Article

Prepare F&I Employees to Reach Their Potential

May 2012, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Kirk Manzo - Also by this author

Accountability is often discussed but rarely executed. The need to monitor efforts in all areas of the dealership is more challenging today than ever. With all its moving parts, your dealership has become as complex as the vehicles you sell.

With limited resources of both time and money, what principles prevail?

John Maxwell says that the most valuable asset in any organization is its people. The bricks and the mortar can all be duplicated, but it is the people and the process that separate the good from the great.

This year’s NFL season saw a classic example of this in the remarkable turnaround for the San Francisco 49ers. The change of head coach produced a much better result than the team had experienced in recent seasons.

Oddly enough, process makes a difference as well. The head coach was removed from Stanford, yet the program still had a successful year.

The need to have both the right people and the right process in place is most glaring in your F&I department. The greatest potential for both revenue and liability dictates the need for constant oversight.

Fortunately, technology allows you to streamline the monitoring effort required. Reporting from the DMS allows for one level of oversight, but tools exist to go a step further. Many of the menu software platforms provide extensive productivity reports to identify gaps in behavior and results.

Does your current system of monitoring and reporting allow you to track the length of time for each individual presentation of F&I products to the guest? Can it help pinpoint by product where the business manager is rushing through the presentation and not spending adequate time? Can you track your funding process and produce summary reports by location, manager and salesperson?

If you are able to answer “yes” to all the above questions, then congratulations! For those of you who could not, commit yourself to identifying a vendor that helps address those gaps.

Monitoring the activities of your F&I team ensures productivity, cash flow and peace of mind.

Is your F&I process documented to define exactly what will be said and how it will be delivered to the guest at each step of the way—from the introduction to answering the most common objections on each product? Can each of your managers provide 10-plus reasons to buy on every F&I product you offer, not just the VSC?

It is the best-trained team with the best-executed plan that wins the game. Are you preparing your players to reach their potential, or are you just hoping they will figure it out? In the end, you must be able to trust that they will, but you will sleep better and be better funded if you take the time to verify.

Vol. 9, Issue 3 

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