DeNooyer Chevrolet lagged below a national average for dealerships selling extended-service contracts. Now, the Albany, NY, store is above average.

“Our vehicle service-contract penetration is up from 35% to 46%,” dealer principal Joel DeNooyer says. “Our PVR (profit per vehicle) has improved more than $200.”

National VSC penetration has averaged between 40.3% and 42.7% over the past 12 months, according to J.D. Power and Associates.

DeNooyer praises his three finance and insurance managers, all industry veterans, for making the improvements. He also credits Ally Insurance, a unit of Ally Financial, which approached him with its new “Blueprinting” plan for enhanced F&I performance.

DeNooyer, the No.1 Chevy dealer in the Albany market, initially was cautious.

“I didn’t need some company coming in here telling my seasoned guys a lot of basics about selling F&I,” he says. “But the veteran F&I consultants from Ally brought a lot of real-world, hands-on training and support.”

They urge consistent use of menus showing products and services when making F&I presentations to customers, DeNooyer says. “We had been using menu selling, but not consistently and not by all F&I managers or with all customers. Now we do.”

The Blueprinting approach also calls for F&I managers to interview customers at sales peoples’ desks. They return to their office to build the products presentation, then bring in customers.

“As a result, their presentations are more relaxed and thought-out and pertinent to the customer’s expressed needs,” DeNooyer says.

The dealership has restructured its F&I pay plan, reducing emphasis on its auto-financing reserve rate and offering greater rewards for selling F&I products of value.

Several hundred dealers now use the Blueprinting process. “The results are encouraging,” says Ally Insurance President Tom Callahan.

DeNooyer markets and presents Ally’s service contracts as GM Protection Plan programs, leveraging the latter’s name recognition with consumers.

Higher service-agreement sales penetration enhances customer retention, DeNooyer says.

“When we sell customers service agreements, 90% of the time they return here for that service,” he says. “And we know that where you go for service usually is where you buy your next vehicle.”

The dealership sells about 2,700 new and used cars a year.