Tag Archive | "Performance Automotive Management"

Agent Summit V Wrap Up

To all who attended – thank you for making Agent Summit V the best yet. Since its inception, the number of attendees has increased with each passing year – and with close to 900 attendees, this year was no exception. Agent Summit was launched in 2010 and was designed to provide Independent Agents, who serve as an extension of F&I product providers, with a forum to come together to network, share and learn. Today, many now regard Agent Summit as the one must-attend industry event of the year. This year’s show highlighted the latest training techniques and addressed the newest trends and most pressing challenges that Agents face as they serve their dealer clients.

Attendees were welcomed to the show’s upscale new location at the Venetian Palazzo. Complete with cobblestone streets, footbridges over canals, blue skies, and gondolas, attendees couldn’t help but feel as if they had just stepped off the plane in Venice, Italy. Jaws dropped as Agents who had taken advantage of the Agent Summit room block entered their stunning suites. Words like “lavish” and “spectacular” were heard describing the Palazzo as Agents arriving on Sunday evening gathered for welcoming cocktails.

Much like the Palazzo’s five star reputation, show sessions featured “five star” industry experts with every detail of the show sessions ultimately spelling “Profit!”

The third annual Reinsurance Symposium once again preceded Agent Summit; this year featuring two expert speakers. Greg Petrowski, senior vice president, GPW and Associates Inc., and a veteran speaker at Agent Summit, returned to the stage, and was followed by Brian Feldman, executive vice president, Spencer Re – a seasoned executive who has been a part of just about every facet of the reinsurance space.

With more than 20 years of industry experience each, Petrowski and Feldman shed light on the often confusing benefits of controlled foreign corporations (CFCs) and non-controlled foreign corporations (NCFCs).

At the conclusion of the half-day Reinsurance Symposium, Randy Crisorio, president and CEO, United Development Systems Inc. (UDS), and returning advisory board chair, got the show underway with the official opening address.

This year’s show focused on four major areas, 1) Selling to dealers; 2) Training; 3) Coaching and development; and 4) Technology. Each topic was explored first in an individual feature presentation, and was then followed by a panel session.

Morning presentations featured strategies for closing more business and practical steps for getting in front of dealers. Jimmy Atkinson, COO, AUL Corp, stated, “You have to look at a dealer’s DNA – ‘Dealership Needs Analysis’ so you can provide them with products and solutions to meet those needs. This requires pre-call planning and a targeted presentation.” His mantra for agents was “Be prepared. Be flexible. Be confident.” AE readers can look forward to Atkinson’s further expansion of this topic in an upcoming issue.

Days one and two closed with a cocktail reception in the Expo Hall. Throughout the show, crowds filled the expansive Expo area as agents took advantage of the buffet of networking opportunities. With more than 75 tabletop exhibitors and just shy of a hundred sponsors, the exhibit hall was full to overflowing. Exquisite breakfasts and lunch were served alongside the Expo Hall, thanks to show sponsors.

Known as the “World Greatest Closer,” keynote George Dans jump-started day two out with a bang. Dans was a whirlwind of energy, as he crossed the stage, leaving a flurry of excitement and emotion in his wake. He shared personal stories of both success and failure. In his fast paced, energetic address, Dans got the audience pumped up with a revitalized enthusiasm for closing every single deal. He encouraged attendees to be at the top of their game, “We become what we think about all day. You need to say to yourself, ‘I’m good. I’m gifted. I’m talented. Fear, doubt and worry are behind me.’” Dans urged attendees to step out of their comfort zone and to change their way of thinking so they could come out not just ahead, but at the front of the pack. After his presentation, Dans signed hundreds of copies of his book, Just Close It… Ask and You Shall Receive, which were available to all attendees.

Day two also featured two sessions on training, which emphasized the foundational importance of establishing good relationships in order to get buy in from all parties. The sessions covered themes, frequency, and the needs of retail personnel in service, sales, desking and F&I management.

“As an agency,” stated Ron Reahard, president, Reahard & Associates Inc., “you have to help your F&I managers address the challenges they face on a daily basis, and give them the skills, the knowledge, and the confidence to be successful… Performance doesn’t improve because you or a dealer demands it, it gets better because you put a plan in place to ensure it happens.”

A panelist urged, “Make sure the dealer and GM see you as a partner, and know that you are there to make them better.”

Joe St. John, director of training, Innovative Aftermarket Systems (IAS), and seasoned academic, delivered the feature presentation on coaching and development titled, “Xs and Os – Brain Science for Better Coaching.” This dynamic presentation was definitely an audience favorite. St. John’s unconventional yet proven approach focused on the “why” that drives a customer’s decision to make a purchase. He used a lively combination of humor, experience, and science to demonstrate how to reframe common scenarios for success and forge a unique roadmap for the road to the sale.

The coaching and development panel session explored topics ranging from dealing with underperforming veteran F&I managers, strategies for facilitating collaboration between the sales department and F&I, and how agents can ensure their efforts are recognized by dealers. ”Communication,” urged panelists, “is key.”

After a lunch that rivaled any Vegas hot spot, names were drawn for two $500 gift cards, courtesy of Old Republic Insured Automotive Services, and two weeklong deep-sea fishing trips, thanks to Performance Automotive Management. The lucky recipients of the gift cards were Glen Tuscan, president, Dealer Commitment Services, and Greg Liverett, vice president of marketing, SGI Services. William Kelly, partner, Automotive Development Group, and Anna McMillan, president, The Milby Group, were thrilled to win the fishing trip prizes.

Jim Maxim Jr., president, MaximTrak, showed agents how to use cutting edge technology to set themselves apart from the competition, increase profits and operate more easily and efficiently. In addition to examining today’s technology landscape in industries across the board, he presented innovative technology solutions for agents and explained how they could be integrated into everyday business.

The technology panel session dissected topics ranging from the impact of compliance on menu usage, to data analytics, and the increasingly popular move towards customer driven presentations in F&I. Panel members were in agreement that in any type of business, you can’t manage what you can’t measure.

The day concluded with a drawing for a Surface Pro 3 sponsored by Endurance Dealer Services. Tom Clark, the owner of Prosperity Dealer Services, was named the prizewinner.

Day three of Agent Summit ushered in the second annual agent principal only session, featuring round table discussions during a sponsored breakfast. The new format was informative and engaging with top agents brainstorming solutions for common issues agents face in their day-to-day business operation. Agents entered the room on high alert as they scanned topics by table to decide which one was most relevant to them. After thoughtful collaboration, each table captain shared their group’s recommendations for making the most of the given challenges. Discussion topics included selling in the service drive, provider relations, dealer expectations, effectively managing a remote sales force, staffing, competition and more. As one table captain took the podium, he pointed out the vast amount of wisdom and experience in the room, stating that his table alone represented more than 81 years of collective industry experience.

Show sponsor, ECP, ended the third day by sending several attendees home with new timepieces. Tension filled the room when names were drawn for the recipients of a Tissot Sailing Touch watch, a Luminox Deep Dive watch, and a Rolex Explorer II. Derek Doberstein, account executive, Back End Builders, took home the Tissot; Brian LoBaugh, partner, Auto Group Services pocketed the Luminox; and Mark Swannie, president, Karbiz took home the grand prize Rolex.

At the end of the show, Crisorio shared his thoughts on Agent Summit V with AE, “The feedback I’ve received is scary. We’ve set the bar so high that future Summit planning will be challenging. Nonetheless, I was told over and over again that Agent Summit V was the best industry event EVER! That says it all and is a credit to the industry professionals that left their knowledge and talent on stage.”

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An Interview with Patrick Brown, President of Performance Automotive Management

This month, AE Magazine was able to sit down with the president of Performance Automotive Management, Patrick Brown. Brown discusses his company, products and how they contribute to the industry.

Tell us about your company?

Performance Automotive Management is a regional TPA specializing in the ancillary products arena. Performance has been in business for more than five years in the TPA arena with its emphasis on customer satisfaction. All present employees go through a rigorous 12 month customer enrichment program designed by an outside consulting group to help lead all new employees through our Customer First Program. The management and staff are committed to this program on a yearly basis. Since the implementation of our Customer First Program, we found from our customers that our overall approval rate has not only doubled but has opened more opportunities with new clients.

Performance offers products through its agent network around the country and through some preferred club portfolios. At Performance we offer dealer owned T&W programs, GAP, ETCH, Paint Dent & Repair, 90 Day Limited Warranty, Roadside Club Assistance programs and other reinsurance programs for our clients. Performance also has VSC programs through A-rated carriers available also.

How do your product offerings differ from others?

Our product offerings have some minor differences, but overall they seem to be universal in our offerings. But again it’s our Customer First Program that sets us apart from others in our market place.

Who are your target markets and what message would like to give them?

Our sweet spot is the small, medium size groups who are looking for first class service with an exceptional experience for their clients and helping dealers drive more F&I income with the help of our Revenue Development team to maximize every opportunity presented to them, in a compliant experience for their customers.

Tell us about yourself and how you became President of Performance Automotive Management?

At one point I was the Executive Vice President of another TPA, and was frustrated with the ‘disconnect’ between the customer and the claims department in regard to making sure the Dealers’ reputation and integrity was not compromised during the claims process. Therefore, I set out on my own to develop such a TPA where the most important aspect is to take care of the customer and if there is an issue with a specific claim, the customer has a full understanding of the final decision.

Looking back over the past five years how has the industry changed and how do you see it changing?

The business has changed drastically with new regulations and compliance. With today’s technology, the dealer and agent world is completely different from years past. We also now have greater competition from the OEM’s in the F&I offices along with traditional banks entering our space making competition stiff and pricing very competitive.

With this in mind TPAs like ourselves will need to be flexible and understand we have an educated consumer today with all the information available to the consumer. With that in mind we have to be completely, ‘full disclosure’ in our dealings with our clients and the end consumer to show the value of our products and the ease of use for the client and consumer. In going forward we feel CSI will become just as important as the product and pricing, that is why again we invest a lot in our process and people with our Customer First Program.

What product will drive your future success?

We believe there is no single product that will drive our success other than the customer experience. Again, this is why we believe our process through automation and our Revenue Development training program enhanced by our overall CSI experience of our Customer First Program will drive Performance Automotive Management success.

Tell us a little more about yourself. What do you like to do to relax and what outside interests and hobbies do you have?

Mostly, I love what I do and am on the road talking to the dealers and the agents most of the month. I have been in this industry for well over 20 years and know that in order to survive, we all must be flexible and creative to keep the edge and stay one step ahead of the competition. I also enjoy tennis and try to get on the courts at least once a week. If I get the chance I also enjoy relaxing on my boat with family and friends and fishing the Bahamian waters as much as possible.

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