On the latest episode of Straight to the Point, host Frank J. Lopes is joined by Adam Marburger, President of Ascent Dealer Services. Marburger is one of the leading authorities in F&I department management. Lopes gets straight to the point by asking— is your dealership leaving money on the table in the F&I office? If yes, how do you stop it?
Absolutely, says Marburger. It’s an unfortunate event but he says, he sees it every day. The mistake F&I managers make is the lack of process. Those stores typically don’t perform at the highest levels, on top of the lack of accountability attached to the process. The lack of accountability is missing in stores across the country.
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Marburger says, he needs the F&I department to get out of their office and help the sales department facilitate sales. Once the deal is confirmed, the F&I manager immediately gets with the consumer and sets realistic expectations. You need to let them know who you are and what you do. You then bring the customer into your office and discuss warranties and offer solutions to problems customers didn’t realize they might have had. Marburger also says, think about retention, from selling the car today and then selling it tomorrow.
Let’s look at areas we can improve on, says Marburger. The F&I manager of 20 years ago was a ‘serve me’ and ‘bring me the deal’ manager, Marburger says. He says those are the people we don’t hire today. In their organization, they look for young servants, regardless of age.He says, what does matter is that you’re more urgent to serve than you are to sell. We sell cars, that’s what we do and sometimes we forget about that, says Marburger. It’s always about the customer and how can we facilitate a sale to get the customer to come back, again.
The first thing F&I managers need to do is, knock out the first impression. Marburger says it’s not only important but it’s critical to have an EMI (early management intervention). The earlier management gets involved, the more profitable that transaction becomes and the more relevant dealer retention becomes. For CIT’s (contracts-in-transit) to be at a minimum, econ tracking is a must and slow down, says Marburger. Set aside time to clean your deals up.
Marburger says the three best products F&I managers should be selling are service contracts, protective codings, and bundles.
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