This month’s column is dedicated to a reader who has a complaint familiar to many F&I professionals: a co-worker’s selfish behavior. The reader, who shall remain anonymous, wrote:
Lori, how would you handle an F&I director who is on the same pay plan as you and pushes cash deals on you all month? He will log fake turns to take himself out of rotation. He will then complain about how he has to carry the department in numbers — but everyone else has at least twice as many cash deals.
Management won’t get involved. They are too afraid to lose him. Should I just let it ride and make the best out of every deal I can? I have confronted him but nothing gets accomplished. He just gets upset and starts yelling. Any advice would be welcome.
Your problem is one that all of us have faced at one point or another. It’s incredibly frustrating, isn’t it? I have a few suggestions, and you can see what you think is the best option.
• Data: Gather your numbers. People may lie, but math doesn’t. Get the history of all the cash vs. finance deals and go back as far as you can. Now you have data, which can’t be considered whining.
• Sympathy/empathy: Try to understand your director’s point of view. Why is he doing what he’s doing? Does his pay plan not pay him enough for the extra work he has to do? Is there any way it’s genuine and he’s doing “director”-type jobs at the time? Does he need to fight for a pay plan change? Is that something you can help him with? Or is he just greedy?
• Chain of command: Start with your director. Ask him for help as your manager. Present the facts as objectively as possible. Use any information you might’ve thought of in the step above and treat it like an objection-handling exercise.
Offer to help speak to management about a pay plan change for him for his extra duties. Offer alternative solutions like a cash log that the department can split at the end of the month.
Giving you more cash deals and ducking out on his rotation is basically stealing from you and setting a poor example as a leader.
I like this option. All cash deals get split equally. Any cash deals where money is made get to stay in that name and all others get spread evenly. This keeps genuinely bad rotation months from cracking anyone.
If he throws a fit or keeps doing what he’s been doing, go to management. Giving you more cash deals and ducking out on his rotation is basically stealing from you and setting a poor example as a leader. Use the hard data to present that information, but sometimes the word “stealing” will get management’s attention.
• Consider alternatives: How far are you prepared to take it? There are lots of F&I positions available. If you’re not treated fairly, maybe it’s time to find a better fit. If you don’t want to change jobs, then you’re going to have to make it a challenge to be the best at the dregs you’re given.
I’ve been there before, and it’s not fun to deal with or address. A couple of times I’ve been successful talking to the director or management. Other times I’ve had to change dealerships. No matter which way I went, I always thought of it as a positive step. Things generally have a way of working out.
Good luck with it!