Tag Archive | "Agent Summit"

Agent Summit Workshops to Focus on Profit, Performance and Marketing


In keeping with its adopted theme of training, the inaugural Agent Summit is offering three additional workshops aimed at helping agents improve profit development, dealership performance and product marketing, organizers of the two-day event announced today.

These three workshops will take place during the first day of the Agent Summit, which is scheduled for March 8-9 at the Las Vegas Hilton. The workshops will be led by Luis Garcia, director of training and development for Safe-Guard Products International; Rick McCormick, F&I magazine contributor and national account development manager for Reahard & Associates; John Vecchioni, director of F&I development for United Car Care and David Mathews, president and CEO of United Car Care.

Scheduled for Tuesday, March 8, at 10:05 a.m., Garcia’s workshop, “5 Elements of True Income Development: Pricing, Menu, Pay Plans, Training and Reporting,” will emphasize why F&I manager training is critical to the success of a dealership. In this session, Safe-Guard’s lead trainer will show agents how a value-building presentation can work to justify product pricing, how a pay plan can drive the bottom line, and how real-time reporting can give agents the edge to be effective business partners to their dealer customers. Additionally, agents will learn how to put together an online training program to supplement their in-person tutoring.

McCormick, one of the industry’s authorities on dealership training, will lead the workshop, “Training, Monitoring and Motivating F&I Managers.” This session, which takes place on Tuesday, March 8, at 2 p.m., will teach agents how to effectively regulate and improve a dealership’s F&I performance. McCormick will open his playbook and provide agents with the keys to establishing a motivating and results-driven dealership training program. Agents will also learn why effectively monitoring F&I performance can move the F&I team to excellence and drive overall production, as well as provide an increase in customer satisfaction.

Vecchioni and Mathews will co-lead the workshop, “Prospecting and Cold Calling: Learn Valuable Tips on Marketing Yourself to Increase Business” on Tuesday, March 8, at 3:05 p.m. This session will teach attendees how to separate their agencies and product offerings from those of competing agencies. Additionally, attendees will learn valuable tips on marketing and conquest sales.

For more information about these workshops and the Agent Summit’s full program, visit www.agentsummit.com.

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Meeting of the Minds


Born out of last year’s F&I Conference and Expo, the industry’s first agent-only conference promises to go where no other show has gone before.

In his Feb. 1, 2011, blog post, Gregory Arroyo, executive editor of F&I and Showroom magazine, used the term “The MEETING” to frame the industry’s first agent-only conference. But it was a meeting that took place last September during the magazine’s annual F&I Conference and Expo that was responsible for the creation of a new summit geared exclusively to agents.

Participating in that meeting were representatives of F&I and Showroom and Agent Entrepreneur, a new e-zine dedicated to the agent community. The Agent Summit’s eventual media partners discussed the possibility of coordinating a separate show that would provide a forum for agents to roll up their sleeves and dig into issues impacting their segment of the industry.

“I remember putting together workshop descriptions for last year’s Agent Symposium, the one-day event we put on before the F&I conference,” said Arroyo. “And while talking to one of the trainers we invited to the show to get some input, I was amazed to hear him describe how much life had changed for agents. He said the situation had created a training gap in the dealer world, because agencies were either folding or eliminating their training services.”

In many respects, agents became a forgotten segment during all the turmoil that struck the industry in the last few years. It’s one of the reasons why event organizers wanted to create an event that served to unite the agent community. Most importantly, the event had to provide a setting that would allow agents to really dig into the issues impacting their business.

“Think of this event as a closed-door meeting for agents, one where they’ll be able to learn, discuss, debate and, more importantly, to network,” said Adam Kimber, publisher of Agent Entrepreneur.

Rising From the Ashes

Between dealership closures and the credit crisis, it’s been a roller coaster ride for the agent community. The biggest threat to their livelihoods was the alleged policies some lenders issued during the downturn. Some sources either limited or prohibited advances on many of the F&I products agents delivered to dealers.

David Robertson, director of the Association of Finance and Insurance Professionals, was at the center of the issue, as he, along with a group of agents, attempted to mount a legal response to these policies. He’ll be one of the featured speakers during a special panel that aims to address that very issue. Joining Robertson on the panel will be Stephen Amos, president of GSFSGroup; Bob Corbin, president and CEO of Innovative Aftermarket Systems; Johnny Garlich, president and CEO of Heart Dealer Financial Services; and David Mathews, president and CEO of United Car Care.

“That’s why this show is so unique,” said Arroyo, the panel’s moderator. “The agent community really needs a venue to discuss this issue. My hope is that a solution to this problem will begin to take shape by the time we’re done.”

The race between menu providers to electronically connect F&I product providers to dealers will also take center stage at the conference. For agents, the advent of e-contracting provided them with a new reporting tool that allowed them to peer deeper into the operations of their customers. The problem is dealer usage of e-contracting, e-remittance and e-rating solutions remains low.

Offering his thoughts on how menu providers can increase usage of these systems will be Steve Veldkamp, director of training for Great Lakes Companies. He will be joined by Dave Duncan, senior vice president of Safe-Guard Products International; Matt Nowicki, IT director for Innovative Aftermarket Systems; Brian Reed, CEO of Intersection Technologies; and David Trinder, CEO of F&I Administration Solutions.

Getting Back to Business

The Agent Summit’s advisory board made clear its desire for the summit’s agenda to take on a getting-back-to business tone — a request echoed by AE’s Kimber. Sitting in a packed room inside the Paris Las Vegas hotel and casino last year for the Agent Symposium, it was clear to him that agents were ready to get back to business.

“I could tell that agents were ready to get back in the saddle,” said Kimber. “However, because dealers were at the F&I conference, agents also needed to think about prospecting. And that’s the beauty of the new conference; agents will be able to focus on learning, not picking up new business.”

Setting the tone for the two-day event will be celebrated sales trainer Joe Verde, who will deliver a special keynote address titled, “Helping Your Dealers From Recovery to Growth.” Verde joins six other renowned trainers who will be leading the event’s educational workshops. The lineup includes George Angus of Team One Group; Luis Garcia, director of training for Safe-Guard Products International; Gerry Gould, director of training for United Development Systems; Rick McCormick, F&I magazine contributor and account manager for Reahard & Associates; John Vecchioni, director of F&I development at United Car Care; and Robert Harkins, compliance guru and president of RAH Consulting.

“The idea of bringing together the top trainers in the business was born out of last year’s F&I Conference and Expo, and it was well received,” Arroyo noted. “These seven individuals will address a host of issues, from developing training and compliance programs, to setting up the service department to drive F&I profits.”

Results of a new dealer study, conducted by Team One Group, will also be revealed at the conference during a special lunchtime presentation. The session will reveal key dealer insights on product needs, preferences on service contract offerings and chemical products, and dealer software and training needs.

Running an Agency

Staging an agent-only event also provided show organizers with the opportunity to delve into topics related to running an agency. Leading the way will be Randy Crisorio, president and CEO of United Development Systems. He will open up the second day of the Agent Summit with a special keynote address that will highlight the critical role agents and agencies play in the F&I distribution channel.

Crisorio will be followed by a panel that brings together five of the industry’s top agent executives, who will open up their playbooks on running a successful agency. Panelists include Christopher Blakely, president of Blakely Enterprises; David Griffiths, president of Profit Concepts; Gregg Lindo, senior vice president of Resources Management Group; Bob Loftus of Loftus and Associates; and Glen Tuscan, president of Dealer Commitment Services.

“The agencies these five individuals represent are highly successful, but we’re not asking them to simply share their theories and opinions on operating a successful agency,” Kimber said. “What we’ve asked them to do is share real-world ideas and processes that have produced tangible and measurable results.”

Keeping with that theme, event organizers have invited Tony Wanderon, the former president of Allstate Dealers Services, to lead a special lunchtime presentation on prepping one’s agency for sale. Wanderon, considered the industry’s GAP guru, will take attendees back to 1997, when he sold his former ERJ Insurance Group. Wanderon, a 24-year agent, administrator and insurance industry veteran, will talk about the steps he took to prepare his firm for sale, and the challenges and benefits of agent principals becoming employees rather than owners. He will also provide strategies on how agent principals can set up their companies to maximize their future market value.

Also invited to the conference is top reinsurance mind, Jim Smith. The chief executive officer for SouthwestRe will break down the different types of reinsurance offerings, and will provide attendees with a keen understanding of how reinsurance can bolster their firms’ value-added services.

“There were at least 20 great and timely topics that didn’t make the final cut,” Arroyo said. “Again, our advisory board did a solid job, and I’m confident we’re going to send some very motivated agents back into the field come Wednesday.”

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Wanderon, Angus to Lead Lunchtime Sessions


The former president of Allstate Dealer Services and the training firm behind a new dealer study are scheduled to address attendees during two special lunchtime sessions at the inaugural Agent Summit, event organizers announced today.

Tony Wanderon, former president of Allstate Dealer Services and now president of his own consulting firm – Jacksonville, Fla.-based Family First Dealer Services LLC – will offer insights on preparing one’s agency for sale on Wednesday, March 9, at 12:30 p.m.

The 24-year insurance industry professional will take attendees back to 1997, when Wanderon – considered by many as the industry’s GAP guru – sold his former ERJ Insurance Group to AHL. He will talk about the steps he took to prepare his firm for sale, and will provide strategies on how agent principals can maximize their business’ future market value.

“Hearing from an expert like Tony, who has managed his own agency, F&I company and who is considered the leading expert on GAP, will definitely be a treat for those in attendance,” said Gregory Arroyo, executive editor of F&I and Showroom magazine and chair of the Agent Summit’s advisory board. “Obviously, most agent principals don’t like to think about the topic Tony will be addressing, but, after what we’ve been through the last three years, it’s a topic they need to hear.”

Results of a new dealer study on what dealers look for in F&I product providers and general agents will take center stage on Tuesday, March 8, at 12:30 p.m. Led by George Angus, celebrated trainer and the face of Team One Group, which conducted the study, the session will reveal insights on dealer product needs, preferences on service contract offerings and chemical products, as well as dealer software and training needs.

“George’s study will even delve into what new products dealers are most interested in, which is an important insight now that the economy is showing signs of life,” said Adam Kimber, associate publisher of Agent Entrepreneur, a new e-zine for agents and media partner with F&I magazine on the new Agent Summit. “More importantly, the study will offer insights on the direction agents need to take their marketing efforts. This is really a can’t-miss session.”

The Agent Summit is scheduled for March 8-9 at the Las Vegas Hilton. For more information, visit www.agentsummit.com .

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Verde Offers $100,000 Book to Agent Summit Attendees


LAS VEGAS – Attendees of the first annual Agent Summit, to be held Mar. 8–9 at the Hilton Las Vegas, will each receive a free copy of How to Make $100,000 Selling Cars, the new book by author, trainer and Agent Summit keynote speaker Joe Verde.

Verde introduced the book at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)’s annual convention last month. The new volume is his third guide to success in auto retail, following the well-received A Dealer’s Guide to Recovery & Growth and How to Sell a Car Today.

“I wrote Recovery & Growth in 2009 as a way to help dealers and managers plan for long-term, continuous growth in the wake of the recession,” Verde said. ” With my new book, I switched my focus to salespeople, 80 percent of who never receive any training before they hit the lot. I wanted to help them develop their daily selling activities so that they can sell more units each month and start earning big paychecks.”

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Agent Summit to Address Two Hot-Button Issues for Agents


The e-contracting arms race involving F&I menu and product providers and the perceived bias finance sources showed toward aftermarket F&I products will take center stage at the first annual Agent Summit, organizers of the two-day event announced today.

Dealers’ acceptance of e-contracting, e-rating and e-remittance of F&I products, as well as widespread lender approval of aftermarket F&I products have the potential to strengthen agents’ relationships with their dealership customers. However, neither scenario is likely to occur in the immediate future unless certain challenges are overcome.

The benefits of e-contracting are apparent to agents, as well as menu and F&I product providers, but dealers still aren’t fully sold. Standardization of this technology is unlikely until a majority of dealers embrace it. The agent’s first panel session, scheduled for Tuesday, March 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will feature five industry executives who will delve into the e-contracting push. It will also seek to uncover keys to increasing dealership adoption and usage among F&I managers.

Moderated by F&I and Showroom‘s Managing Editor, Tariq Kamal, the “Update on E-Contracting, E-Remittance and E-Menu” panel will include David Duncan, senior vice president of Safe-Guard Products International, Brian Reed, CEO of Intersection Technologies, David Trinder, CEO of F&I Administration Solutions, Matt Nowicki, Innovative Aftermarket Systems’ director of information technology, and Steve Veldkamp, director of training at Great Lakes Companies.

The second panel session, scheduled for Tuesday, March 8, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., will focus on lender acceptance of aftermarket F&I products. The practice of finance sources saying “no” to aftermarket products isn’t new, but it reached a boiling point during the credit-induced recession. Five individuals from the frontlines of this issue will roll up their sleeves and discuss the way forward for agents and aftermarket product providers.

Moderated by F&I and Showroom‘s Executive Editor, Gregory Arroyo, the “Captive vs. Aftermarket: Should a Captive’s F&I Product Receive Better Terms?” panel will include Stephen Amos, president of GSFSGroup; Bob Corbin, president and CEO of Innovative Aftermarket Systems; David Mathews, president and CEO of United Car Care; and David Robertson, executive director of the Association of Finance & Insurance Professionals.

For more information on the Agent Summit, scheduled for March 8-9 at the Las Vegas Hilton, visit www.agentsummit.com.

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Register For Agent Summit and Save


Register for Agent Summit 2011 by February 11 to save $100 on your registration fee and another $100 off your pass to September’s F&I Conference & Expo. If that’s not enough, you’ll also be entered into a drawing to win one of three iPads provided by Old Republic Insured Automotive Services!

“Old Republic is excited to be sponsoring the Agent Summit event and the iPad giveaway,” said Rick Malone, vice president of sales and marketing. “We look forward to a successful show and the beginning of a great tradition of Agent Summits.”

The industry’s first-ever agents-only event, a joint venture between F&I and Showroom and Agent Entrepreneur magazines, is scheduled for March 8–9 at the Las Vegas Hilton. Agent Summit 2011 is expected to draw hundreds of the nation’s top general agents. The event’s educational agenda is packed with keynotes, panels and workshops, all developed with the agent community in mind.

“I’m very excited about the agenda we’ve put together with the help of our advisory board,” said Gregory Arroyo, executive editor of F&I and Showroom and chair of the Agent Summit advisory board. “I really expect this event to feel more like a meeting among agents, providing them with a chance to really take off the gloves and dig into the issues impacting their business. My hope is we’ll see some strategies for dealing with these issues start to take shape during this event.”

Click Here to Register Now!

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