6 Tips for F&I Managers
February 2008, F&I and Showroom - Feature
All of us seek role models, and we expect our role models’ lives to be an example of what they speak. Like it or not, co-workers and customers will believe what you do long before (and long after) they will believe what you say. Too often people who call themselves “managers” will say one thing, but do another. Leaders lead by example. They believe in what they say, they live what they believe and they become successful because their actions clearly demonstrate their values.
Like it or not, we’re all role models. As an F&I manager, your sales force will quickly determine whether you truly believe in your products, or whether you’re just trying to squeeze extra money out of customers. Being an F&I professional requires that you possess the qualities of someone worthy to be a role model: a positive attitude, a commitment to your craft and a genuine belief in your products. You can always tell you’re in the presence of an F&I professional by the way he or she treats every customer, as well as every co-worker. His or her primary goal in every interaction is to help the other person, not just themselves.
F&I professionals never brag about how much money they made on someone. F&I professionals know that when your focus is on helping customers, you don’t have to worry about making money; you’ll make more than you ever thought possible. To be an F&I professional, there are six things you need to stop (or start) doing, because whether you like it or not, you’re a role model.
1. STOP Disparaging Your Products
It’s amazing how many times I still hear F&I managers describe credit insurance as “choke and croak,” environmental protection as “mop and glow,” and theft deterrent products as “etch-a-sketch.” Denigrating your own products to anyone tells everyone you really don’t believe in them.
Remember, every F&I product we offer has real value for the customer. F&I professionals can reinforce this belief by telling the customer, “At this dealership we only offer F&I products we believe in.” You must demonstrate your belief in F&I products daily. It’s easy to tell whether or not an F&I manager really believes in his or her products. He or she buys them — all of them! If you don’t buy all of the products you sell, you’re telling every salesperson in the dealership you don’t believe in them.