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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Here's an example of what a defned strategy might look like: "Our F&I strategy is to be the most knowledgeable F&I dealership in our town. Our associates are equipped with tools and training on the products we sell. Our associates have developed the interpersonal skills to engage customers in ways that build trust. We value customers' time and their desire to purchase value. Therefore, we use the best F&I technologies, training and processes to ensure a better F&I experience that saves customers time and delivers to them products of high value." According to MaximTrak's eMenu study, vehicle service contract penetration increased more than 33% when the product was presented using F&I menu software. what new products will be added, and what technologies will be employed to drive the change. Step 3: Keep It Simple Step 2: Write the Plan Ideas are just that if you don't take the time to write them down. And when you do, those ideas become clearer and more focused. Start by writing down a statement that defnes what change or changes your strategy will drive. Also make sure to list what your strategy will involve and what it's designed to accomplish. In other words, you need to state how your team will get there, who will be involved and who will lead the charge. You also have to create a timeline for your plan, and state when you expect your goals to be reached. So, if driving up F&I performance is what you hope to accomplish, write down your goals for PVR and product penetrations, and state when you hope to realize those increases. The plan should also describe how the goals are to be accomplished. In other words, state what needs to happen, what type of training F&I producers will receive, Productivity tools that are complicated to learn and use are the quickest way to spoil a good plan, so be sure to choose tools that make adherence to the plan simple. Note that adequate training on vendor products is a must, as it will ensure that the tool is used properly. Step 4: Track Behavior Reporting tools that track adherence to the F&I strategy and plan help management correct inconsistent behaviors quickly through retraining. Tracking also provides insights into how a more consistent F&I process improves F&I results and benefts the wallets of F&I associates. Easy-to-use reporting tools also hold employees accountable to the strategy. They provide business insights that not only help management identify whether the tools are used consistently, but also allows management to view performance by each individual user. The table above charts the improvements a dealership realized in both average reserve gross and average product gross as a result of using a software-driven menu system. That means you can see individual gains by vehicle type, transaction type and product type. And if you operate a dealer group, such systems will allow you to view performance by store, among other insights. No Pain, No Gain Bottom line, there are no shortcuts to building bigger F&I muscles. But if you can commit to a plan that calls for the use of emenu technology, you can count on such a tool to drive a more professional F&I presentation, regardless of the producer's skill level. There are other benefts as well, such as increased transparency. And that transparency lends itself to compliance, particularly in how aftermarket products and services are sold in the F&I offce. Standardization of the F&I product penetration also means more consistency in how products are presented, which reduces miscommunication and improves your store's CSI scores. More importantly, an emenu process will allow your management team to monitor and measure producers in real time. And when you can do that, you can correct issues quicker and before they weigh down your department's monthly output. Hey, you can't expect what you don't inspect. Jim Maxim Jr. is president of MaximTrak Technologies, a provider of F&I software solutions for automotive dealerships. Email him at jim. maxim@bobit.com. To view the company's white paper on cloud-based menu systems, visit www.f-magazine.com/MaximTrak. NADA 2014 F&I and Showroom 37

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