In the never-ending push for increased profits, we can easily become consumed with the daily grind of trying to make as much money as possible on every deal. Unfortunately, that invariably leads to job dissatisfaction, customer dissatisfaction, and a lower per-copy average.
We too often focus on the “how” of what we do and not “why” we do it. Our “why” is the passion for what we do. That passion must go deeper than money, status, or position. Does it really matter what drives us? Absolutely! So let’s look at three reasons why the “why” of F&I matters.
1. A Well-Defined ‘Why’ Will Enable You to Endure Any ‘How.’
When business is good, it’s fun to sit with customers and help them make good decisions. But every F&I professional faces challenging circumstances. Banks cap our profits, increase their rates, or reduce advances. Product providers increase their prices. A slowing economy makes customers hesitant to buy. Salespeople undermine us and sales managers are uncooperative. It can feel like the odds are stacked against us.
If your “why” is simply to make money, it will only fuel you during good times. Your success will be short-lived, because good times don’t last. Conversely, if your “why” is customer-focused and your goal is to help customers make good decisions that will affect their future for years to come, your “why” will fuel success in good times and bad.
Your “why” matters because it will provide the constant drive and purpose that will enable you to stay focused regardless of challenges you face.
The simple question we must all ask ourselves is this: “Am I focusing on how the time they spend in the F&I office will benefit me, or how I can use that time to maximize the benefit to this customer?” When your focus is on the purpose of the sale, and not on the profit, both sales and profits increase!
2. Maximizing Your Customers’ Long-Term Financial Success Will Drive Your Own.
When you sell a car, you affect a customer for the next five to seven years. In the F&I office, our knowledge and expertise can help customers make wise decisions that can affect them for decades to come. When a customer is rebuilding their credit, and the service contract you sold them pays for a major repair, it can be life-changing.
Your efforts shielded them from the effects of an unexpected repair, enabling them to stay current on their car payments. Their credit score continues to rise, ensuring the interest rate they pay on their next car loan will be much more favorable. That improved credit score can also reduce their insurance costs and even enable them to then qualify for a home mortgage. Not having a service contract could erase years of effort.
Once you get to the place where you are more excited that you sold a service contract because you know the many ways it will help your customer than you are the commission you earn, your “why” has taken over! Now you’re “why” thinking, not “how” thinking! When that happens, you will sell more service contracts and make a lot more money. You will be laser-focused on your customer and their needs, not yours!
3. The Market Demands Our Efforts Be Purpose-Driven, Not Profit-Driven.
Today we face challenges that are much different from even a few years ago. Customers are loaded up with internet-based information. Few understand what all that information means or how it can impact them on an individual level.
The needs of our customer have changed. Our approach must change as well. The old feature-advantage-benefit presentation of the past leads to an adamant “No!”
However, when we have taken the time to discover a customer’s needs, we are then genuinely surprised when they don’t see the value in our products. Our surprise and concern for the customer will always lead to an interactive conversation. Better yet, the focus will be on helping them, not selling them.
That is selling with a purpose. When the purpose of our discussion is how that product will help them specifically, it will always yield better results and happier customers.
Why matters! It matters to us. More importantly, it matters to our customers. Those F&I managers who have discovered their “why” know who they are, the reason why they’re in F&I, and what they have to do every day to be successful. Because “why” matters. Next month, we’ll hear from a few professionals who will share “why” they are in the F&I office. Keep climbing!