4 Ways to Maintain a Professional F&I Department

4 Ways to Maintain a Professional F&I Department

What are the hallmarks of a high-performing F&I office? 

Is it just one or two things? No, it can be many different strategies but for now we’ll focus on 4 unique habits of successful F&I managers. Though each dealership environment is different, these are fundamental changes that can transform not only your paycheck but your overall sense of satisfaction every time you walk into your office.

1) Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk: Whether your store is a highline franchise store or a more relaxed used car lot, there is no excuse not to present yourself as a true management professional. Carry yourself as the important part of the dealership that you are. Dress the part, make sure your office is well organized and clear of clutter.  

2) R-E-S-P-E-C-T the Customer: This should be a given, but many times F&I managers can be stressed with a seemingly endless flow of cash buyers or subprime buyers they can’t get bought. The pressure can be stifling but in the face of all that, it’s important to understand that showing the credit-distressed buyer a little respect and understanding can be the difference between a low producing F&I manager and a top-tier producer.

Actively listen, show empathy and respect, and let them know you are there to help, period. The money will follow.

3) Understanding ‘No’ Can Be a Good Thing: Any good sales trainer will tell you that hearing ‘No’ from a prospect is simply the beginning of the process, not the end of the sale. True, but in F&I, this opens the door to drilling down deeper with the buyer and uncovering the real issues behind the resistance.

‘No’ can help you keep the conversation going and forces you to ask better, more probing questions to uncover the real concerns. If you view the ‘No’ as a challenge rather than an obstacle, you may be surprised at the result.

4) Work with Sales, Not Against Them: F&I and the Sales Team should always strive to work together but many times this is difficult. If you are in a store where the two work well together and help each other as a matter of management mandate, that is great news!  

Get to know all the salespeople and do your best to form good relationships with them. Show appreciation where you can and if there are conflicts, handle them quickly and professionally. 

Let the team here at TruWarranty help your store with all of your aftermarket F&I needs, from products to data analysis and even private-label branding. We’re here to help!