Regular, consistent training is important in every area of a dealership, but the number one place that needs particular attention paid to training is the business office.Customer Engagement
Business managers need to make certain they are engaging the customer rather than simply making a presentation. Customers that feel they are "being sold" or even interrogated become resistant to accepting products that would potentially be beneficial to them. Too often, a manager puts together a product package based on what they think the client needs rather than really engaging in meaningful, objective conversation. The whole purpose of the interview process is to better understand the needs of the consumer and tailor the presentation to the customer's needs or unique circumstances. Training in role-playing and listening techniques can help managers to uncover information without putting off the customer. This leads to better acceptance rates as well as sales of products that might have been overlooked because the customers were not aware it was an option. When you know your customers, you know their needs and can sell to those specific needs.
Business managers need to understand how to explain and properly present both retail contracts and consumer lease agreements. Lack of proper training and certification within F&I departments exposes dealerships to a significant amount of liability as well. Business managers who have little knowledge or training in regulatory practices, both state and federal, may not fully understand such basic principles as Truth in Lending disclosures. “(Often) when people go into F&I, the business manager will just highlight where the customer has to sign. That is completely illegal. I'm pretty sure they're not doing it on purpose to break the law. It's just lack of basic knowledge.” -- laments industry insider Max Zanan.
Complete knowledge of, and compliance to, state and federal laws is not optional -- every member of the dealership team needs to have a through understanding of the law to avoid potential illegal (even if accidental) practices.
Continuous Development of Business Fundamentals
Even sales superstars need regular, consistent training. People tend to develop "shortcuts" in their daily routines, but those can lead to issues in sales when new products, regulations, or techniques are introduced. F&I personnel should take advantage of every possible training opportunity, even those heavy-hitters with big numbers. Regular training that gets back to the fundamentals -- commitment, discipline, consistency, and role-playing -- ensures F&I professionals are always prepared.
Vanguard Dealer Services has been a leader among automotive consulting companies since 1999. Providing automotive consulting, dealership training and F&I products and services, we are here to guide your dealership into ever-higher realms of success.