Many F&I and sales professionals would rather have a root canal without Novocain than go through a compliance audit or deal review.
Some of us sweat a little while someone is poking around our old deals and then feel like a little kid getting called to the principal’s office when it’s time for the results to be published. Others wonder why the company is wasting money to go through deals that we know are perfect. Still others feel resentful that an outsider is touching our deals.
Very few of us look forward to an audit or review, but I suggest we shoot for an “A” by focusing on four “A”s: attitude, accountability, action plan, and acceptance.
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Stop thinking about the fact that the auditor has probably never done your job, doesn’t get what it’s like on a busy Saturday, doesn’t understand that deal jackets come back missing everything from an odometer to a driver’s license, and doesn’t understand the pressure of having the GM thinking you work in the “deal prevention department.”
Stop feeling that the auditors are going for “gotcha” moments. Stop thinking that someone’s just trying to justify their jobs by pointing out problems.
Rather than dread audits and reviews, your attitude should be one of gratitude. Having someone who is up to speed on regulatory changes look at your deals and identify potential issues is an advantage.
Take responsibility for your own actions. We all make mistakes; it’s just a matter of whether it was a big one with potential liability or a simple boo-boo.
Either way, put up your hand and take responsibility. Don’t be defensive. You can explain your reasoning logically and professionally without being defensive. You can say, “I thought I was supposed to do ABC. Was that not correct?”
After I moved my ego out of the way, I realized that action plans are necessary to create change.
3. Action Plan
I experienced my first audit 15 years ago. I was told to write an action plan after it. “What a waste of time,” I thought.
After I moved my ego out of the way, I realized that action plans are necessary to create change. It forces us to reconsider our processes or create new ones.
Humble yourself enough to realize there might be a better way of doing something. Create an action plan so that the missed signature or timing of clearing the MLA flows smoothly.
Accept your audit or review results as a snapshot of how you performed in a certain timeframe. That doesn’t mean that’s where you’ll stay.
Did you score less than you wanted? Don’t focus on the negative. Accept the results as a challenge that you have room to improve. Accept that it was better to have an ally see the mistakes rather than a foe.
Did you score well? Accept the compliment and affirmation that you’re good at what you do. Be proud, but don’t rest on your laurels. Accept the challenge of beating your score next time by implementing a solid action plan so you can improve.
Get “A”s in your next audit by having “A”s about the audit. Have a positive attitude, be accountable for your actions, create a solid action plan to correct issues, and accept that there is always room for improvement.
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