We’re in the final month of the year, so a lot of dealerships are busy assessing plans for 2016 – including figuring out ways to be more profitable.

Wards.com suggests one of the most important drivers of profitability in your dealership is the F&I department. John Stephens, Senior VP of Dealer Services with EFG Companies, says in order to take your dealership to the next level, you can’t think of F&I as another department. Instead, Stephens says consider adopting a culture of F&I throughout the dealership, even extending an F&I mindset across sales and service. He offers up two ways to impart the value of the F&I process and products as a way of doing business:

  1. Educate the sales team. Stephens encourages to reach out to the group of people who understands customer behavior more than anyone – your sales team. Their knowledge and understanding of F&I products will allow them to familiarize customers with your products, allowing for a smoother transition to the F&I manager.
  2. Extend to the service drive. According to the NADA, regular service customers are 17 times more likely to buy their next vehicle from their servicing dealership. Stephens says almost all products sold in F&I are feared toward increasing service drive retention. When you consider how many customers service advisors see in a day or in a week, the opportunity to drive customer retention and satisfaction increases substantially.

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