The field of competition for the business of the dealership has never been more crowded. The ability to separate your agency from others will rarely be accomplished simply by working to provide products with unique features or even a better price to the dealer. Car dealers are the most astute consumers around, and they have heard every sales and product pitch there is.
In today’s ever-changing market, dealers need an agency partner that will provide direction, training, support, and encouragement to their F&I teams. While all agencies track results, those that provide the tools necessary to drive performance, ensure accountability, and have an instore personal presence on a regular basis become valuable dealer partners.
So, what is the most valuable assset of the agency? If you said that your people are your most valuable asset, you are partially correct. People are not the most valuable asset — the right people are! The right people, with the right message and the right agenda, will propel your agency to new heights. Here’s how:1. People With the Right Message
The F&I training you deliver sends a message to customers, and that message should resonate with the way they like to buy. No one likes to be sold, and when it comes to F&I products, customers are more informed and more resistant to a sales pitch than ever. A well-informed customer is looking for someone to help them make good decisions in connection with the vehicle they have purchased. That message of “helping” versus “selling” should come through in all of our efforts.
Recently someone shared with me their thoughts on a central message they felt should be conveyed with their dealer visits that I thought said it well: “Helping customers navigate their way to a great ownership experience.” Every facet of the F&I process should be centered around a customer focused message. The menu used, the process provided, and the products offered should seek to help them have a great ownership experience.
Successful agencies bring much more to the dealer than just products. They articulate a message that helps motivate and focus the team. When you leave following a dealer visit, everyone in the store should feel challenged, encouraged, and focused on a specific goal they are working to achieve.2. People With the Right Agenda
The agenda for every dealer visit can be summarized in one word: growth. The instore effort should be focused on growing the F&I manager’s skillset. Focusing only on profit levels is a misdirected effort.
Farmers know that, to gain a great harvest, the focus has to be on providing the right amounts of nutrients, water, and working of the soil — or, simply, “the process.” An apple tree produces more fruit, a corn field more corn, and a cow more milk when the process is healthy and productive. The same rings true for the F&I office. Where you place your focus is where all of your creativity and energy goes.
Focus your agenda on efforts that will produce growth in the ability to provide a comfortable, informative, and interactive F&I process, and you will naturally produce a consistent increase in profits. Even the compensation plan utilized should focus on helping customers buy more products that will make their ownership experience an enjoyable one.
The right people for every agency are those who are committed to providing every dealership with the tools and inspiration to reach record levels of production. That is accomplished by arriving for every visit with the right agenda and the right message wrapped around great products. That’s the right way to “help” your dealership partners!I look forward to seeing you on my next post. Visit www.go-reahard.com to learn more about how we can help you help more customers. Also, feel free to contact me. Exchanging ideas that get results is my passion!