On today’s edition of CBT News, Jim Fitzpatrick talks with Shay Foley, F&I Director at Champion Chevrolet of Avon, Indiana to discuss the new challenges for today’s F&I manager.
Recently named one of Automotive News 40 under 40, Shay originally came from a law enforcement background. After selling cars with the Campion organization for around two years, he was promoted to the F&I department, where his unique management philosophies began to flourish.
At Champion Chevrolet of Avon, every member of the F&I department comes from a sales department background, and they work closely with the salespeople from the very beginning when a customer walks through the doors.
While Shay would ideally like to be out on the sales floor shaking hands, talking, and joking with customers, he realizes that customers might be more comfortable sharing their personal financial information with a manager in the F&I office rather than out on the salesroom floor.
Training is also incredibly important at the dealerships, as Shay explains, “Everyone on the management team is involved in the training process. I have a young sales staff right now and that means that you know, kind of going back to basics is what we’re doing.”
While having a young staff has its own unique challenges, they are green and excited to sell cars which ignites and feeds the passion of the rest of the dealership. Shay explains, “We have active learners and we have active teachers every day- it means that the dealership is always going to be a teaching dealership.”
When it comes to an all online transaction for car shoppers today, Shay believes that customers still want that relationship with a dealer. They want their questions and concerns taken seriously for a hassle-free experience.
Right now, the online retailing process at the Avon is dealership is not set up to be entirely completed online. A lot of customers do their research online, however, and are greeted with their exact vehicle and a knowledgeable salesperson at their appointment. They will then ultimately sign the paperwork in the F&I office, ultimately striking a good balance between the online and showroom experience.