My advice to speed up your personal and professional economic recovery is to act. This is a terrible time to take a wait-and-see approach to your F&I business. Your responsibilities as an F&I manager haven't changed. You still need to facilitate the delivery of any vehicle sold by accurately completing all the paperwork needed to transfer ownership. Your responsibilities haven't changed in compliance and protecting the dealer's assets. The importance of your influence on cash flow and customer satisfaction hasn't changed. And your contribution to revenue through generating additional profit hasn't changed, either.
What most likely has changed for many F&I managers are the number of opportunities you have each day to fulfill the responsibilities just mentioned. What's more significant is that hopefully you have a greater understanding and appreciation of how important each opportunity is to you and the dealership than you may have had just a few months ago.
A very successful dealer I worked for wisely told me once, "In our business, good habits are learned in tough times, and bad habits are learned in good times." I believe that is true. And if true, that means there may be a few F&I managers out there who have developed some "bad habits" over the past 12 years or so.
Touching a deal once should be a goal for every F&I manager. Now is a great time to tighten up your administrative skills. When volume is high and customers are plentiful, mistakes are sometimes tolerated. "He's a great producer, but not very good on paperwork" or "She is great with customers, turns good numbers, but she isn't as detailed-orientated as she could be." Sound familiar?
Touching a deal once means complete and accurate paperwork every time. When volume is down cash flow is critical. As an F&I manager you can either positively influence cash flow by taking the extra minute or two to be sure your paperwork is tight and you have a fundable contract, or negatively influence cash flow through sloppy paperwork that creates a contracts-in-transit issue. My guess is dealers and general managers will now be tolerating less of the bad habits that contribute to contracts-in-transit and cash-flow issues than they may have in January and February.