A hugely important — and correct — decision

Neil PascaleLance Cornell, of Experience Powersports in Moses Lake, Wash., did something each and every dealer principal that built a new store over the past five years should have done: He built F&I staffing into the new store's budget.

In other words, he decided early on that he wasn't going to rely on what worked in the past to carry the additional expenses that come with moving into a store that is three times larger than the last one.

Cornell and his staff opened their new store in early June with something the dealership did not have in the previous 10 years of operation: a full-time F&I manager.

Can you imagine how hugely important that decision will be in a year in which new unit sales are so sluggish?

Cornell told me he took the F&I staffing plunge after talking to dealer friends and going to some of Gart Sutton's seminars. "It was apparent I was leaving money on the table," he told me.

No longer. Today his dealership is approaching nearly $500 per unit sold in F&I revenue.

How can you - the dealer who doesn't have a full-time F&I manager - afford not to follow Cornell's example?

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