My observation of some of the most successful F&I professionals over the last 14 years has taught me several foundational principles that distinguish them from others.
First, they refuse to stall their momentum by focusing on the obstacles in their path to success. They not only make decisions to take action, they actually follow through and do it!
The old riddle of the frogs illustrates this excellently: Five frogs are sitting on a log. Four decide to jump off. How many are left? Five. Because there is a big difference between deciding to take action and actually doing it!
If you fear your professional growth has stalled, take action. Here are two logs we all need to jump off once in a while:
1. Stop Complaining!
Replace the frustration of a bad month — the opportunities you did not see, the money you did not make, and all the factors that worked against you — with a purposeful gratitude for the opportunities you have been given.
I often hear F&I professionals complain about a high number of cash deals. There are two things I know about cash deals: Complaining about them will not change anything, and unless you develop a plan to help those customers see value in financing, the situation will not get any better!
You must discover how dealership financing will help your customer, what problem it will solve, or what benefit they will gain.
So take action. Develop a better discussion concerning paying cash for a vehicle as opposed to dealership financing. “There are three critical reasons why many people who intended to pay cash for a vehicle switched to short term financing. However, you can definitely pass on that if you wish.”
Then offer these powerful reasons for customers to keep their cash:
- Most financial advisors encourage investing your money in appreciating assets and invest someone else’s money in depreciating assets.
- The best time to finance a vehicle is when you don’t have to. That way, if you ever need to, you will get the best terms available. And if you pay this loan off in two years, it remains on your credit profile for seven additional years. You can gain nine years of benefit from financing today.
- Interest rates have dropped significantly over the last 12 to 18 months.
You must discover how dealership financing will help your customer, what problem it will solve, or what benefit they will gain. Simply put, what does dealership financing mean to the customer in front of you?
Read: McCormick: Enjoy the Journey. It’s Closer Than You Think!
2. Stop Procrastinating!
The book on the shelf that has never been read, the training regimen that was never started, the conference you didn’t attend, the phone calls put off, and the risks not taken. These are all victims of a “waiting until later” mind slump. The everyday requirements of our job may have us on a nonstop treadmill of responsibilities.
I understand “busy.” Every F&I professional does! It’s all about properly established priorities that lead to action!
This is your reminder to review and realign your priorities, determine specific actions you will take, and get going.
When priorities aren’t set, we tend to follow the path of least resistance. Picking and sorting through the things we need to do and working on the easiest ones — leaving the more difficult and less fun tasks for “later.”
Researching to understand customers at a deeper level and practicing to grow our skills and income are just a couple of priorities we can agree on. This is your reminder to review and realign your priorities, determine specific actions you will take, and get going.
The time to complain and wait is over. Determine what is really important and take action!
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