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Lights, Camera, Action!

These five individuals were named category winners for having the best on-camera F&I presentations in five categories. Find out what strategies they employ in the F&I office.

October 2011, F&I and Showroom - Feature

by Jennifer Washington

F&I and Showroom magazine and its sponsor, Innovative Aftermarket Systems (IAS), set out to find the best F&I presentations in the following categories: Vehicle Service Contracts, GAP, Tire and Wheel, Key Replacement and Theft Deterrent. One of the five individuals selected will be named the 2011 winner of the magazine’s inaugural F&Idol contest.

In July, readers of the magazine were asked to submit a video of a mock customer interaction. The videos had to be less than five minutes long, and each contestant had to  successfully handle at least two customer objections. The prize for each of the category winners: $1,000, plus airfare and hotel accommodations at the
Las Vegas Hilton.

Judging the entries were Bob Corbin, president and CEO of IAS; Gregory Arroyo, the magazine’s executive editor; ‘Mad’ Marv Eleazer, monthly columnist and F&I director at Langdale Ford; Ron Reahard, magazine contributor and president of Reahard and Associates Inc.; Steve Veldkamp, training director at Great Lakes Companies; Alan Miller, senior vice president of CNA National Warranty Corp.; Robert Harkins, president of RAH Consulting; and Randall Crisorio, president and CEO of United Development Systems.

Entries were judged for their transition statements and overall flow, customer rapport, product disclosures and knowledge, effective use of personal stories, and objection handling. In all, judges reviewed more than 30 entries and selected the five individuals profiled below.

The videos were posted on the Industry Summit Website to allow readers to vote for their favorite finalist and help decide who would walk away with the F&Idol trophy — and an additional $2,500. Here’s a look at the finalists:


Name: G.P. Anderson, finance manager (F&Idol Grand Prize Winner)

Store: Thielen Motors, Park Rapids, Minn.

Years in the Business: More than 20

Years At Current Dealership: 12

Claim to Fame: His finance penetration rate stands at 78 percent, and he’s working toward averaging at least three products per deal.

Keys to Success: The constant need for improvement. “F&I managers need to strive to get 1 percent better every single day,” he says.

Customer Objection: I’m concerned about GAP raising my payments.

G.P.: In your situation, it will run you $499 for five years. Divide that by five and that comes out to $99 a year. Divide that by 365 and it costs you 28 cents a day to have that coverage. One of the great things about this coverage is that it covers you for five years. Let’s say that, in three years, you decide to trade out of [the vehicle]; you’ll still have two years of coverage remaining. If you cancel it, you get the balance of the money back, which we can use on your next vehicle purchase. It’s prorated.

Also, you said you wanted your payment to be under $300. Well, with the product, your payment is going to come in at $295.

Key Replacement

Name: Jim Hesselgrave, finance director

Store: Crown Honda, Pinellas Park, Fla.

Years in the Business: 32

Years At Current Dealership: 14

Claim to Fame: He was his store’s Finance Manager of the Year in 2010, and he averages two products per deal. Additionally, one out of every two customers buys a product from him.

Keys to Success: Doing the same thing every time and the training he received from Gerry Gould of United Development Systems.

Customer Objection: I’ve never lost my keys and I don’t plan to lose them in the future. I don’t think it’s a good product for me.

Jim: Let me tell you about another customer’s experience. A man takes his family to a theme park and, at some point during a rollercoaster ride, his keys fall out of his pocket. But he’s got one of these (holds up a customer card). He makes a phone call, gets picked up and is driven to the nearest dealership about six miles away at no charge. The dealership makes him a new key at no charge and they drive him back to the entrance so he can rejoin his family. All of that took less than an hour. Does this make more sense to you now?

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