From humble beginnings as a dealership porter to now being named one of Automotive News 40 Under 40, CBT Automotive welcomes Adam Marburger, corporate finance director at Suntrup Automotive in St. Louis, MO.
Adam’s place among the elite group of Automotive News’ 40 under 40 is well earned, having raised F&I revenue per vehicle over $300 PVR for Suntrup Automotive in only 5 months. But that didn’t happen overnight.
Adam has spent over 20 years in the industry and got his start at age 18 when the owner of the restaurant he was working at, brought him over to work at his dealership instead. This humble inception gives Adam a sense of gratitude, and he is excited to all of his hard work paying off.
After some time washing cars, Adam knew he wanted to move up through the ranks at the dealership. He talked and became friends with everyone on the floor, and was encouraged to pursue sales, all the while gravitating towards the F&I guys. He was impressed with the way they operated and carried themselves. They took care of the customer in a different way, and Adam liked the idea of being the guy that closed the deal.
Adam’s passion for mixed martial arts fighting was also instrumental in his rise. He started kickboxing in high school and was always fascinated with that kind of fighting. According to Adam, F&I negotiations are similar to MMA matches in that they are both games of chess. It’s all about the psychology of your opponent or customer.
Adam says that the discipline he has from MMA directly helped create a tight process for F&I and that ultimately lead to strong profitability. It is important to be process driven, and stay cool no matter what comes your way.
However, the auto retail industry is changing. Customers are buying cars online and maneuvering through the entire sales process including financing in the digital sphere. Adam doesn’t seem too worried though. He reminds us that dealerships will still need service contracts whether or not selling approaches shift.
In the more immediate future, Adam’s goals move toward the vendor side of things with his new venture, the Income Development Guys. This elite F&I product provider aims at helping dealers move the needle in stores, side by side with the F&I managers.
If you are looking to move up the ranks of a dealership as Adam has, his advice is this, “be willing to grow on a daily basis, find those within your dealership – find the best at what they do in your store and network with them. Run from the negativity, pick the hitters, and roll with the hitters. That’s what I tell everybody.”