Top agents approach training as an opportunity to arm F&I professionals with the tools they need to mine gold in the box and ensure every customer leaves the dealership with their investment secured. 
 - PHOTO:Gettyimages.com/StratosGiannikos

Top agents approach training as an opportunity to arm F&I professionals with the tools they need to mine gold in the box and ensure every customer leaves the dealership with their investment secured. 

PHOTO:Gettyimages.com/StratosGiannikos

The very first car I bought was a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle, bright yellow! I had never seen one that color, so I knew I would have a one-of-a-kind car to drive. You know what happened, right? In the next few weeks, I saw several others the exact same year and color. What had changed? My focus. They had always been there — I just wasn’t focusing or looking for them.

That’s why successful F&I managers focus on learning something new every day. In every conversation, interaction, even watching a television show or movie. They are like a gold miner. They know there are gold nuggets there that they can mine and use to help them improve their communication skills and ability to move people to change their mind.

As agents, one of the things we can do to provide more value to our dealers is provide “golden” opportunities for the F&I managers. Here are three things you can provide to assure you have plenty of gold for your F&I teams.

1. Provide Outside Learning Opportunities.

F&I classes provide a goldmine of information and principles that requires several days of immersive training to fully embrace. Attending outside training helps eliminate the distractions of the dealership. While many will bring natural skills and abilities into the F&I position, they lack a customer-focused process and the commitment to follow the process consistently.

A consistent process is the foundation that F&I success is built on. An inconsistent process will lead to inconsistent results and the opposite is true as well!

Provide an F&I class (outside the dealership) for your F&I managers. Enable them to attend an occasional one-day workshop or F&I conference to fine-tune their skills and brainstorm with other F&I professionals and they will reward you with increased sales.

2. Provide Ongoing Training.

Training in any profession is never intended to be a one-time event, but rather an ongoing process. The mantra I learned from my Little League baseball coach is still true today: “You play like you practice.” Everyone expects F&I numbers to improve each month; however, you must have a plan on how the improvement will be attained.

What will your F&I managers be working on each week to improve their skills? Will they be role-playing their process, and will you receive feedback from that exercise? What information will they have available that will challenge them and provide new insight into addressing the hurdles they encounter? Dealers are not only looking for improved numbers in F&I, they want to know what the plan is to assure that happens.

Online training gives F&I managers the opportunity to execute a weekly training exercise designed to improve their skills. Online training can be one option in the array of activities that are part of your strategic action plan to improve F&I performance.

3. Provide the Expectation of Continuous Improvement and Inspect What You Expect.

Small increases made consistently over a long period of time will produce amazing results. When you instill the expectation of improvement on a monthly basis, you provide the power of a compounding effect. F&I professionals that consistently practice their skills and are challenged each month will be more prepared for each customer and the results will show it.

You may be called a general agent; however, a more appropriate title should be “coach.” A coach challenges the professionals they work with to never be satisfied with their current performance and holds them accountable to provide the effort needed to improve.

Every professional needs, wants, and values a coach. So provide them plenty of gold and insist they become that person that is always looking for ways to improve. They will provide great service to their customers and great profits for you and the dealership!

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!

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Author

Rick McCormick
Rick McCormick

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Rick McCormick is the national account development manager for Reahard & Associates.

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Rick McCormick is the national account development manager for Reahard & Associates.

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