Tag Archive | "F&I"

15 Ways to Get Organized

One of the things that I have personally discovered about the most successful agents is their ability to handle a variety of daily challenges, tasks, problems, issues and responsibilities, all at the same time, and still come back for more tomorrow.

This would not be possible if they lacked personal organizational skills!

I don’t wish to confuse anyone, but please keep in mind that I am not talking about time management here but personal management. What you can do in a framework of passing time is just manage all the “stuff” — decisions, problems, resources, customers, employment, successes, failures, risks, paperwork and reporting — as well as all the activities and matching issues in your personal life.

I will take this opportunity to list my Top 15 suggestions to help you improve your personal organization:

  1. Start with a written list of what you want to accomplish for a given time period.
  2. Go back through and prioritize the tasks on the list you made.
  3. Stay focused on your plan by completing each task according to its priority.
  4. Eliminate all clutter in your normal daily routines — if you have not referenced it in the last 10 days to obtain your objectives, why keep it around?
  5. Do not pursue anything on the list that you are not truly passionate about completing.
  6. Get up earlier and go to bed earlier.
  7. Organize your personal workspace — be it your desk or your vehicle — so you can be more productive.
  8. You must learn to say “No” much more often.
  9. If you catch yourself procrastinating on any task on your list, ask yourself why.
  10. Consider enlisting a mentor (or two, or three) to help you prioritize and complete tasks.
  11. When you say “Yes,” mean it.
  12. Respect and value your quality free time away from the job or assignment. Play when it is time to play and work when it is time to work, but do not mix the two.
  13. Have fun and enjoy life as well as this crazy profession you have chosen.
  14. Learn to make the client a friend. Prioritize relationships over transactions.
  15. Use all the available technology at your fingertips today as a tool, not as a crutch.

I realize No. 15 might be challenging for some. It has become much too easy to rely on technology as a sales tool to contact and reach out to new clients, maintain current and past clients, handle your sales and service issues and handle many routine daily functions. But at what cost?

In my personal opinion, business relationships, especially in our industry, are all about the basic concept of dealing one-on-one and face-to-face with people! Our clients want and need, as well as expect, that personal contact.

How often do you shoot over an email or text message instead of dialing that cell or office number and speaking to a client or friend personally?

Please understand that I am not against technology. I do believe it lets us get more done daily and is definitely faster, and I am amazed at the endless capabilities the future holds. But nothing can replace the “warm-and-fuzzies” that are created with a great smile, a firm handshake and a true sincerity to be helpful to the client — in person.

Neither the hottest new iPhone, the fastest computer nor the award-winning website can convince a client that you really do care about their success. Go ahead and label me “old school” or, better yet, “technologically challenged,” but humor me and try the following for the next 30 days and then monitor yourself:

  • Personally call one prospective client every day instead of shooting them an email.
  • Personally call one previous customer every day — not to sell them anything, but just to say “Hi” and ask how the world is treating them.
  • Personally call a relative or a close friend, just to tell them that you were thinking about them and extend warm wishes.
  • Finally, do not always assume that every client you are dealing with is as technologically advanced as you are.

Better personal organization will directly relate to improved effectiveness and increased productivity. Improved effectiveness as well as increased productivity directly relates to a more positive attitude. Positive attitude directly relates to a higher and more rewarding quality of life!

And after all, isn’t that the No. 1 priority on your written list of daily tasks to be accomplished?

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F&I Think Tank Adds Top Compliance Experts

TAMPA, Fla. — Organizers of F&I Think Tank, the F&I manager-geared event preceding Dealer Summit 2016 this May, announced that six of the top dealer compliance experts in the industry will be at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel for the preshow event’s “Busting Compliance Myths” panel session. These individuals will field questions from attendees in a 20 Group-like setting, as well as provide an update on key regulatory battles taking place at the federal and state levels.

The panel, which will take the stage at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3, will also take on several long-held beliefs in F&I and offer their take on whether or not they’re legally valid. Examples include the 300% rule (offer 100% of your products to 100% of your customers 100% of the time) and disclosing the base payment on the F&I menu.

“This is going to be a fun session,” said Gregory Arroyo, editorial director of F&I and Showroom and Auto Dealer Today magazines. “Our compliance experts are going to separate fact from fiction when it comes to some of these recommended best practices in the F&I office. They will also take questions from the audience in what promises to be a lively discussion.”

Moderating the panel will be respected compliance and training expert Robert Harkins, who serves as vice president of training for American Guardian Warranty Services Inc. He’s also served as master of ceremonies for a number of industry events, including F&I and Showroom’s annual Industry Summit.

Panelists include David Robertson, executive director of the Association of Finance & Insurance Professionals; Michael Tuno, president and founder of World Class Dealer Services Inc.; Jim Ganther, president of Mosaic Compliance Services; Randy Henrick Esq., associate general counsel for Dealertrack, and Karen Klees, certified consumer credit compliance specialist for EFG Companies.

Tuno is a 20-year veteran of the auto industry and has served as an F&I instructor for the National Automobile Dealers Association since 2007, while Klees was one of the first 100 professionals to earn the National Automotive Finance (NAF) Association’s Certified Consumer Credit Compliance Specialist designation. Henrick, a more than 30-year veteran of banking and consumer financial services, is the author of the annual Dealertrack Compliance Guide, while Ganther began his career as a business attorney and litigator in Washington, D.C., and Tampa, Fla., and is currently a member of the National Association of Dealer Counsel.

“We have the who’s who of dealership compliance,” Arroyo added. “I don’t think there’s another event that can make such a claim.”

F&I Think Tank was created in partnership with Ethical F&I Managers, a more than 5,000-member Facebook group founded by F&I and Showroom’s “Mad” Marv Eleazer. The preshow event is included in the price of a full show pass to Dealer Summit 2016. For more information or to register, click here.

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2011 F&Idol Winner Joins F&I Think Tank Roster

TAMPA, Fla. — Organizers of F&I Think Tank announced today that 2011 F&Idol winner Gregory Paul “G.P.” Andersonwill be one of the featured presenters at the F&I manager-geared event, which precedes the opening of Dealer Summit 2016 on Tuesday, May 3, at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel.

Anderson, who will take the stage at 11:15 a.m. during the all-day preshow event, will present “Entering the House of Happiness.” The session title is the same name he’s given to his F&I office at Park Rapids, Minn.-based Thielen Motors, where he averages three products per deal and every customer “leaves happy and completely satisfied.”

“One of the things we wanted was a from-the-trenches presenter who could take attendees beyond the typical word-tracks and objection-handling techniques,” said Gregory Arroyo, editorial director for F&I and Showroom and Auto Dealer Today. “G.P. will show attendees how to find their voice and ditch that script.”

Anderson’s ability to connect with customers was on full display when he won the magazine’s inaugural F&Idol contest in a landslide. More than 4,500 readers of F&I and Showroom cast their vote that year, with more than half selecting his video presentation as the best. Anderson’s F&I department was also named one of the magazine’s F&I Pacesetter in 2008. He was also selected as one of the top performers in the nation by General Motors in 2012.

The more than 25-year industry veteran also contributes to Auto Dealer Today’s monthly “Over the Curb” column. Anderson is also the son of a former state senator and an accomplished musician who once shared the stage with fellow Minnesotans Prince and The Hitmakers.

“Shyness did not run in our family whatsoever,” Anderson told F&I and Showroom after winning the 2011 F&Idol award.

In person, Anderson is a line a minute, and just a bit of a showoff, Arroyo said. But he’s also a student of his craft, having attended training sessions taught by legendary sales trainers like Jackie Cooper, David Lewis, Paul Cummings and Jim Ziegler. He also gives back to the communities in which he serves.

Anderson will share with attendees how he’s helping to change the reputation of F&I through customer service and through his work in the communities he serves. In January, for instance, Anderson drove more than two hours to a local Indian reservation and then to a local high school to teach his credit building class. It’s something he does regularly, and his efforts usually result in additional sales leads for the dealership.

Anderson is also the creator of “Christmas in Wadena,” an hour-long light and music show he has put on every year for the last eight years. The show is free, but Anderson asks guests to donate food or cash to “Project Share of Wadena County.” So far, he has brought in more than 2,698 pounds of food and raised nearly $10,000 for the local food shelf.

“G.P. isn’t your typical F&I producer,” Arroyo said. “He will entertain and teach. But more than anything, I think he’s going to inspire and make attendees think about their role in the dealership and in their communities.”

F&I Think Tank was created in partnership with Ethical F&I Managers, a more than 5,000-member Facebook group founded by F&I and Showroom’s “Mad” Marv Eleazer. The preshow event is included in the price of a full show pass to Dealer Summit 2016. For more information or to register, click here.

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Goebel to Pull Triple Duty at Dealer Summit

TAMPA, Fla. — Organizers of Dealer Summit have announced that Greg Goebel will lead three of the eight sessions dedicated to special finance at Dealer Summit, which will be held May 3–5, 2016, at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel.

“Greg’s unmatched, decades-long dedication to special finance has paid off for countless dealers and the industry as a whole,” said David Gesualdo, show chair and publisher of Auto Dealer Today and F&I and Showroom. “Dealers and dealership managers have a golden opportunity to make a wise investment in the subprime market by attending this year’s Dealer Summit.”

The president of DealerStrong will be joined by teammates and fellow trainers Harlene Doane, Shawn Foster and Wendy Reeves, each of whom will helm at least one additional SF session. Goebel said a strong subprime market, leading economic indicators and data gleaned from hundreds of dealers and finance companies all point to 2016 as the year dealers who want a competitive edge should commit to SF in a major way.

“As credit scores fall, having worked with dealers and inside dealerships, you see the frustration of sales managers and salespeople working deals to no avail,” Goebel said. “If you are not excelling in this market, you are falling behind your competition.”

In his keynote address on Wednesday, May 4, Goebel will reveal the annual results of DealerStrong’s long-running “SF Index,” which aggregates actual transaction data from more than 1,000 dealers and the nation’s leading subprime auto finance companies to create benchmarks for inventory, terms and profitability.

“Nobody has data like this,” Goebel said. “Each of the finance companies knows what their internal stats say, but they don’t know profitability from the dealer’s perspective.”

Goebel’s next session is “Finance Companies: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not,” DealerStrong’s rundown of the top-performing subprime auto finance companies. The information in this session should be of particular use to dealers who are new to the special finance segment and may not be aware of what the average transaction should look like.

“An SF manager may have a close relationship with a finance company field rep or credit analyst who wants the business but may not have the dealership’s best interest in mind,” Goebel said. “We will open their eyes as to what they can expect.”

Finally, “SF 101: The 10 Musts to Be Successful in Special Finance” will serve as a 55-minute crash course on the essential elements of a profitable SF department. Goebel said he decided to resurrect the topic for 2016 after leaving it off his annual curriculum for several years.

“So many dealers, finance managers and sales managers don’t understand the basics of SF,” he said. “We’re going to roll through the 10 critical components, how they relate to each other and what they would look like optimally.”

Having served as the industry’s leading special finance expert and trainer since 1989, Goebel has observed countless cycles of prosperity in the segment. He said the aforementioned economic indicators and a surge in interest from dealers of all stripes, including those who represent highline brands, has convinced him that 2016 will be a make-or-break year for experienced and rookie SF dealers alike.

“You can never quit learning,” Goebel said. “If you quit learning, you go backward.”

Registration for Dealer Summit is now open at the event’s website. Attendees who register by April 1 will enjoy a $100 early-bird discount. For information about exhibition and sponsorship opportunities, contact David Gesualdo via email hidden; JavaScript is required or at 727-947-4027.

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National Auto Care Corp. Adds to Product Portfolio to Meet Agents’, Dealers’ Business Needs

WESTERVILLE, Ohio – Westerville OH-based National Auto Care Corp. markets F&I products through its national network of independent agents. According to CEO Tony Wanderon, the company’s core focus is increasing these agent partners’ profitability by providing unique F&I product offerings and personalized sales support.

For 2016, National Auto Care Corp. has introduced several products to its expansive F&I product portfolio, including: Tire and Wheel Protection, Windshield Protection Product Limited Warranty, and Theft Deterrent Product Limited Warranty.

“National Auto Care has built this new Tire & Wheel Protection product in response to agents and dealers that have requested a program with flexible, inclusive pricing and service terms. We are proud to be able to provide a tire and wheel product that includes terms up to 84 months to accommodate the current consumer trend towards longer lease and purchase terms,” said Wanderon.

The National Auto Care Tire & Wheel product is available for new and used vehicles. Consumer-friendly benefits like Towing, Emergency Roadside and Substitute Transportation make the National Auto Care Tire & Wheel product an easy sell in the F&I office as well as a dealer loyalty and satisfaction driver.

The windshield has become an important structural element in today’s lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. National Auto Care has responded to this evolution in vehicle design by introducing a Windshield Protection Product Limited Warranty, available for both new and used vehicles.
The Windshield Protection program includes the application of an approved windshield protection product and a limited warranty that protects the consumer should the windshield protection product fail. The limited warranty covers windshield repair and/or replacement depending on damage size and location, with no deductible due from the consumer and no limit on services during the term of the warranty.

National Auto Care’s new Theft Deterrent Product Limited Warranty helps agents and dealers offer consumers a product recommended by consumer publications and law enforcement agencies alike. This new product offers the protection of a theft deterrent product combined with the security of a limited warranty to help the customer recover should auto theft occur. The Theft Deterrent Product Limited Warranty is available with either a 3- or 5-year term, and customers can select from 3 levels of total loss benefits as well as a partial loss benefit of up to $1,000.

Both the Windshield Protection product and Theft Deterrent product allow dealers the flexibility of choosing a relevant product of their choice, or ordering supplies from National Auto Care’s preferred provider.

“What makes each of these new products special is the service that agents and dealers can expect when they work with National Auto Care,” Wanderon said. “Our personal service and dedication to the agent relationship are well known in the industry. I look forward to seeing our agent partners and their dealer clients enjoying increased sales and profits with these new products.”

For more information on National Auto Care’s Tire & Wheel Protection product, Windshield Protection Product Limited Warranty, or Theft Deterrent Product Limited Warranty, visit NationalAutoCare.com or contact the National Auto Care client relations team at 800-548-1875, option 4.

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50th F&I Product Administrator Signs On With F&I Admin

CHICAGO – F&I Administration Solutions, LLC (F&I Admin), North America’s leading provider of software solutions for the administration of F&I products, announced today that it has added it’s 50th product administrator to the company’s steadily growing customer base. This milestone marks a significant achievement for F&I Admin and confirms its leadership position in the automotive and powersports F&I industry.

Since purchasing the company in 2009, F&I Admin has achieved exponential year on year growth – building its customer base from 7 to 50, integrating to over 60 menu and other partners and enhancing its SCS Auto software to continually expand its solutions and services without compromising on flexibility and ease of use. Over 5 million new transactions were processed through the SCS Auto system in 2015.

“F&I Admin differentiates itself from competitors by consistently evolving and updating its software and services,” said Kumar Kathinokkula, COO of F&I Admin. “This constant growth of the breadth and depth of our functionality ensures that we are always appealing to an ever growing list of potential customers. This is one of the major drivers of the rapid pace at which customers are signing up with us.”

“We are very proud of this moment in F&I Admin’s history,” added David Trinder, CEO of F&I Admin. “Companies who select F&I Admin are looking for a partner that is dedicated to the complete customer experience but is still agile enough to adjust to this ever-changing industry. Our continued growth is a direct result of F&I Admin’s ability to deliver to this expectation.”

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