How car dealers can ensure F&I stays relevant in modern retailing – Jonathan Jordan | JM&A Group

Technology has played a large part in the innovation we’ve seen across the industry since the onset of the pandemic a few short years ago. With so many tools on the market today, how can you be sure you’re investing in the right one? Today on Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome Jonathan Jordan, Director of Sales Strategy at JM&A Group, to discuss dealers’ technology needs in the current market.

F&I is still vitally important to the car buying transaction, dealer profitability, and future retention. A big concern for dealers is integrating all of their different technologies to work together seamlessly and provide excellent customer experiences in any environment. So, how can dealers ensure that F&I stays relevant in a modern retailing approach? Jordan says that JM&A has been working with dealers since 2018 to design a process that allows F&I managers to interact with customers virtually.

In 2020, when COVID-19 appeared in the U.S., the demand for virtual services went through the roof. Even though some customers still don’t want to come into the dealership, they have many questions about F&I products. There needs to be a trained manager to review the products and communicate with customers on whichever device or channel they prefer. Additionally, some dealers are leveraging a virtual F&I process in-store to communicate store-to-store and staff across their organization instead of each individual rooftop.

Dealers adapted the consumer demand early on in the pandemic. Now, it’s a matter of refining the customer touchpoints to make the process easier and more efficient.

“When you do [the process] the way the customer wants to, the profitability can be just as good if not better,” explains Jordan.

The customer experience starts well before a consumer reaches out to the dealership. The ability to move with the customer seamlessly online or offline is vital and can be a massive differentiator in car buying. Dealers are more than capable of offering the same kind of experience as industry disruptors like Carvana or CarMax. However, to do so means evaluating your processes, being flexible, or maybe even a little uncomfortable. Work with suitable vendor partners to get your staff trained and on board with the new process.

“Dealers can really provide the best of both worlds to consumers,” says Jordan.

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