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4 Ways to Reenergize Your Pitch

Have you ever wondered why your performance levels lag? The magazine’s resident expert knows the answer, and offers a remedy for keeping you on your game.

September 2011, F&I and Showroom - Feature

by Rick McCormick - Also by this author

It happens to every F&I manager in every dealership. When you’re fresh from a seminar or workshop, your presentation and pitch are reenergized and your customers are responsive to the new strategies you picked up. But over time, the effectiveness of the lessons learned begins to fade. Why is that, right? Well, it has to do with the law of entropy.

If you don’t remember the concept from your high school physics classes, entropy, in its simplest definition, is the “inevitable and steady deterioration of a system or society.” So, how do you prevent this from happening to your F&I pitch? Well, I recently read that 86 percent of fresh knowledge learned will be lost in 90 days if it is nei-ther reinforced nor used consistently.

So, the challenge for F&I managers is to figure out how to keep that energy level up and maintain that passion for the products you offer. So, let’s review four exercises that, if followed, can help you break the law of entropy.

Step 1: How You Start Determines How You Finish

Spend the first 30 minutes of each day practicing your skills, setting a few goals for yourself and reading something inspirational.

Not only will this energize you as you start the day, it will keep the things you can’t control, such as the economy, from impacting your performance.

You also have to dedicate yourself to putting what you learned — whether from a workshop or an article — into practice every day. That means never cutting corners. It means staying with the process on a daily basis. It means training for your next customer interaction the same way professional athletes train before a sporting event, as the skills you practice regularly will find their way into your game.

Step 2: Create Your Own Momentum

Good F&I managers wait for good things to come their way. They wait for the banks to provide more flexible terms. They wait for more favorable deals and better opportunities for profit. Great F&I managers are individuals who take the limited opportunities they have and look for ways to maximize them.

So, to see an increase in overall profit and income, you must first increase the level and consistency of your training activity. So, be proactive and study the products you offer and their benefits to your customers. Doing so will not only increase your appreciation of the benefits your products offer,  it will lead to a more convincing presentation.

Spending time in the service department is another great way to learn the true value of your products. There you’ll see what consumers are seeing, including what repairs, both minor and major, they’re paying for, and how much they cost.

Take a recent visit I made to a Toyota store. While in the service area, I overheard a customer explaining to a service rep that the keyless remote on his Toyota Camry was no longer working. It turned out the receiver inside the dash was bad. A new receiver cost $550. After factoring in labor costs, the bill to get the remote system to work again added up to $1,000. That’s the kind of information that will improve your chances of turning a “No” into a “Yes.”

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