There you sit in your office chair gazing dumfounded at the latest F&I reports and wondering if your PVR slide will ever end. You see cash deal after cash deal with little to no product followed by outside liens your finance sources can’t compete with. You’re getting nervous that an irreversible trend has developed.
First off, let me say that the very same issues and difficult deals that plague you are also present in every F&I office in every city across the land. So don’t think you’ve lost your mojo and flipping burgers at McDonald’s is in your future — that is, unless you’ve lost so much confidence in your abilities and training that a line cook job looks appealing.
Have I gotten your attention yet?
Good. I was counting on it, because if you stopped on the last paragraph and tossed Mad Marv in the trash, then I’d say you probably need to respond to the “We’re Hiring” sign down the street.
One of the mistakes that some F&I managers make is to misunderstand the dynamics of what happens in their stores and how to adjust when things seem to be headed south. When you notice aberrations of your numbers and find yourself struggling, it isn’t time to panic. That’s the one thing that will make things worse. The more worried you become, the louder your nonverbal speech screams at everyone. Just imagine how your customers feel and what they must be thinking when they enter your office.
At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Nah, that ain’t happening to me. I’ve got this under control. I can put my game face on and do my job with professionalism, no matter how bad things are going.”
Maybe. But my guess is that rough patch is going to shine through in ways you won’t think about while you’re with your next customer.
Recently, I was in line at a pharmacy and took note of how the pharmacist handled customers. The location wasn’t particularly busy, but it was obvious this guy was stressed out. You couldn’t tell it by anything he said. It was the way he said it and the manner in which he was handling himself. It made everyone uncomfortable even though he seemed to be trying to act professional.
It could’ve been something personal or professional going on behind the scenes, but whatever it was, he made an impression on everyone on both sides of the counter. And it wasn’t the kind of impression one would give glowing CSI compliments for.
Let’s face it: There will always be downturns and difficult customers. No matter how much you brag about your PVR to F&I pals, you can't stave off a crashing herd of D- and F-types that simply aren’t interested.
And wouldn’t it be great if we could foretell the various types we’d have to deal with in the course of a day, so we could be prepared? I mean, we deliver our first few of the day, which happen to be those hard ones, so now we’re expecting the easy As and Bs to show up. Instead, a couple more Ds arrive and the day is over, with our numbers tumbling along with our positive attitudes.
Well, it just doesn’t happen that way, so the best thing you can do is to just “Get Over It,” as the Eagles’ hit song once declared.
Listen, we are professionals, and as such, we know how to conduct ourselves. It’s all about maintaining the right mindset. This comes from managing one’s thinking and it’s not natural. It demands practice and a keen understanding of customers’ habits — and the odds that those cash and outside lien deals aren’t going to dominate our month.
Yeah, it seems that way when you’re in the midst of one of those weeks, yet it’s really no different than hitting a string of A-types that are buying everything. They build confidence but are so easily forgotten when you hit their evil cousins.
I experience the same feelings and emotions in my store and have to constantly work on my attitude to ensure I’m not projecting the wrong message to customers.
We’ve all heard the best time to sell a car is right after you just delivered one. The reason is clear: You’re excited over that last delivery and believe you’re 10 feet tall and bulletproof! You could sell ice to Eskimos at that point. So, I’ll add to that by reminding you when your dauber is down, it shows to everyone.
Best advice: Suck it up, get a grip on your mind, realize this is temporary, and “Get Over It”!
Good luck and keep closing.