There are three things that must happen every time an agent or their representative visits a dealership. If these three things do not happen then we have done one of the most unproductive things possible: wasted their time. We value the time of everyone we meet with when we assure these three things take place.
Let’s take a look.1. The People We Meet With Must Learn Something!
Many times agencies are given the task of changing behaviour and increasing performance levels. To motivate dealership personnel to make changes, they need new information they did not have previously. Otherwise, they will just continue to do what they have always done.
When I was in the F&I office, I always looked forward to the visit of one agency representative. I always learned something when he came by, and I am sure that was on purpose. He would share recent claims he had processed to show how my customers were benefiting from the products I was selling. And that provided stories I could share with customers on what the products had done for past clients. I always knew the highest claim paid on a service contract in the last 12 months and what the most frequent repair was.
He also provided a book for me to read each quarter and challenged me to share with him things I learned from it. Make every dealership visit a learning experience and it will increase your value and grow everyone’s income!2. Every Person We Meet With Should Feel Something!
Every decision we make is driven by emotion much more than facts. Nike doesn’t sell shoes, Gatorade doesn’t sell sports drinks, and Starbucks doesn’t sell coffee. They sell a feeling!
We don’t provide products to dealerships; we provide a feeling. Our visit can inspire the F&I professional to reach the record levels of production they are striving for or provide encouragement for one recovering from a difficult month. How they feel affects how they sell! Enabling the F&I professional to see the actual results of what it must have felt like for the customer, to have the product when they needed it, or the expense incurred if they did not have the product, interjects real emotions in the decisions made in their office every day.
The learning opportunities referenced previously can provide a launchpad for effective goal-setting. “Based on the new information we have shared today, what level of increase would you predict for the coming month in sales? And how much will that increase your income for the month or the coming year?”
If the F&I professional “feels” the changes we are asking them to make or acquiring the knowledge we are asking them to reach for, this will positively affect their income, and we are much more likely to see the changes take place. And when the challenge to change and grow is embraced, the positive affect it will have will make you “feel” you are truly helping them to grow as an individual and a dealership.3. We Must Motivate Them to Do Something About What They Have Learned and Felt!
While we all know that compensation motivates the F&I professional, surprisingly, recognition is almost as important to them. F&I professionals — just like everyone else — want to know their work is making a difference in the overall profitability of the dealership and the lives of their customers.
Make it a point to show how their production is having a positive effect on the dealership. My favorite agent I mentioned earlier was always telling me how I compared to others in my market and spurred me to be the best in my region. When I did, we always had a lunch that involved a steak entrée and a lot of appreciation for a job well done.
Provide these three efforts with every dealership interaction and everyone will look forward to your visits and know it was worth every minute you spent there. Time well spent means the dealership will keep spending its money with you!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!