Every dealer that I work with has a business manager. In fact, some of them are really good, and then when you start analyzing the top-producing F&I people, it’s like a feeding frenzy of talent and lessons. But no matter how many products they end up selling throughout the year, everyone always has a handful of similarities. Here’s my list of the top 5 things you can expect every top-producing F&I manager to be doing every single week.
- There can’t be any pre-exposure: Pre-exposure is when a salesperson starts pitching customers on the great reasons they should purchase an extended warranty, gap, theft, prepaid maintenance and tire & wheel with their new motorcycle. Why no pre-exposure? Because of a little known secret that top-producers know. Customers think salespeople are liars. Which is not true, but when a buyer hears that salesperson say “You need to make sure you ask Lisa about the protection she can add to your motorcycle,” all the customer really hears is “Lisa is going to try to sell you some more stuff for your motorcycle.”
- Don’t rush the paperwork: By the time F&I gets to meet the customer, a salesperson is emotionally involved with the buyer. They’ve been together for more than an hour or two, walking, talking and negotiating. Now the salesperson is just praying that the buyer doesn’t back out. A deal can’t go fast enough, and buyers begin asking, “How long is this going to take?” to which the salesperson answers, “Just a few more minutes, and we’ll get you all signed up.” The salesperson has already been pacing by the business manager’s door, with the belief that’ll speed things up. It doesn’t. Then the salesperson rushes in and always says, “This guy’s in a hurry; don’t worry trying to sell him anything because he’ll blow out of here if you do.” This is where a good F&I managers get everything prepared as they normally would, bring the buyers into the business office, offers them a drink, reviews the numbers and gives them product options. Buyers typically aren’t in the hurry they may have portrayed to the salesperson. If you speed things up here, then you’ll definitely miss some product sales.
- Go with the right lender: A top-performer many times does not go with factory financing, but instead chooses a lender that fits the buyer’s situation and dealership’s situation best. The best situation for the dealership is the lender who will help them make the most money. A good lender for a customer is the one who offers a buyer a good rate, extended term and maximum amount of products to be financed with the purchase. Protected buyers are typically the happiest buyers. The right lender gives you reserve and room for product, too.
- Tracking their deals: A daily doc is just like an NFL team’s stats. If they don’t have the stats, then they really don’t know how they’re doing. All top producers out there knows exactly where they stand. If you ask them their deal average or penetration rates, they’ll be able to tell you. Every deal, whether cash or finance, gets logged on an F&I log sheet. You’ve got to know where you’re at, if you want to move forward.
- Lender relationships matter: Are you on a first name basis with any of your lenders? It’s not going to happen with Sheffield or some other large banks, but it had better happen with your credit unions and smaller banks. I’ve been attending some of the dealer appreciation parties that lenders hold at the end of the year, and you can notice a common trait among the superstar managers — they’re well known by their top lenders. Don’t make excuses in this area. There is no area in the country where dealers aren’t able to build solid relationships with local lenders. Once you do, the reserve and other income will start rolling in.
These are just a few of the commonalities among the best business managers in the motorcycle business. What’s a top performer doing for a backend deal average? A metric store is above $750 and a domestic is always over $1,000. Always! Are you doing these five things already? If not, then it’s time.
Tommy Ady is a powersports sales expert with more than 25 years in powersports retail business. He founded The WriteBack in 2013, which has become the #1 performing sales tool in the North America. Top 100-ranked dealers use his programs, along with the highest performing F&I managers in the country. His entertaining training shows are broadcast via YouTube to dealers every week.