Finance and Insurance (F&I) managers work directly with consumers, so their role is vitally important when it comes to understanding consumers’ needs, encouraging them to buy valuable products, and at the same time maximizing the dealership’s profit. Mistakes in the F&I department can cost you more than a sale. It could potentially impact customer satisfaction, loyalty, increase acquisition cost, and severely affect the dealership’s reputation.
On the other hand, a satisfied customer can become a brand advocate for your business. They cost less to serve and are typically willing to pay more than other customers. They often act as word-of-mouth marketers for your company and are highly likely to refer their friends, family, and acquaintances to your dealership. Win satisfaction, and profits will follow as night follows day.
Maintaining a high-performing F&I manager is crucial to your dealership’s bottom line and success in today’s changing environment. Therefore, hiring the right person to fill the role requires looking for specific personality traits. The list of qualities can be endless. However, efficient F&I managers have the right combination of three core qualities:
The F&I managers have the capability to boost your dealership profit. A lot of the F&I profits come from products such as vehicle service contracts, GAP waiver and insurance, pre-paid maintenance, glass protection, and tire and wheel coverage. The F&I manager must be aligned with the dealership’s goals and know their penetration benchmarks. Distributing profits among valuable consumer add-ons helps create consumer peace of mind and allows dealerships meet consistent revenue goals. It would add up to attain revenue goals for the dealership. Having a goal-oriented approach would enable the managers perform better and increase profit.
Taking accountability for results is another major distinguishing character. Blaming poor results on outside entities such as the bank capping my deals, lack of support from sales personnel–the salesperson is undermining the sale of products, the product does not award good commission, would impact operations in the long run. Top performers find a way to rise above those excuses.
Empathy or customer-focused
When a customer enters your F&I office, do they feel like they are being “sold” or offered valuable options? Understanding customer needs and offering useful products is just one part. Another key step is sharing narratives about how the coverages being offered have protected other customers just like them. A real-world instance can help customers recognize the value of the products.
Compliant and highly ethical
An employee’s reservations towards ethics and integrity raise a big red flag. Your dealership cannot afford to lose its reputation due to negligence or ignorance in complying with finance and insurance regulations. Therefore, hiring the right personnel for your team is non-negotiable.
Now arises the big question: How would you precisely identify the right person for your F&I department?
The characteristics of the people you place on your team significantly influence the success of your dealership. A strategic personality evaluation could help achieve the objective of identifying the right person for your team. However, merely conducting personality tests would not suffice. Comprehending and decoding the individuals’ traits and finding the right fit for the role demand experience and expertise.
Furthermore, finding the suitable person and sharpening their skills through extensive training will make a tremendous difference in your team’s performance. Comprehensive training should include document preparation, presenting loan and financing options to customers, state and federal compliance knowledge, training to sell ancillary products, identifying indications of customer receptivity, and psychological training to close the deals faster.
The right person for the role and proper training to enhance employee’s skills contribute to your dealership’s profitability. Additionally, personality assessment helps discover employee’s traits and motivation in determining if they would succeed in the F&I department and be trained appropriately to achieve sales goals and cultivate consumers’ goodwill with the transparency of process and prices.
The following chart shows the critical ingredients for the success of the dealership.
F&I profits are key to overall dealership success. Thus, the role that the “right person” plays in success is undeniable. The PRO Consulting team has helped auto dealers find the right fit for essential functions and train employees for significant improvements in productivity. Furthermore, our comprehensive training has shown proven results in raising employees’ efficiency, which in turn increases sales and profits. Contact us to get custom solutions to grow the profitability of your unique dealership.