Channel | F&I

Key To F&I Success: Attract and Attain Top-Notch Personnel

By: Shari Vance

Key To F&I Success: Attract and Attain Top-Notch Personnel

As an agent for auto dealers who intends to stand out above the crowd, one of our main focuses is income development. We thrive on making the dealers’ front and back grosses increase, while improving customer relations, and helping dealers sell more units.

Frequently, however, we are asked, “How do you really make the needle move?” Clearly, this question is highly complicated, as there is no ‘magic dust’ that can simply be used with 100 percent success in every dealership. If I had to pick the next best thing to a magic solution, however, it would certainly be attracting and attaining the absolute best personnel.

This begs several questions, of course. How can dealers ensure they hire the best possible people? What are the things to look for to know if someone is a good fit? What types of questions should dealers ask interviewees?

Hiring the best people requires patience. An industry-renowned motivational speaker, Dave Anderson, says we should “hire slow, fire fast.” Typically in the car business, we do the exact opposite of that. Lots of times we fall in love with a candidate due to their overall likeability, their resume or the level at which they came recommended, and we don’t really uncover the information that will lead us to know if they can succeed.

Instead, we should take our time through the interview process. Always line up multiple candidates, regardless of how good the first one you run across may be. When you perform interviews, test an interviewee’s most important traits by asking the right questions. When do you want to know that a candidate has the appropriate talent, drive and character to do the job? Before you hire them!

Want to test sales talent? Try asking them to sell you a random, inanimate object. You’re looking for them to ask you questions about how you plan on using the product. A natural ability to sell will always do this.

Want to test character? Try asking them about a time they had a disagreement with a boss and how it was resolved. You will be amazed by the outpouring of honestly that occurs in these situations. Furthermore, if they can’t name a single time this has happened, you know they’re either lacking drive, or they’re lying.

Want to test drive? Ask them if they’d rather have a job working 40 hours a week, making $50,000 or working 60 hours a week, making $90,000. You’ll find out a TON about what motivates them and what their work ethic will be like.

Clearly, there is no certain way to always find the best hires. One thing is certain, however, and that’s by being patient and thorough, you can overcome many of the hiring mistakes that are commonly made. At the end of the day, the single biggest factor in being able to move the needle is having motivated, high-character, highly-driven individuals. All the training in the world won’t help unless you have someone willing to learn.

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- has written 1 posts on Agent Entrepreneur.

Shari Vance is the president of IPS Agency, a growing income development company based in Georgetown, Ky. Established in 2004, IPS Agency provides auto dealers with the tools to increase profit potential, improve customer satisfaction and reduce legal exposure. Before founding the agency, Shari worked for Zurich as the regional F&I manager representing the states of Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas.

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