Quality has no substitute: Don’t build a system in which mediocrity is rewarded
Sales and F&I teamwork:
In a meeting with one of our long-associated dealer clients, the discussion kicked around why it is critical to have a team where all players fit best together and not be separated like oil and water.
Bringing the Sales team and F&I together and encouraging Sales and F&I teamwork takes effort, but this is what differentiates a thriving dealership from a mediocre one. On one hand, there is a Sales team chasing the number of vehicles sold, and on the other, there is an F&I team pursuing higher profit per vehicle.
Sales and F&I have their own roles in the court. However, better coordination among the players leads to scoring more shots and winning championships.
Therefore, it is important to assess the following:
- Does your Sales team complete proper paperwork before turning the customers to F&I?
- Do they inform your customers about the next step in their buying process or leave them in the dark as to what’s next?
- Is the checklist completed before turn-over to F&I?
Ultimately, it is not the quantity but quality that counts.
As Red Auerbach stated, you do not win with the five best players. You win when those five players fit together best.
Benefits of better coordination between Sales and F&I teams:
The best outcomes are achieved when sales and F&I work together to maximize every opportunity. Transferring F&I knowledge to the sales managers is a good idea for improved profitability.
Several customers express that an unpleasant experience in the buying process is the abrupt way the sales team turns them over to the F&I department. As a result, the customers do not understand what to expect.
Customers trust the process better when you inform them adequately and set the right expectations. Additionally, working as one team would significantly reduce the customer’s resistance to the F&I process and products and raise dealership profitability.
Moreover, better collaboration among departments will enhance customers’ experience, positively influencing the CSI score. When sales and F&I develop better coordination, develop a strategy, and act as a team, they will succeed collectively.
As Phil Jackson infers, develop a game plan, and throw yourself into the action.
Actions that the dealership leaders can take to improve Sales and F&I teamwork and profitability:
1. Communicate effectively:
What we call front-end operation, the sales and F&I teams need to clearly understand their role in helping a customer complete their purchase. Profitability starts with setting up the shared goals between departments and creating a winning strategy.
Hence, promote a culture where teammates communicate clearly with customers as well as peers. This would foster teamwork and transfers the trust built by the Sales personnel to the F&I manager. For example, before directing customers to F&I, the salesperson should set the right expectations and tell the customers what will happen next and how the Finance manager will help complete the paperwork necessary to put their car on the road.
As Coach K said, teaching and practicing effective communication brings everyone together as one.
2. Encourage sync meetings and inter-departmental alignment:
Each week, F&I managers must be encouraged to review dead deals with Sales managers to identify solutions and see if there is a way to go. Review the three Cs of credit. Namely:
- Character—defined by credit and loan repayment history.
- Capacity- measures income and ability to service a loan or line of credit.
- Collateral- asset(s), in this case, the car you have them on.
A fresh set of eyes and ideas with colleagues could help teams find constructive outcomes and raise the dealership’s profitability.
As Tom Thibodeau said, we can learn something from everybody.
3. Data driven approach for hiring the right person in the right role:
Sometimes the best talent for the job is working in a different position in the dealership. Finding the right person for the right role demands in-depth review and assessment. Personality and cognitive assessment are a data-driven approach that provides objective data for better decision making and building stronger teams that fit best together and your culture.
Ensuring everyone understands their role as a player on the court toward getting a team win will assure better results and happier players.
As said by Michael Jordan, you must act to make it happen.
We support many multi-rooftop dealerships and help build efficient teams that perform together to attain common goals and profitability. Call us today, and we can help you identify the diamonds in the rough and polish them into a gem to ensure your success.