G.P. Anderson offers a few words after winning the 2011 F&Idol contest.

G.P. Anderson offers a few words after winning the 2011 F&Idol contest.

TAMPA, Fla. — Organizers of F&I Think Tank announced today that 2011 F&Idol winner Gregory Paul “G.P.” Anderson will be one of the featured presenters at the F&I manager-geared event, which precedes the opening of Dealer Summit 2016 on Tuesday, May 3, at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel.

Anderson, who will take the stage at 11:15 a.m. during the all-day preshow event, will present “Entering the House of Happiness.” The session title is the same name he’s given to his F&I office at Park Rapids, Minn.-based Thielen Motors, where he averages three products per deal and every customer “leaves happy and completely satisfied.”

“One of the things we wanted was a from-the-trenches presenter who could take attendees beyond the typical word-tracks and objection-handling techniques,” said Gregory Arroyo, editorial director for F&I and Showroom and Auto Dealer Today. “G.P. will show attendees how to find their voice and ditch that script.”

Anderson’s ability to connect with customers was on full display when he won the magazine’s inaugural F&Idol contest in a landslide. More than 4,500 readers of F&I and Showroom cast their vote that year, with more than half selecting his video presentation as the best. Anderson’s F&I department was also named one of the magazine’s F&I Pacesetter in 2008. He was also selected as one of the top performers in the nation by General Motors in 2012.

The more than 25-year industry veteran also contributes to Auto Dealer Today’s monthly “Over the Curb” column. Anderson is also the son of a former state senator and an accomplished musician who once shared the stage with fellow Minnesotans Prince and The Hitmakers.

“Shyness did not run in our family whatsoever,” Anderson told F&I and Showroom after winning the 2011 F&Idol award.

In person, Anderson is a line a minute, and just a bit of a showoff, Arroyo said. But he’s also a student of his craft, having attended training sessions taught by legendary sales trainers like Jackie Cooper, David Lewis, Paul Cummings and Jim Ziegler. He also gives back to the communities in which he serves.

Anderson will share with attendees how he’s helping to change the reputation of F&I through customer service and through his work in the communities he serves. In January, for instance, Anderson drove more than two hours to a local Indian reservation and then to a local high school to teach his credit building class. It’s something he does regularly, and his efforts usually result in additional sales leads for the dealership.

Anderson is also the creator of “Christmas in Wadena,” an hour-long light and music show he has put on every year for the last eight years. The show is free, but Anderson asks guests to donate food or cash to “Project Share of Wadena County.” So far, he has brought in more than 2,698 pounds of food and raised nearly $10,000 for the local food shelf.

G.P. Anderson hands a check to Wadena Food Shelf Director Mary Ann Hagen.

G.P. Anderson hands a check to Wadena Food Shelf Director Mary Ann Hagen.

“G.P. isn’t your typical F&I producer,” Arroyo said. “He will entertain and teach. But more than anything, I think he’s going to inspire and make attendees think about their role in the dealership and in their communities.”

F&I Think Tank was created in partnership with Ethical F&I Managers, a more than 5,000-member Facebook group founded by F&I and Showroom’s “Mad” Marv Eleazer. The preshow event is included in the price of a full show pass to Dealer Summit 2016. For more information or to register, click here.

Originally posted on F&I and Showroom