1) Create a finance buying center for dealers with multiple stores; this way instead of a finance office sending a finance company 15 deals and another sending 12 deals and a third sending 10 deals, one office is sending 37 deals. The relationship is stronger and the deals are stronger due to lower fees and rates. – Mike Anthony
2) Take the time to learn bank programs. Too many F&I folks got into the bad habit over the last few years of just sending deals to the banks with whom they are comfortable, often missing a more profitable deal because they are not aware of all of their banks’ programs. – Bob Harwood
3) Train on holding gross profit, not unit sales, since sales techniques that increase gross also increase unit volume. – Tedd Potts
4) Fundamentals training and a concentrated focus on process are proven to save time and money as well as boost profits and sales. – Tom Herald
5) Require all technicians to perform an inspection on every vehicle to find additional sales opportunities for the service department.
6) Follow-up on all unsold service work seven days after the customer leaves and offer an incentive to return if the work is done within two weeks. – Hal Scott
7) Offer service contracts or maintenance contracts from the service drive.
8) Look at every deal for what it is worth, not what you have in the car and sell the unit. – Jeff Braatz
9) Pre-fill new vehicle tires with nitrogen and charge as a pre-loaded accessory. Make sure it is on window sticker. – Monica Peck
10) If you have obsolescent parts sell them on eBay; someone needs them even if the factory doesn’t want them.
11) Aftermarket, aftermarket, aftermarket! Customers love to accessorize, and there lies the profit. Make sure every customer gets a chance to speak with your aftermarket sales representative. If you don't have one, consider hiring one.
12) Work hardest on increasing fixed-ops gross, since that business is more apt to “stick.” – Tedd Potts
13) Offer your customers a bi-weekly payment program over the regular monthly payments. Dealerships make more profit (with the correct program), this can be done with any finance company, the customer saves money on interest, and customers build equity faster, thus increasing the trade cycle! Everyone wins! – Kevin Day
14) Sell service maintenance programs from your F&I office at cost plus commission for F&I manager. This will drive more service opportunities and long-term loyalty.
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Auto retail veteran and F&I products expert Paul McCarthy has joined AUL Corp. as vice president of national sales.