Few dealers truly are satisfied with their finance and insurance department’s performance.

Yes, many F&I managers post solid performance numbers. Still, many dealers share a nagging hunch that with a little more oomph, their F&I departments could do better.

Fact is, this hunch is true. Most F&I departments can boost their per-vehicle-retailed and aftermarket-product penetration. It happens every day where F&I staffers train as athletes do for the championship.

Dealers enjoying F&I performance increases have five factors in place:

Active Engagement. They champion improvement. They encourage, uplift and correct staff in ways that boost morale and motivate improvement. They set new goals and do what’s necessary to give staff every opportunity to succeed.

Innovate. They see opportunity where others don’t. Because they do, they’re early adaptors. They understand how technology can improve processes, save time and reduce or eliminate human error.

Persistent Optimism. It seems all dealers fit this category, but those improving F&I performance know the best solutions aren’t magic elixirs. Instead, they embrace hard work, use the best tools and go at it consistently and daily.

Consistent Structure. Dealers with this rarely shoot from the hip; they’ve learned that solid planning, prudent evaluation and careful choice yield superior results.

For instance, in studies comparing F&I departments that consistently use menus to present aftermarket products and those using them haphazardly, the consistent menu-based presentation most always boost PVR.

Technologically Advantaged. F&I is about selling cars and aftermarket products, not about creating paper and more work. F&I performance software that automates, simplifies, streamlines and otherwise helps staff deliver consistency throughout the F&I process on average enjoy better results.

Consistent e-menu use helps dealerships:

  • Make professional presentations, even by less skilled managers.
  • Build transparency and compliance into deals and help comply with regulatory actions governing the sale of aftermarket products and services.
  • Standardize the product presentation. This means consistent presentations that reduce miscommunication and prevent damaging customer satisfaction.
  • Improve F&I monitoring and measurement, providing managers with real-time information to improve staff performance.

Jim Maxim, Jr. is president of MaximTrak Technologies, a provider of F&I software for automotive dealerships. He is at maxim@maximtrak.com or visit www.maximtrak.com.