The most profitable dealerships often are the ones where the sales & F&I teams collaborate. Too often, these departments act more like rivals, conflicting over basics like front end products and pricing.
The F&I department can only maximize its profit potential when it works hand-in-hand with sales. When this happens, everyone wins.
Customers should enter the F&I office knowing what products they’ll be offered and at what price. Even if they’re not financing, the customer should know what’s available and understand the cost and benefits of the F&I options. In other words, the first selling of F&I products should be done by the salesperson.
Engaging with the customer as one team serves both the customer and dealership. Here are some key elements to a salesperson and F&I professional share in creating a great customer experience:
- Transparency – Provide clarity in pricing, financing, coverage explanations and other elements of the sale.
- Time Expectation – Make the process timely without rushing the customer. It can help to have Finance involved in the buying process, rather than just upselling or making a deal official.
- F&I Product Explanation by Sales– Sales can help the customer understand the benefits of the F&I offerings so the F&I office isn’t seen as a place to upsell.
- Proper turnover to Finance by Sales – A strong and positive handoff sets the table.
Once the transition to the F&I manager takes place, they must avoid stepping on the toes of the salesperson by keeping the deal for the vehicle separate from financing and F&I products and ensuring the customer keeps good rapport with the salesperson. Having the right front end products and upgrade-friendly addendum adds in F&I is a great way to achieve all-around success.
FLADCO’s programs are designed to encourage and reward shared success and cooperation among sales and finance teams. We can help dealerships build a consistent framework for customer interactions and cooperation between sales and F&I departments that will ultimately deliver considerable profit improvement.
Contact us to learn more.