Tag Archive | "George Angus"

Credibility vs. Rapport: Which is More Important?

In developing training programs and processes over the last 19 years, we continually identify and study the top-performing F&I departments in the country. While every one of these top F&I managers is different in some way, they do have some things in common. One of the traits they seem to share is their unique ability to create credibility in the minds of their customers.

Creating credibility with today’s consumer is no small feat. Think about it. What has every customer been told, by every media source out there, will happen to them in a car dealership? That’s why they act the way they do. They are both skeptical of the dealership personnel and sales resistant at the same time. While it’s easy to argue about or dismiss this attitude towards our industry, it remains a fact that has to be accepted and dealt with.

In creating top F&I performance, it is important that we understand that selling an automobile is a completely different science than the F&I process. In selling a big-ticket, tangible product, like a car or truck, a key element of success is the establishment of rapport. Customers tend to buy from people they like. The qualification process, demonstration ride and the friendly handling of the commitment and closing stages of the sale are most effective when the salesperson has developed a positive relationship with the customer. However, in the F&I process this attempt to develop rapport can work against us.

Some of this has to do with the psychological state of the buyer at different stages of the purchasing process. When they are considering a new vehicle, their thoughts and feelings are focused on positive factors. They are picturing themselves in that new vehicle, imagining how they will look and feel driving it and are excited at the prospect of the new vehicle experience. However, when they get to the F&I stage of the process a host of negatives like monthly payments, interest rates, mechanical breakdowns, even their death or disability come into play. Applying the sales tactics we use to sell a car to address those areas is not the most effective way to evoke a buying response.

This is why many skilled automobile salespeople become frustrated and confused when they first move into F&I. The skills that made them successful on the showroom floor fail them in the F&I office.

Why is credibility so important? First we have to understand why people buy F&I products. The “psycho-neuro” triggers that cause them to purchase are fear of loss, and are security based. They have very little to do with a perception of “value.” The key is to get them to consider and evaluate the security issues and protection that your products provide without evoking a wall of sales resistance. Credibility will do this; rapport will not. In fact, if the customer feels they are being sold these products or they get the idea that there is something in it for you, they will resist.

So how do we create credibility? Below are some tips to help:

1. First, always, (I repeat), always tell the truth. No matter what. Dr. Phil says that 95% of all communication is non-verbal. It’s certainly true in the F&I office. If you are committed to telling the truth it will show in your answers, demeanor and how you interact with the customer. They will pick up on it.

2. Immediate full disclosure. Build a full and complete disclosure of all of the elements of the car deal into the first minute of your presentation process. This is the first step to creating credibility with the customer and separating yourself from the “sales” process. While many inexperienced F&I managers shy away from this approach, top F&I performers know that this is an effective way to begin the F&I interaction.

3. Give simple explanations of the products, not sales pitches. Many customers don’t buy particular products simply because they didn’t really understand what they were. Make sure your explanation is short, simple and to the point. Use plain language, not proprietary industry phrases or word tracks.

4. Listen carefully. Show the customer that you feel what they are saying is important. Make eye contact when listening. You are a Business Manager, not a salesperson. Let them know that their options are important to them and that their feelings and thoughts are important to you.

5. Take yourself out of the decision-making process. Offer all your products equally and let the customer respond. If they have an objection, don’t react in a negative way. Offer an alternative. Make sure it’s about the product, not about you.

6. Make it short, to the point and fast. Many of the presentations we have been taught go into a lengthy feature/benefit spiel. While product providers want you to give each and every highlight and benefit of their product, you can’t keep the customer’s attention that long. And the longer the explanation, the more it starts to sound like a sales pitch.

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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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‘Secrets of Top Selling Agents’ to be Shared at Agent Summit

Five successful agents will come together at the Las Vegas Hilton in March to open up their playbooks for running a successful general agency, organizers of the new Agent Summit revealed today.

Moderated by Team One Group’s George Angus, the “Secrets of Top Selling Agents” panel will 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.

These five individuals will delve into an array of topics, from techniques for landing new accounts and driving F&I performance, to expanding a dealer’s product mix and developing an effective incentive program.

“The agencies these five individual represent are highly successful, but we’re not asking them to simply share their theories and opinions about operating a successful agency,” said Gregory Arroyo, executive editor of F&I and Showroom magazine and chair of the conference’s advisory board. “What we’ve asked them to do is share real-world ideas and processes that have produced tangible and measurable results.”

Panelists will also discuss programs they’ve employed to build dealer loyalty. They’ll also weigh in on what new product they see emerging in the coming year, and discuss the steps they’ve taken to help their dealer customers navigate the myriad of new compliance regulations.

The panel session is scheduled for Wednesday, March 9, at 10 a.m. 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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