F&I and Showroom

NADA 2014

F&I and Showroom, the industry's leading source for F&I, sales and technology

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Finance & Insurance ŠISTOCKPHOTO.COM/SVETIKD DELIVERING ON F&I'S PROMISE After sitting through a few less-than stellar F&I performances, the magazine's resident F&I pro recalls advice his father once gave him. It was a recommendation every F&I department should take to heart. By Ronald J. Reahard W hen I was growing up, my father was a full-time student and parttime pastor. And when I became a car salesman, I assumed he'd be disappointed with my career choice. Boy was I wrong. His reaction: "That's fantastic!" "Really?" I responded in astonishment. "Absolutely," he said. "The United States is a capitalist country, so sales is one of the important professions in this country. Nothing needs to be manufactured, nothing needs to be advertised and nothing needs to be shipped until a salesperson frst sells something. I couldn't be more proud of you." That was not the response I was expecting, but he wasn't done. "Just promise me one thing son: Do it well, and do it right." That memory popped into my head after making a few dealer visits. See, as part of the service my frm offers, 18 F&I and Showroom NADA 2014 we often evaluate a dealership's sales and F&I processes to identify compliance concerns, determine why it's not as proftable as it should be, and to understand reasons for the operation's poor customer satisfaction scores. And well, some recent observations have proven to be both eye-opening and discouraging, especially when you're in the business of training F&I managers. Blooper Reel One of the dealerships we visited sold three vehicles the day we were there. On the frst deal, it took the F&I manager 29 minutes to load the information into the computer, print some initial forms and create a menu. The next deal took 31 minutes. On the third deal, it took 40 minutes after agreeing to buy the car for the customer to fnally enter the F&I offce, so it wasn't diffcult to see why customers weren't satisfed with the operation's F&I experience. At another dealership, customers had to sit at four different desks to buy a car. Once they fnished at the salesperson's desk, customers were turned over to the "insurance lady." She verifed their insurance and offered to provide a comparison quote, as well as a quote on any other insurance needs. Buyers were then escorted to the accessory department to be sold a remote start, window tint and fuzzy dice for their rearview mirror. The baton passing was too much for one customer, who uttered to the F&I manager: "How many more people am I going to have to talk to before I can go home?" Folks, it shouldn't be that diffcult to buy a car. I watched another F&I manager take 21 minutes to go through the customer's options on the menu. The customer was forced to sit and endure product presentation after product presentation. Like the customer, I was exhausted by the time he got through all their options. And after the F&I manager fnally fnished

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