Posted on 17 March 2017.
Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments Off on AUL Corp. Launches 2017 F&I Training Schedule
Posted on 16 February 2017.
Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments Off on AUL Corp. Announces Charitable Contributions
Posted on 03 May 2016.
Let’s face reality. Every day, dealers are overwhelmed by salespeople pitching everything from car washes to dealer management systems. Agents selling F&I products are everywhere, in towns of all sizes, pounding on doors and offering products, training and even free money to do business with them. What sets you apart? Why should they speak with you? This could be a two-day class, but I only have 1,000 words, so let’s get right to it.
In my view, the first decision each of us in this business has to make is this: Are we providing products or solutions? It is a simple question, and most of us would say the latter. However, in many cases, when we get in front of someone, we pull out a pitch book and begin launching into features and benefits and — even more deadly — price comparisons to our competitors. We have no idea what the dealer needs or how we could help, yet we get into a pitch as though we are taking surveys at the mall. So what differentiates you from the many who fail? Here are two things you can do today:
Here’s my process for accomplishing the goal of closing more dealers and increasing sales.
As a former sales, F&I and leadership trainer, I know that it takes hours of preparation for every hour of presentation. That’s the only way to be the best and deliver the best product to your audience. The same goes for the one to two minutes you may get in front of a dealer that will determine if you get an audience to go more in-depth. Do your homework. Start with their website, look for what type of inventory selection they have, how long they have been in business, what charities they support and so on. Google the dealer and look at the Web and news results for insight.
The measurement is this: If you stand in front of a mirror and give your two-minute elevator pitch tailored to this dealer, would you want to meet with you? And you must be ready for the reflex objections you’ll get, such as “I’m happy with my current provider.” Have at least three word-tracks prepared to deal specifically with that objection and show the dealer you’re worthy of his or her time.
Many providers have a tool for you to measure the productivity of a dealership and report back on the gaps and next steps for creating additional revenue by filling those gaps. Whether you call it a “profit gap analysis,” “dealership needs analysis” or something else equally witty, your first goal should be to get the dealer’s permission to meet with his team and identify the opportunities.
There will always be gaps. Why? Because no business is perfect and we all lose focus at times. So the dealer knows you’ll find areas her team should improve on. The real question is, do you have implementable answers for her store and the skills to make them happen? If not, she’ll say thanks and then take your presentation to their current provider to implement the changes needed.
The next step is to schedule a meeting with the dealer and present your findings. This should be a presentation that leads to the two or three key findings from your analysis and your recommendations for how to fix them resulting in additional bottom-line profit to the dealer.
It’s important that the dealer sees you as a credible professional who understands and can address their needs. This comes across not only in your story but how you present your findings and by relating examples of where you have successfully implemented similar processes before. Don’t just present, ask questions, engage your audience and go deep with the dealer to gain agreement and refine your recommendations.
Arguably, the most critical step is to kick off the new account properly. Spend the time necessary in the store so that, after the kick-off, everyone in the dealership knows you and sees you as a member of their team. Invite yourself to sales meetings, save-a-deal meetings and management meetings. Bring in some pizza after the shop closes and hold a fixed ops meeting. From service to used cars and the general office to the F&I office, you are an added value that makes all of them more effective by the skills you bring to the store.
Years ago, I was taught that there is a big difference between problems and needs: Needs require action; problems do not. There is an essential skill to transitioning a problem to a need in a dealer’s mind. For example, a problem might be slow used-car inventory turn and the cause could be the wrong or un-prepped inventory, sales staff skills, or maybe the used-car manager has a bias for sports cars in a truck market.
You must show the dealer the financial impact of where they are today, where they could be and, in many cases, what looked like a minor issue can become a need that requires action. These points may not relate directly to your product, but they can still add to your personal value proposition.
Does this approach take longer than just making a pitch? Yes and no. But I guarantee that, the better you are at presenting your unique value proposition and establishing yourself as a credible consultant, the more business you’ll close with dealers who become long-term clients.
So good selling!
Posted on 19 February 2016.
NAPA, Calif. – AUL Corporation is proud to announce the promotion of Scott Smith to lead the operations department in addition, to his role as the service support manager. Scott joined AUL nine years ago as a customer service representative and then was appointed a claims team leader before being promoted to the service support manager position. In his new role, he will bring leadership and innovation to the combined synergies of the two departments as AUL continues to grow year over year. The operations department is the underwriting and processing center for AUL.
“Scott is an inspirational leader that has taken our service support team to new levels,” said Jimmy Atkinson, COO. “We have a very high commitment to customer service and [we] answer every call personally through that team, handling over 30,000 calls per month. Scott has developed processes and training programs and even, more importantly, the spirit of teamwork that we know he will bring to our operations group.”
Scott replaced Jackie Mathews, who was one of the first employees at AUL. Jackie made the decision to step back from her manager role and become a team member again as she prepared for retirement after being an AUL employee for well over twenty years. “Jackie is employee number three!” said Luis Nieves, founder and CEO. “When we were first starting AUL, we folded brochures and pitch kits in Jackie’s basement, and she has been a loyal and dedicated part of AUL ever since,” said Nieves.
Also, Scott has promoted Kim Freemen to the position of team leader from our Sales Support Team, joining Isabel Gutierrez in that role. Also, Heath Rosa has been named operations analyst. These changes reflect the talent and bench strength at AUL and further the commitment to providing agents, dealers, and contract holders with unsurpassed service.
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Posted on 21 September 2015.
NAPA, Calif. – AUL Corp, the industry leader in used vehicle service contracts proudly announces that Jacqueline Swank, Marketing Manager has been named to the Agent Entrepreneur “40 Under 40″ list. The magazine, known for being the industry leader in the automotive agent space, publishes the list annually to recognize the best and brightest industry professionals under forty years old.
“Jacqueline is a terrific young leader and has creatively driven our AUL brand changes that have been recognized as innovative and a real game changer for us in the marketplace” said Luis Nieves, AUL Founder and CEO. He went on to say: “She has so much energy and positive spirit and brings tremendous talent to our management team.”
In her current role, Jacqueline oversees all marketing materials, trade shows, and branding as well as supporting agents through training, meetings, and industry functions. Jacqueline joined AUL in 2007 as a marketing associate and promoted to her current role in 2011. The first major project she initiated was the very successful AUL re-branding including a sweeping change of the logo and all marketing materials.
When announcing the group, David Gesualdo, Publisher of the magazines said: “It is a formidable group and one that is brimming with optimism.”
Jacqueline spends her time away from AUL with her family, husband Matt and daughter June. She is a Napa native. When asked about the award she said: “At AUL we have many wonderful and talented people under 40, it’s an honor to be listed and represent AUL.”
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Posted on 05 August 2015.
NAPA, Calif.- AUL Corp., America’s largest national provider of used vehicle service contracts, announces the launch of its E-Claims portal for dealers and repair facilities. E-Claims is the latest enhancement to AUL’s robust web system for its dealers and agents.
Through the AUL website, www.aulcorp.com, repair facilities can access E-Claims and submit claims quickly and easily 24/7/365 days a year. During AUL business hours claims are routed directly into a queue for rapid response from claims adjusters. Through AUL’s new E-Claims system, repair centers will have complete visibility into the status of their claim as well as when claims are paid.
“We surveyed our dealers and agents to incorporate their ideas into this initiative,” said Frank Pfister, AUL Claims Manager. “One key word for the service advisor is flexibility and this allows the advisor to enter claims while being free for greeting and assisting customers in the service drive as needed.”
AUL has made tremendous investments in technology and is implementing E-Claims as part of a series of enhancements for their dealers and agents. “Ease of use and flexibility for the user were at the top of our goals and dealers who have tested the program have been very pleased,” said Suman Nair, AUL’s CIO. “It enhances our web presence and integrates with all of our other platforms creating a seamless solution.”
Along with E-Claims AUL is installing a new phone system to increase efficiency and improve call quality. AUL remains one of the few companies that eschew a phone tree and have a live person answering each call to provide personalized and friendly service to customers.
Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments Off on AUL Launches E-Claims for Dealers and Repair Facilities Available 24/7/365