The reputation of the F&I profession, proper ways of presenting menus and the ideal place for F&I products to be sold were topics that prompted much discussion throughout the year. Our readers chimed in on these and other issues as well. Here’s a sampling of excerpted, verbatim comments that appeared in the "Finance & Insurance Report" in 2011:
Battling F&I 'shenanigans' and other reader tips
One of the biggest problems with F&I's practice and perception is the same that afflicts many OTHER highly-procedural processes. Those responsible for performing them tend to place FAR greater emphasis upon getting done what THEY need to do while often relegating customers to afterthoughts -- merely a necessary evil to be dealt with. Despite having to overcome the even-greater hurdle of managing negative perceptions resulting from the shenanigans that so often occur at the F&I desk, the profession could elevate itself by light years by developing processes that cater to establishing clarity rather than treating them customers as a nuisance that must be overcome.
-- "Madlock" commenting on "3 tips to aggravation-free F&I" -- Dec. 14, 2011
Too many F&I managers are like robots with the menu presention and don't incorporate any fact finding or qualify the client, ultimately missing out on easy opportunities...More importantly than product positioning on your menu, quickly find out some key information or hot buttons that could create a sale and profit...
-- "Kellis773" commenting on "'Second-tier' products rise to top of menu" -- Nov. 16, 2011
"…The sales team typically gets several hours to work with the customer and then expects F&I to get them in and out without offering the Finance Manager the same opportunity to build value in their product offerings. Finance needs to slow the process down and make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to purchase vehicle/investment protection products. That's where a concise professional menu makes a world of difference. Not only to raise PVR, but to keep the dealership compliant with disclosure law.
-- "TAMARA_MOORADIAN" commenting on "6 ways to engage customers in F&I" -- Oct. 12, 2011
A credit explanation is standard process, and mandatory when acquiring credit - homes purchase, autos and etc.
Interest rates are determined by the lender/bank.
Consumers deserve to know why they qualify for the rates offered by the financial institution, rather than to be quoted a rate with no justification.
This is simply good customer service, and up front explanations by each both consumer and dealer.
Best practice is to take the guessing out of the equation for everyone, both buyer and seller.
Better to quote a rate that a consumer qualifies for, rather than a rate they don't qualify for!
-- "Bobby+Compton" commenting on: "2 tools to help sales, F&I work together" -- July 13, 2011
Full commission or not, the Finance Managers job is to get the loan approved and the lender is the one that decides if they want to purchase the loan based on it's risk. Most experienced and reputable dealers/finance managers wouldn't build a relationship with a lender on one deal. We build our relationships with lenders who buy consistantly and professionally and look at our deals based on what makes sense not with the baggage of all thier other bad lending decisions. A hard-worked regretful "no" on a deal is way better than a sarcastic "heck no". Bedside manner goes a long way in a good working relationship from the dealer perspective.You don't have to buy every deal you just have to make us think you want to buy every deal.
-- "Kvanceauto" commenting on: "Finance trainer's tough advice: Dump commissions" -- March 23, 2011
There is a distinct difference between the two positions of sales and finance and they shouldn't be conducted in the same place.
I've not talked to anyone that believes the salesperson's office is any more "comfortable" than other offices in the store. There will always be a certain level of angst in the mind of the customer when spending this kind of money and keeping them in one particular office won't alleviate that.
The job of the F&I Manager is to credibly and professionally present the customer's options in a non-confrontational manner. Unlike the sales department, F&I is presenting product options to hedge against risk. The salesperson has just told the customer how great and reliable their new car is and now in comes another person to present options to protect against mechanical failure. …
-- "MarvEleazer.com'' commenting on "Want to sell more F&I? Keep customers away from the 'dungeon'" -- Feb. 23, 2011
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