Too often I have sat in a Finance office listening to the Finance Manager beg, plead, and threaten a buyer on the other end of the line in a desperate attempt to get a deal bought or the terms improved. Think about that for a moment.
I occupied an F&I chair for 14 years and one of the most valuable lessons I learned was to “Love Thy Lender." While it may seem obvious what that means, let me explain and tell you why.
Credibility and relationships are the name of the game for us in F&I. It is not just reserved for the customer sitting in front of you but also for your customer on the other end of your phone or Dealer Track submission.
If you are new to F&I or a salty dog, I would challenge you (if you haven’t already done so) to get to know your Dealer relationship managers from your various lenders. I know what you're saying right now, “This Banker darkens my door without an appointment and then wants all of my time in exchange for a handful of pens and the occasional block of post it notes. He/she then begs for more deals and complains about LOOK TO BOOK." Was I far off the mark? This can change for both of you by realizing your reps have a job to do and their income (for the most part) revolves around that dreaded LOOK TO BOOK. Why should you care about how they get paid? Why should they care about how you get paid? Get my point on this?
Take the time and sit with your rep and learn about their program inside and out. This will prove to benefit both of you when it comes to getting deals bought and protecting their numbers as well. This will help pave the way for you not dreading the reps visit and the rep will be more likely to go the extra mile for you when there’s a tough funding or purchasing issue. Seriously, would you want to take extra steps for someone that wouldn’t give you the time of day? I didn’t think so.
Let’s move on to our direct contact, THE BUYER. Most of our dealerships are directed to a central buying center comprised of several underwriters assigned to a territory with an UNDERWRITING MANAGER at the helm, this is where the LOVE starts. When I occupied the coveted F&I chair, I knew my buyers by name, their birthdays, their kid’s names, hobbies etc. all through casual conversations. I would send birthday cards and holiday cards to each of my buyers which established me in a positive way above the pack of F&I Managers who also called in to the buying centers. What did I gain by doing this? I gained a great working relationship with my buyers. It did not gain me favor or “Quid Pro Quo” on approving questionable deals but my calls were answered on the first try (or called back immediately) and I was given priority when it came to getting help from the Management team. Moreover, my buyer was eager to help me find ways to make a deal buyable versus just simply denying. I eventually got to a place with my buyers where they would call me with solutions before I could pick up the phone to ask.
In summary, I’m not asking for you to be an “underwriter stalker,” just simply suggesting that you reach out, learn their programs (STOP SHOTGUNNING), make friends and create positive connections with the individuals that are instrumental in creating money for your dealership and your family.
Contact your UDS Representative for more details.
One of our valued partners recently encountered a situation that uncovered a vulnerability in their process as it pertains to offsite deliveries or any situation where documents are being delivered away from the dealership. This unpleasant experience taught a very good lesson.
Taking a proactive approach in protecting your dealership should become part of your standard operating procedures. A fairly easy way to protect yourself from an identity thief attempting to purchase a vehicle without appearing in the dealership is to require a notarized Identity Verification form be completed by the individual.
A sample for is below that you can download and begin using today. Make that the first form you send to a remote customer and you'll avoid the unpleasant experience of finding out you delivered a car to an identity thief.
Please Contact your UDS Representative for more information.
UDS Diamond Finish®...
Now available with Diamond Ceramic!
UDS' Diamond Finish environmental protection is all new for 2018!
Exterior Protection now formulated with Nano Diamond Ceramic technology (yes, with real diamond dust and ceramic resin) for unbeatable shine and protection
Interior Protection reformulated to an optional single-spray application for ALL protected surfaces
Application Process is now much more efficient with a simple foam and rinse exterior process - No clay bar required! Add the optional single-spray interior and a vehicle can be fully protected in minutes rather than hours
Coverage is still available for ANY age vehicle regardless of mileage providing a full 7 years of fully insured coverage plus valuable ancillary benefits such as rental car
Tuesday, February 13th - 12:15pm - 12:45pm (EST)
or Wednesday, February 14th - 12:15pm - 12:45pm (EST)
This session will focus on one of the often neglected elements of F&I Professionals which can be the difference between Good and Great.
• Why managing time is really about managing yourself.
• How to better organize what you do in F&I, and when you should be doing it.
• How to determine what is important and what is urgent.
• Procrastination and why it’s a F&I productivity killer.
• Spending time on higher value tasks.
Tuesday, March 6th - 12:15pm - 12:45pm (EST)
or Wednesday, March 7th - 12:15pm - 12:45pm (EST)
Do you find yourself selling based on your criteria (i.e. pay plan or bonus levels) or are you selling based on your customers criteria?
This session will show you how selling based on the customers criteria (NEEDS) will boost your performance and income.
• Techniques for uncovering the customer's needs
• Why meeting needs pays better than solving problems
• Where to get valuable Intel
• How benefits can change their life
Mark your calendars! Our next award-winning F&I Certification program will be held at UDS' Training Center the week of: February 5 - 9, 2018
This session is designed to create the next generation of qualified F&I professionals. Perhaps you have a current manager that has never been through a formal F&I Scool, or you are in need of a qualified backup – this is the school for them!
For over 35 years, UDS has been a market leader in F&I Training, and has been voted top F&I Training Provider in the nation for the past 13 years.