Helping your sales and finance teams cooperate

Posted by Ian Gamberg on May 17, 2022 8:09:14 PM

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.

Eliminating Risks With Finance Managers

Posted by Ian Gamberg on May 10, 2022 1:28:42 PM

Dealerships have numerous rules and regulations to follow when selling vehicles and F&I products. These rules don’t just protect customers, they also help prevent losses due to fraud – presenting a risk on all sides of any deal.

Florida’s compliance rules are particularly tricky when it comes to F&I products, making regulatory risk even greater. Understanding these regulations and how they apply to your sales process is critical. You must focus on the protection of the customer, the finance manager and the dealership.

Your F&I partner should have a role in keeping your dealership compliant, but the responsibility ultimately lies with the dealership.

A good provider offers many options, from online compliance tools to in-person training. When choosing what works best for you, keep in mind that compliance runs deeper than just your finance manager. All departments of your dealership play a role in mitigating risk and providing a safe environment for your staff and customers.

FLADCO has been serving Florida dealers for nearly 30 years and understands all aspects of compliance. Our deep vendor and provider relationships and expertise combine to ensure your dealership is fully up to speed on compliance. We can even provide training for dealership staff to deliver added value.

Contact us to learn more.

Partnering with your F&I providers to increase customer satisfaction and eliminate heat

Posted by Ian Gamberg on May 3, 2022 2:23:02 PM

Running a successful dealership is hard enough without trying to juggle a dozen provider relationships. That’s even more true when there’s a problem with a provider or a customer is unhappy with an outcome – especially when it comes to claims on F&I products.

You must ensure that your providers are accessible, even on nights and weekends to take the heat off your dealership personnel and resolve issues quickly:

  • Taking the heat. The last thing you need on a busy Saturday is an irate customer disrupting your showroom. You need a direct line to the people who can get things done and provide fast answers. Even if a claim is rejected, your provider should turn the customer’s anger away from the dealership and explain the cause for denial to the customer to ensure their understanding.
  • Fast resolution. Your team needs to be able to get in immediate contact with any provider, ensuring problems are resolved quickly and taking all the pressure off of your dealership. If your F&I partner or agent isn’t sharing their cell phone with you, it’s time to look for another partner.
  • Service excellence. Your partners should not only responsive to your dealership, but your customers as well. Are they willing to speak directly to your customers to address questions or concerns? Partners must strive to find ways to get claims paid, and if they can’t make that happen, they should take the heat and explain the situation to the customer.
If you’re not using FLADCO to manage all your vendor relationships, you’re probably missing out on pricing and service advantages. We can show you how with a quick call. Drop us a line to get started.

Making sure you have the right product mix for your customers

Posted by Ian Gamberg on Apr 26, 2022 3:43:39 PM

Success in any F&I program is all about offering the right products in the right way to the right customer. Building a successful F&I program involves taking the time to understand your customers and your dealership’s internal processes to ensure you are offering the right products to the right customers to maximize revenue.

Here are some common missteps, and how to avoid them:

  • Too many choices. When it comes to F&I products, more is not more. Properly selling an F&I product takes time, so having many different plans can inhibit effective sales. Try bundling things as much as possible to avoid this problem. For example, offer tire and wheel protection as an add-on to an appearance package rather than a standalone product.
  • Internal competition. Many dealerships offer products that compete with each other rather than complementing each other. Keep your sales simple by presenting the best option for your customer.
  • Demographic mistakes. Take time and leverage data to deeply understand your customers, their motivations and their buying habits. This information can predict the products they are most likely to want and be able to afford.

Ideally, your F&I program will make selling products easier and lead to more customer satisfaction. More profit and more return business will follow.

FLADCO has decades of experience helping dealerships tailor F&I programs to their unique needs. We can quickly analyze your current plans and help you dial in your F&I offerings for maximum profit and effectiveness. Contact us to learn more.

How to Avoid the Sting of Chargebacks and Cancellations

Posted by Ian Gamberg on Apr 19, 2022 5:12:03 PM

Every dealership knows the sting of chargebacks and cancellations on F&I products. That F&I sale is really only fully successful when it’s fully paid for and profits are retained. Here are some tips to make sure you keep as much of your sale proceeds as possible:

  • Find better products. Whether it’s protection plans with fewer exclusions and a better customer experience, or offerings like ExpressGAP, which are designed to protect dealerships from chargebacks, your product mix is the biggest factor in limiting chargebacks.
  • Sell what the customer needs. Offering a product mix that works for both the customer and the dealership is the best way to limit chargebacks, because the customer is happy with the product, finds value and is able to afford it.
  • Understanding “no chargebacks.” This language is seen as insurance against cancellations, but be sure that it makes sense. “No chargebacks” can be a valuable protection, but often, the cost is too high and because it’s baked in to your product cost, it can be difficult to determine if there is a true ROI.

If you’re struggling with chargebacks, FLADCO can help. With a fast analysis of your F&I offerings, we can provide insight into price leaks, chargebacks and more. Contact us to get started.

FLADCO Is Built to Make F&I Easier and More Profitable

Posted by Ian Gamberg on Apr 14, 2022 8:23:34 AM

Getting the most out of your F&I programs is incredibly important. For more than 25 years, FLADCO has been honing our approach to make sure dealerships are offering the best F&I products and getting the most out of them.

Over the next month, we’ll be sharing tips and tactics that will help you dial in your F&I program and ensure you’re maximizing value along the way. Here are some things we’ll be sharing:

  • Week 1: Making sure you have the right product mix for your customers
    • Do your products compete with each other or complement your offerings?
    • Are you offering products that your customers need and can afford?
  • Week 2: How to avoid the sting of chargebacks and cancellations
    • Avoiding chargebacks is the best insurance against cancelations
    • Products like ExpressGAP for GAP and No Charge Back coverage can save you tens of thousands in avoided chargebacks
  • Week 3: Reducing or eliminating friction points with providers
    • When challenging cases arise, can you get quick resolution from your vendor or provider?
      • Ensuring customer concerns are addressed while protecting customer loyalty and satisfaction with the dealership
      • Preventing cancellations before they occur is the best practice to avoid friction points
  • Week 4: Eliminating risks with finance managers
    • Florida is a tricky state when it comes to F&I products
    • Is your dealership compliant? Are all departments up to speed and trained on compliance?
    • We make sure your dealership is compliant and train your managers to be as well
  • Week 5: Helping your sales and finance teams cooperate
    • Oftentimes, finance and sales departments bump heads on front end products and pricing
      • Do your programs help both sales and finance professionals succeed?

We’re here to make dealerships more successful, profitable and effective. Look for this five-part series on F&I excellence starting next week.

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