03 Nov There is Always Room for Positivity in F&I…Even Now.
The headlines all throughout the media and even the industry trade publications all seem to be negative when it comes to the state of auto sales.
The chip shortage and OE lines suspending operations. Prices have skyrocketed to record levels in the used car segment. Franchises are running out of inventory because of the chip shortage. The Delta variant of COVID is hanging on longer than anyone thought it would.
For F&I, the pivot for the last 18 months has been centered around the necessity of online delivery and paperwork due to state and municipal lockdowns. For most dealers nationwide, this was a whole new world for their F&I managers.
Conventional wisdom in the market says that F&I should be taking a proactive role in changing up everything in an effort to adjust to the ‘new normal’. Adapt to new product and finance offerings, aggressively change how deals are presented, and usher in all the other safety protocols…it’s daunting to say the least.
The Power of Positivity
There are steps a dealership can take the more positive approach not only with their customers but with their staff…specifically the F&I managers as they navigate today’s tricky waters…
- Highlight the Positive – It seems simple enough, but management can give weekly updates to the F&I staff highlighting positive metrics like PVR or CSI stats if they are holding steady or improving. Dig around for the success stories with specific deals where the F&I manager turned around a lean deal to one with a decent PVR. Keep it light and happy…your staff will be better for it.
- Be There to Serve – F&I managers have the pressure of making up a good bit of profit for the dealer on every deal but in the era of COVID-19, perhaps the priority should be on helping first, then profit. People are struggling to find the car they want and are looking for anything to help make the whole process easier.
F&I can stick with their regular procedures but with a servant’s attitude as the backdrop. They are here to help get you approved for the car you need, period. If customers feel like the F&I staff is happy to have them in their office (or online) and excited to help them, selling products will be easier and profits will follow.
- Management Sets the Tone – GM’s and owners have plenty on their plate in riding out this virus. But they also set the tone for how everyone views their job and the attitude (either positive or negative) the staff has every day. Scream too much that the sky is falling and everyone will underperform and customers will pick up on the negative vibe.
If management is positive and makes it clear that they will ALL get through this difficult time together and that the store will come out the other side stronger than ever will be more empowered to stick to the tried-and-true processes that worked for them well before the virus hit.
As F&I managers, there really is a sound argument for sticking to what works and not allowing this uneasy time to become too reactive. If your dealership maintains that positive and steady tone throughout the car buying process, that could be exactly what your customers need right now.
Click here to learn how TruWarranty can help your F&I office stay on a profitable path moving into the last months of 2021. There is still good news out there and we want to share it.