In football and in car sales, the handoff is a foundational play that looks uncomplicated but is fraught with potential disaster if someone drops the ball.
In the case of an auto dealership, the handoff happens between a sales associate and the F&I manager, and fumbles usually mean angry customers and lost sales.
But DCH Millburn Audi in Maplewood, N.J., has spent the last several years perfecting the handoff, and the result has been not only a better sales process for the customer, but also added revenue for the store.
After much experimentation, General Manager Al Khouri says, the dealership has found that the key to a smooth transition is an early meet-and-greet away from the F&I manager's home turf.
Or put another way: a visit to the salesperson's desk — right after the purchase agreement is signed. F&I managers introduce themselves and talk to customers before offering them any products, and then leave to await customers' official arrival in F&I.