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I work in a store where there is no trust between the internet sales team and the finance department. There is no teamwork and when a customer is turned to F&I there is nothing "quality" about the introduction. As a result, our internet sales F&I income is negligible. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how a successful internet sales/F&I sales process might work? Thanks in advance for any ideas.

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Comment by Steve Richards on February 5, 2013 at 8:00am

Stan, you are the MAN! Thank you for taking the time to respond. Sharing your experience is valuable. I owe you.

Comment by Stan Sher on February 4, 2013 at 8:13am

WOW...I love that you wrote this because I can share with you my experiences.


See I started out as a sales person at around 20 years old and I was fortunate to have a finance director at my store was 21.  He had sold cars for 2 years, got promoted to finance manager then a director.  He was one of the most talented finance managers I ever knew.  I saw how successful he was and became good friends.  I hung around him and quickly realized how important F&I is to the dealership.  I also learned about F&I politics and how to deal with lazy finance managers as well as how to keep them working for you.


It all comes down to structure and management respect.  First, the internet department needs to understand exactly what the finance department does as well as what their goal is.  The internet department needs to be trained certain word tracks and scripts in their processes so that they do not give the whole house away on a phone call.  While it is important to know incentives there is no reason to get into details unless the customer gets pushy.


Word tracks like, "we have dedicated finance professionals that are staffed by dealership to get you the right information once they meet with you here" almost always work when said with confidence.  Other things like takeaways, "quick question, are you buying the finance rate, the bank, or the car?”  It is always important to let the customer know that you do not have the authority to discuss certain things in order to protect the customer’s privacy information.  I think that customers need to get a perception over the phone and email that and F&I manager is a certified banking professional that only handles business transactions in person because that is what their certification allows.


I believe that your team needs training on how to work with and appreciate F&I.  I sold cars on the floor for 2 years and then on the internet for 2 more.  I consistently had some of the largest back end gross profits on my deals even if my pay plan did not pay me on the back end.


My friend who is a talented sales person has a massive ego and likes to get to paid on back end   We were selling cars and when he got paid on back end he was pushing for F&I.  However, one month when they stopped paying sales people on back end gross he decided to make a point by working against them while I was being a team player and working well with finance regardless.  The results are interesting, his average gross per deal was $36 and it was the lowest in the store while mine was $1887 and the highest in the store.  Can you guess whose paperwork and deals got processed faster with less drama?

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