Servant Leadership: 'The Evolution of F&I'

Servant Leadership: ‘The Evolution of F&I’

Here's how treating customers like they are a guest in your own home will give you a higher chance of selling F&I products.

I know if you help other people get what they want, you will get what you want. This applies to our customers, which I refer to as guests and employees, which I call teammates.  

Profit follows people. When we learn to serve, everything falls into place. This is what I know to be true: customers become data on a spreadsheet that gets monitored by ownership and upper management. Guests become family and come back over and over again.  

I recommend you take the word “customer” out of your vocabulary. Treat everyone that you encounter like they are a guest in your own home. This will allow you to connect on an intimate level, allowing you to sell more effectively. You can forget how many miles your guest drives per year and how long they will keep the car. If they like you, you will have a much higher chance of selling F&I products.  

F&I Serves Sales 

The F&I department has the following responsibilities:  

  1. Secure the sale. 
  2. Complete the legal paperwork. 
  3. Keep the dealership compliant. 
  4. Mentor and coach the sales team. 
  5. Make a profit. 

The deal is not a deal until the F&I department makes it a deal. Let’s not forget that we are the strongest closers in the store. Do not waste your superpowers by keeping that knowledge to yourself. Offer to help your sales manager and sales team by offering to help close deals. Get involved as early as possible in the transaction. The earlier F&I is involved, the higher the gross profit on the deal.  

I travel all over the country helping dealers level up in F&I and I still see F&I managers sitting in their offices waiting on a deal to be served up to them. Do not grow roots to your chair. Get up, get moving and help facilitate deals.When possible, meet guests on the showroom floor and thank them for the opportunity to serve them.  

Try this word track: 

Mr./Mrs. Guest: my name is Adam Marburger and I am the financial services manager here at ABC motors. I wanted to thank you for coming in today and giving us the opportunity to serve you. During your visit today, if you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to come talk to me. My office is ____________ and I have an open-door policy.  

It is all about the first impression ,which only takes three seconds and will last throughout the transaction. If you take a servant leader approach to sales, you will find much higher profits in a much friendlier work environment.  

My F&I mentor, Ron Reahard, used to tell me, “You have to slow down to speed up. Be more urgent to serve than you are to sell.” That advice forever changed my approach to F&I. 

The most successful dealerships I see in my travels are the ones that possess a servant leadership approach to sales. I challenge you to focus on helping others get what they want. If you do this, you will end up getting what you want.  

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