Eliminating inconsistent efforts and replacing them with intentional and consistent ones is one of the secrets of those that reach the top levels of success in the F&I office.  - GettImage.com/WEI

Eliminating inconsistent efforts and replacing them with intentional and consistent ones is one of the secrets of those that reach the top levels of success in the F&I office. 

GettImage.com/WEI

“Occasionally,” “every once in a while,” “when I get time,” or “when I can work it in my schedule.” These phrases are all part of the vocabulary of someone who is producing at lower levels than they are capable. Early in my professional career, I learned any lack of natural gifts or talents I may have are immaterial when I consistently work to improve. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our future, it’s what we do consistently. When you replace inconsistency with intentional and consistent effort by focusing on the following areas, it will have a major impact on your success in the F&I office.

Eliminating the inconsistent efforts and replacing them with intentional, scheduled, and consistent ones is one of the secrets of those that reach the top levels of success in the F&I office.

Consistently practice!

Professionals in every vocation consistently do two things, they perform and they practice. One is contingent on the other. We can go through a busy time and the first thing to drop off is usually practicing our skills. And the deception is we will not see an immediate drop off in production. Practice shows up one season down the road. However, the evidence of lack of practice materializes slowly and results in a slump. And the way out of a slump?  Get back to consistent practice. A minimum of 30 minutes every day should be set aside to role-play your process, view training videos, read articles or a portion of a challenging book, or any other activity that stretches you and increases your knowledge and ability to help customers. Professional sports are full of accounts of the super-stars’ unbelievable practice regimens. It works in sports, and it works in business as well!

Consistently engage early in the car buying process!

The F&I office should be the place where you finalize paperwork for your customers, not your home. You belong at the sales desk and the sales floor helping customers, helping structure deals and closing them. The more engaged you are early in the process, the more trust you have with everyone. And when the level of trust goes up, everything else goes up with it. The finance manager should not be the person introduced into the car-buying process in the final stages. They should have been involved all along the path to buying a vehicle. When the finance manager is introduced before the submission of information to lenders, they are seen as someone working to help the customer get the vehicle they want at a payment they can afford. Help the sales desk structure the deal to maximize profit and help the customer though the buying process, and it will help you produce at great levels.

Consistently develop your bank relationships!

In the day of automated credit approvals, it has relegated the frequent phone conversations we used to have with our bank partners to only when we get an approval we don’t like. Don’t be lulled into an occasional effort to develop the relationships with your lenders. Gather real data on the amount of business you have done with each lender and talk to them throughout the month. Call to thank them for their partnership at the end of the month and make them aware when you have special promotions that will result in increased applications coming their way. Remember that the bank representatives and buyers are people too. They like to know their efforts are appreciated and their relationship matters to you.

Being consistent in these areas will lead to a more profitable and enjoyable effort each month.

Eliminating the inconsistent efforts and replacing them with intentional, scheduled, and consistent ones is one of the secrets of those that reach the top levels of success in the F&I office.

Originally posted on F&I and Showroom

Author

Rick McCormick
Rick McCormick

Columnist

Rick McCormick is the national account development manager for Reahard & Associates, which provides customized F&I training for dealerships throughout the U.S. and Canada. He has more than 20 years of auto retail and finance experience. Contact him at rick.mccormick@bobit.com.

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Rick McCormick is the national account development manager for Reahard & Associates, which provides customized F&I training for dealerships throughout the U.S. and Canada. He has more than 20 years of auto retail and finance experience. Contact him at rick.mccormick@bobit.com.

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