Best PracticesDealership Communication Tools

Why Do We Need Another F&I Menu?

iTapMenu Screen Shot Main page

Have you seen iTap Menu?

The best thing about the DealerRefresh forums are of course all the conversations happening day in and day out. Some of the best conversations start with a simple question about a new product or offering.

Within the thread “Dealer Desking Favorites“, one of our members JamieS linked to a new desking company – iTap Menu. I was curious so I made a few phone calls and introduced myself to the founder Shawn and sat through a demo of their cutting edge product.

I like it! A alot!

Not only did I sit through a product demo of iTap Menu but also spent some additional time asking Shawn a few questions.

iTapMenu Screen Shot2

Jeff – Shawn, Why does the industry need yet another F&I menu?

Shawn – Because the existing providers created a product that simply doesn’t work in the manner it was designed to.

An unchangeable piece of paper full of text, first and foremost, will not convince someone to increase their monthly payment by $60-80/month. Second, the actual “structure” of the menu is not conducive to selling products.

Why are we presenting four columns labeled after metals from the periodic table and, with no real meaning to the customer, lightly decreasing each column in products and payments from left to right? And finally, 99% of the time, the customer doesn’t want one of the options exactly as created, so now what?  You can’t change a piece of paper…unless you have a Sharpie and your DMS handy to re-calculate the requested changes.

JeffWhat about the F&I Managers that use a menu and produce good numbers?

Shawn – It’s not because of the menu, I know that. I’ve been asked this before.  Thirteen years of consulting and observing F&I departments in over 500 stores confirmed it.

Talented people with a dealership committed to F&I…a culture and history of success, with solid Sales Managers, trained Salespeople, motivating pay plans, and the right set of products. That’s what has made these F&I Managers successful. The paper, four-column menu is simply a by-product of that success. Ask the real F&I professionals. They stopped using the current menu as we know it years ago. And the ones that still do essentially use it to create dialog and negotiate payments with the customer. They aren’t feature/benefit/closing.

With a four-column menu and the way it’s structured, that process isn’t possible. This isn’t my opinion. It’s a fact. Look at it. It’s ugly! Would you personally buy anything from it?  Hell no.

JeffHow is iTapMenu so different from your competitors?

Shawn – First of all, look at it.  It’s incredible. Look at the menu screen.  It was designed by artists, not developers. Apple inspired artists at that.  100 out of 100 people would agree there’s no comparison in the visual experience vs a paper menu.

The customization is also a HUGE difference.  You can move products in and out of options with an immediate change in the payment, you can change the term and rate, increase the down payment, and discount products right on the fly on the iPad.

I envision the F&I Manager using iTap on the showroom floor or sitting next to the customer in their office and actually letting the customer use iTap.  Giving the customer some power will change how they view the F&I Manager, the dealership, and the overall experience.  And, they’ll buy more products because they’re well informed about the products through iTap’s videos and statistics AND they’ll develop a sense of trust because they are involved in the decision.  No more shell games.

And finally, the structure of the menu is different.  I laugh at four column menus and how they’re structured to decrease the products and payments from left to right.  We’re basically stating we understand there’s no way you’re going to buy the first option, so “pretty please” have some interest in one of these less expensive options.  It would be like asking someone to buy a car for $20,000 but then immediately offering them to buy it for $19,000 or $18,000 or $17,000.  Gee, wonder which one they’re going to choose?

With iTap, it simply doesn’t work that way.

JeffShawn, thanks for your time today. You mentioned that you would be attending NADA 2012 but you would not have a booth. How would one contact you for more information?

Shawn – you can of course visit our website at or give me a call at 317-696-6396

Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
  • P
  • February 8, 2012
@ridederty No doubt the next wave of good Auto Tech #automarketing
  • D
  • February 8, 2012
this technology has a place in dealerships today. look forward to seeing this and other portable solutions. good selling, dtg
  • J
  • February 8, 2012
note to mngt team.

I can't see ipad details (can't read text on ipad screen, can't make out whats on the icons).

My thoughts are to suggest you make a big a** Ipad screen, almost full screen. And a link to share full screen web page. I'd also suggest link to ipad app to demo the app. How about a video with full screen of ipad app in action. Look at video engagement stats. Compare video sharing stats to full page stats.


  • M
    Mad Marv
  • March 14, 2012
Here's my take on the subject.