Plan Well To Finish Well

Plan Well To Finish Well

The year 2007 will be an outstanding one for those who make a plan, implement it, measure progress against it, and adjust the plan along the way.

A successful plan includes an F&I presentation that adheres to the 400 percent rule: A consistent presentation, 100 percent of the time, to 100 percent of the customers, focused on 100 percent of the products, by F&I professionals who are 100 percent committed to being the best at their vocation.

Target practice

Plan your F&I presentations to produce results. Ask each of your F&I personnel to write down their presentation and practice it. Next, film and review each presentation. How does it sound? Does the body language mirror the presenter’s words? Is the presentation loaded with value or just a laundry list of features? Following the group critique, rewrite, rehearse, and record each presentation again. Your target is consistency. Confidence improves the aim.

Quality production

Set your F&I goals for penetration percentages in 90-day increments. Count all retail deals. Make sure that your goals itemize every source of F&I income opportunity. In order for the F&I team to contribute to the bottom line they must have quality products to present. Your F&I managers cannot sell products they do not believe in. Quality products will produce profitability with high CSI and low aggravation.

Rules of engagement

As a dealer or general manager, it is your responsibility to engage the F&I department. Participate in their training, observe what they are taught, and then support their education by implementing their ideas.

Whether your personnel are training offsite or in the store, give them time to learn without interruptions. The education professional has a limited time to impart new information. How many ideas can be shared with someone who is continually called out of a meeting to recap deals or take care of some other administrative function? The answer is, not many. When you invest in training, you expect a return on the dollars you expend. Make sure your investment includes time to learn, free from distractions. Give your F&I team the support they need to make you profitable.

Net results

Your success in 2007 will require professional F&I presenters, quality products, and a sound process that is followed 100 percent of the time. Your 2006 production levels will tell you where you need to plan your work, and work your plan.

Dealer Marketing, January 2007