Technology Is Changing…You Ready For The Avatar?

Technology Is Changing…You Ready For The Avatar?

The annual NADA Convention is a showcase for what is the latest and greatest in the auto world. When I walk the floor of the convention, I am always searching for the newest mousetrap that will assist the sales and F&I process.

This year, I found For the first time, I watched an “avatar” in motion. An avatar is a virtual person on a computer making a presentation. This virtual individual can be speaking about a dealership, an inventory, etc., and in the near future can deliver a response to any number of questions.

My first reaction was WOW, this new tool could be used in the follow-up process for missed sales in the F&I office.

Opportunities for additional sales

From what I have observed, the average dealership F&I department is a star when they close 50 percent of their service agreements, and even less in protective coatings.

Imagine the ability to send a message to the customer that has animation about whatever it is they chose not to purchase. Email could become the F&I department’s best friend-a resource that has the potential to bring customers to the dealership to purchase valuable protection. Additional sales could be just a click away.

For those times when the customer wants to “think about it” and will not commit to the purchase immediately, this new technology is a good tool for bringing them back to the dealership.

Today’s customers are time-conscious. They do not spend time at the dealership doing research on their purchases; instead, they go on-line.

Develop an online presence

The F&I department must develop an on-line presence within the dealership Website. A presence that is different, innovative, entertaining, and informative-more than simply an online credit application and privacy notice.

Why not showcase protective coatings and have some testimonials posted? I suggest that when you hear a customer say “thank you for showing me ____”, you ask him or her to write a testimonial. (Be sure to secure the customer’s permission before you use their statements in your advertising.)

Visit When you do, visualize what this technology can do for your dealership’s follow-up, for appointment confirmations, and for your bottom line.

Dealer Marketing Magazine, April 2007. P. 49