice.

A compliant computerized or manual menu is purposely designed to disclose all the pertinent protection and numbers without manipulating any of them.

Every customer is made to understand the complete transaction prior to choosing any available product options. Customers will buy when they believe no one is out to gouge their budget and when they see that dealership personnel are not only credible but professional and helpful.

An average turnover time of 30 minutes or less, with huge CSI and a $2,000-per car average is highly obtainable (and common) when using sound menu selling

Plopping down a completed payment menu without proper technique will not only reduce rapport and restrict your presentation, it will hurt your CSI, suppress your numbers, make you appear to be payment packing and even prevent you from discussing the real issues of exposures and coverage.

Menu selling is not merely a concept. It is a belief system based upon integrity. It is not only about what goes on in the finance department; it is about personnel and how every transaction is communicated to all customers, beginning on the lot or in the showroom.

Duane Marino is the principal of Team RelMark Dealer Services. To learn more,  visit his web site at or call 1-888-735-6275 or email