Blog

Get the resources you need to drive your dealership growth and professional development from our team of automotive experts. Partner with your trusted dealership consultants and take your dealership to the next level.

turnover blog pic

Successfully Deal With High Employee Turnover in Dealerships and Retain Your Top Performers

Employee turnover in dealerships is a long-standing challenge. A COX report states that 72% of franchised dealers say finding and hiring the right employee is challenging. The turnover eats into dealers’ profits, and impacts revenue in many ways, including wasted time, resources, and training costs. In addition, the improper fit delivers poor customer experience and impacts sales and upsell opportunities. Your dealership could combat high employee turnover and nurture a top-performing team for the success of your stores. It could be done in the following ways: Understand the prime reasons why they quit Build a positive environment and productive team Combating turnover with—better hiring and employee growth and training Understanding the reasons why they quit: COX study found that the top reasons why employees consider looking for a new job are as follows: 48% better pay 27% more advanced opportunities 25% better work-life balance Creating a motivating pay plan could help reduce employee turnover in dealerships, improve productivity, and retain the best talent. Furthermore, dealership’s success depends on its people and their behavioral traits that create the highest level of job satisfaction and endurance. If the salesperson possesses the right mix of behavioral characteristics, they don’t need to overwork to succeed. Getting the proper behaviors from people is very much related to their compensation—rewarding requirements of the job expectations and disincentivizing any behavior outside of expectations. Three critical factors to consider while developing a motivating pay plan Gross profit: Finance Manager solely compensated on gross profit of car deals and not incentivized to sell a balance of products for a fair price. As a result, behaviors can occur that lead to misunderstanding for consumers on what they are purchasing and how much they are paying for it. Customer satisfaction: This should be a key consideration while developing a compensation plan. A plan that clearly articulates and appropriately rewards critical behaviors enhances CSI and consequently leads to low cancellations. Setting the right expectations and objectives: Produce income for the F&I office/ dealership that is balanced and fair to the consumer. Consistently presenting options to consumers and setting a clear goal of how many products they need to present and how many a consumer is expected to purchase. Building a positive environment and productive team: 67% of franchised dealers say motivating and retaining quality employees is a challenge. Creating a supportive work environment is elemental in building an effective team and enhancing the perception of the retail auto industry. A positive environment would let the employees feel cared for and see a future for themselves in the dealership. In addition, it would allow you to retain quality employees in your stores. Here are a few ways to create a supportive environment and build productive teams: Recognizing employee accomplishments. Making your staff feel valued, and appreciating their contributions produce organic determination to go the extra mile. Hand-written thank you notes and employee recognition programs such as celebrating appreciation day on social channels make a dealership a great place to work. Leadership programs. Effective leadership comes naturally to some, while others could use leadership programs to help build team management skills. emotional intelligence, clear communication, constructive feedback, and problem-solving abilities can be developed to bring out the best in the leader and their teams. Even the small changes in the team and culture lead to big success in the long run. Ways to combat employee turnover in dealerships— Better hiring: Taking the benefits of personality and cognitive assessment will help you get ahead of the problem and identify the right person for the right role. Additionally, the personality and cognitive assessments help you understand the focus area of training for your team. Assessments provide insights on how to better communicate with your staff. Employee growth and training: When dealerships do not have a strategic training and development plan, it leads to inconsistent store experience. In addition, impacts employee performance. With comprehensive training, your sales team can transform into friendly, knowledgeable, and trustworthy people customers need to complete their purchases. Furthermore, proper training guides sales teams to effectively offer related products to increase the value of a sale. Thereby enhancing employee performance, raising employee satisfaction, and preventing turnover. The problem of employee turnover in dealerships could be curbed through tangible solutions. Concrete ways to build powerful teams and reduce employee turnover include building a positive work environment, creating a motivating pay plan, and providing recurrent training to enhance employee performance and drive growth. PRO has been supporting dealership success for the last three decades. Call us today to get custom solutions for your unique needs.

Read More

Sales and F&I Teamwork Win Championships

Quality has no substitute: Don’t build a system in which mediocrity is rewarded Sales and F&I teamwork: In a meeting with one of our long-associated dealer clients, the discussion kicked around why it is critical to have a team where all players fit best together and not be separated like oil and water. Bringing the Sales team and F&I together and encouraging Sales and F&I teamwork takes effort, but this is what differentiates a thriving dealership from a mediocre one. On one hand, there is a Sales team chasing the number of vehicles sold, and on the other, there is an F&I team pursuing higher profit per vehicle. Sales and F&I have their own roles in the court. However, better coordination among the players leads to scoring more shots and winning championships. Therefore, it is important to assess the following: Does your Sales team complete proper paperwork before turning the customers to F&I? Do they inform your customers about the next step in their buying process or leave them in the dark as to what’s next? Is the checklist completed before turn-over to F&I? Ultimately, it is not the quantity but quality that counts. As Red Auerbach stated, you do not win with the five best players. You win when those five players fit together best. Benefits of better coordination between Sales and F&I teams: The best outcomes are achieved when sales and F&I work together to maximize every opportunity. Transferring F&I knowledge to the sales managers is a good idea for improved profitability. Several customers express that an unpleasant experience in the buying process is the abrupt way the sales team turns them over to the F&I department. As a result, the customers do not understand what to expect. Customers trust the process better when you inform them adequately and set the right expectations. Additionally, working as one team would significantly reduce the customer’s resistance to the F&I process and products and raise dealership profitability. Moreover, better collaboration among departments will enhance customers’ experience, positively influencing the CSI score. When sales and F&I develop better coordination, develop a strategy, and act as a team, they will succeed collectively. As Phil Jackson infers, develop a game plan, and throw yourself into the action. Actions that the dealership leaders can take to improve Sales and F&I teamwork and profitability: 1. Communicate effectively: What we call front-end operation, the sales and F&I teams need to clearly understand their role in helping a customer complete their purchase. Profitability starts with setting up the shared goals between departments and creating a winning strategy. Hence, promote a culture where teammates communicate clearly with customers as well as peers. This would foster teamwork and transfers the trust built by the Sales personnel to the F&I manager. For example, before directing customers to F&I, the salesperson should set the right expectations and tell the customers what will happen next and how the Finance manager will help complete the paperwork necessary to put their car on the road. As Coach K said, teaching and practicing effective communication brings everyone together as one. 2. Encourage sync meetings and inter-departmental alignment: Each week, F&I managers must be encouraged to review dead deals with Sales managers to identify solutions and see if there is a way to go. Review the three Cs of credit. Namely: Character—defined by credit and loan repayment history. Capacity- measures income and ability to service a loan or line of credit. Collateral- asset(s), in this case, the car you have them on. A fresh set of eyes and ideas with colleagues could help teams find constructive outcomes and raise the dealership’s profitability. As Tom Thibodeau said, we can learn something from everybody. 3. Data driven approach for hiring the right person in the right role: Sometimes the best talent for the job is working in a different position in the dealership. Finding the right person for the right role demands in-depth review and assessment. Personality and cognitive assessment are a data-driven approach that provides objective data for better decision making and building stronger teams that fit best together and your culture. Ensuring everyone understands their role as a player on the court toward getting a team win will assure better results and happier players. As said by Michael Jordan, you must act to make it happen. We support many multi-rooftop dealerships and help build efficient teams that perform together to attain common goals and profitability.  Call us today, and we can help you identify the diamonds in the rough and polish them into a gem to ensure your success.  

Read More

Can I Afford This Car? Don’t Let Your Shoppers Stop at This Question—Help Them Afford it.

Market conditions and affordability Understanding your consumers and their buying behavior is as important as keeping an eye on your vehicle tires. Tires have an enormous influence on the safety and performance of an automobile. Making sure you don’t drive on a flat tire is key to vehicle performance and so is keeping a close watch on market conditions to assure your continued sales success. Therefore, creating affordability for car buyers and planning for changing conditions is a sales professional best practice. Affordability is an issue looming over the automotive industry. It is not new that inflation is on the rise and the inflation rate is the highest in 40 years. Moreover, consumers have started to consider need versus want and feel the pain of high prices at gas pumps and dealerships. Therefore, in today’s state of the economy, customers need solutions to be able to buy the desired vehicle. Why affordability matters to your customers To understand affordability and why it matters to your buyers, look at the following findings: 95% of consumers get paid bi-weekly or twice a month. 80% of people live paycheck to paycheck. Besides the tight economy, the affordability issues also originate with the way the workforce in the US gets paid. 95% of Americans get paid biweekly or twice per month. Additionally, 80% of the American people live paycheck to paycheck. This means, they have significantly less or no spare money to spend freely. How can dealerships help their customers purchase the desired vehicle and ensure that your business meets the financial goals? The dealerships can help in creating affordability for buyers in multiple ways. Furthermore, Smart Payment Plan is one of the most effective means of helping your customers afford a vehicle. Offering lower payments that match your customers’ paydays to increase gross considerably and, in addition, sell more F&I products. What does it mean for your customer? Smaller paychecks that match their paydays Convenience of automated payments Paying off debt faster (up to 8 months faster) What does creating affordability for car buyers mean for you? Improved cash flow Easy to enroll customers Most importantly, create affordable options for your customers so that they can buy from your store. How can you get this tool implemented in your dealership to create affordability for car buyers? PRO Team can help you easily set this up in your stores. Our smart payment associates have been helping customers with payment plans since 2003 and are compliant in all 50 states and creating affordability for buyers. Over 4000 dealerships nationwide have been serving over 70,000 customers buy a vehicle and pay conveniently. Call us today to ask how this plan will grow your profitability and why you should get it today.

Read More

Common Dealership Challenges—and Solutions

Dealership life is certainly not monotonous. Dealership personnel comes across new opportunities, challenges, and prospects to close the deals and meet sales goals. Assisting customers find the desired vehicle, providing them with the necessary information, or managing objections is a significant part of one’s routine. In addition, dealership teams manage many low-key tasks essential to efficiently carry out their day-to-day duties. Those tasks sometimes convert to common dealership challenges. For example, locating the right vehicle from the large inventory lot, securing new leads, and protecting assets. In other words, oftentimes, even small tasks could be more challenging than one might imagine. That said, we have compiled solutions and strategies to overcome some of the most common dealership challenges to make your lives easier. 1. Locating the car right away for your customers: You may have been in a situation yourself or heard other salespeople seeking assistance locating the right vehicle from the large inventory lot. It is frustrating for the salesperson to keep their potential customers waiting to show a car matching their needs and liking, especially for a minor reason. Solution: Spartan GPS is a great solution to search any vehicle from your lot by vehicle number, color, VIN, or a specific model. This product will not only pinpoint the vehicle’s exact location instantly but also equip you with more details of the vehicle to share with your customers. The sales enablement app displays all the vehicle information and pictures in one view. In addition, it lets you quickly send CARFAX info directly to your customer from the app. 2. The car doesn’t start when you take your customer to the car for a demo: After you’ve found the vehicle and taken your customer to it, maybe it wouldn’t start because of a dead battery. Bringing your customer to a car that doesn’t start can sacrifice the sale. It could just be a dead battery, but now they think there’s a major issue with the vehicle. Solution: The same technology- Spartan GPS, monitors the vehicle’s battery health with daily reports. Not to mention, the product improves the process to reduce customer and sales team fatigue caused by unnecessary delays. 3. Asset protection: Auto theft has increased roughly 11% nationwide in the last two years. Vehicles are going missing from dealerships and driveways. Many dealerships are facing challenges in protecting their cars from being stolen. Don’t be another statistic or victim of vehicle theft from your store. Solution: Advanced inventory management by Spartan is an effective means to safeguard your assets against theft. The product deters joy-riding and unauthorized vehicle use. Additionally, it provides considerable benefits to your customers with a vehicle tracking solution that allows law enforcement to recover your vehicle quickly and easily in the event of a theft. 4. Identifying the right leads: Who’s in the market for a new vehicle, what they are looking for, and how long have they been in the market. These are some of the top questions when it comes to generating the right leads to grow dealership sales. Furthermore, how to get to your shoppers before your competition and what tools could help achieve this goal are prevalent challenges for dealerships. Solution: An AI-based advanced data-driven tool can help generate the right leads and get you an upper hand in the industry. The technology provides data to determine who started, stopped, and ramped up their shopping in the last 24 hours. Furthermore, the tool also helps with vehicle acquisition solutions in fluctuating market conditions. Reach out to us to schedule a demo of this advanced AI-based tool. 5. Creating value for your customers: The F&I department plays a critical role in building a revenue stream for a dealership. However, customers often express their doubts about F&I products and their values. Creating value for your customers to close the deal is something that F&I personnel aspire to, but many find it challenging. Solution: Having your team conduct regular reviews, role plays, and training are the fundamentals of ensuring that your F&I department offers real value for the customers and adds to their experience. Moreover, role plays and regular training to review your process could produce significant results in your sales goals. PRO has been providing comprehensive training to some of the top-performing dealerships. Call us today to see how we can help you overcome common dealership challenges and turbocharge your profitability.  

Read More
F&I manager paperwork. Picture containing a document, calculator, and car key

F&I Manager Tips and Best Practices to Successfully Turn Your Department Into a Profit Center

The F&I (Finance and Insurance) department is often the last phase of the vehicle buying process. Strategic interaction between the F&I Manager and the customer plays a critical role in overall F&I profitability. Well managed interactions allow F&I managers to properly assess their customers’ needs in relation to their driving behaviors to match them with the right F&I products. Highly successful F&I managers understand that the skills and attitude needed to excel in this role can be learned and developed over time. Therefore, we have created a list of F&I Manager tips and best practices to run a successful F&I department. What is the F&I department, and what does F&I Manager do? The Finance and Insurance (F&I) department is one of the key profit centers in a dealership. When a customer buys a vehicle, the salesman refers the customer to the F&I department. The department offers add-ons to customers’ vehicles to protect their purchases, such as vehicle service contracts (VSC) and GAP insurance. In addition, the F&I Manager helps the customer find suitable auto loan options and handles legal documents related to financing plans and agreements. The F&I Manager has one of the most critical jobs in the dealership. Notably, it includes obtaining competitive financing options for the dealership’s vehicles buyers, maintaining compliance to protect the dealerships from legal issues, and creating additional income by selling F&I products. Here is a more detailed description of the responsibilities of the F&I Manager: Product sales: Leverage opportunities to offer aftermarket products, service contracts, and insurance programs Knowledge of F&I products and services and ability to sell “intangibles.” Assess buyers’ needs—finance and payment options to present them with appropriate auto finance plans Compliance: Knowledgeable in state regulations regarding finance and the Fair Credit Reporting Act Abide by federal, state, and local laws when preparing paperwork, finalizing financial transactions, setting interest rates, and working with lending institutions Maintain the highest ethical standards serving as a finance director and/or Manager who is committed to a high customer satisfaction index (CSI) Financing: Building positive relations with the lenders and insurance vendors Maintaining current knowledge, learning more, and training staff about finance and lease programs Tips for F&I Manager 1. Nurture your relations with lending institutions, VSC provider, and insurance vendors Many buyers look for financing options when buying a car. While the consumers can get auto financing from a bank or credit union, it could be cumbersome and perhaps on less favorable terms. Building a positive relationship with your lenders will enable you to get special financing approved for your customers. In addition, it could significantly improve your customer’s experience and satisfaction. It is essential to consider that building and nurturing positive relationships with lenders, VSC providers, and insurance vendors do not happen overnight. In other words, staying connected with them and maintaining your network would require frequent communication. Therefore, setting up time every week to strengthen your network is a good idea. 2. Stay current on tech tools knowledge and review reports With changing shopping preferences and behavior, digital tools can support your success. Adapting the technology to save your customers time and enhance their experience would add much value to your dealership. In addition, using data and reports would enable you to make better decisions. However, if tech tools are new for you, refresher courses and training could help improve your skills and make you a pro. Notably, setting time aside to pep up your skills would help you move ahead faster. One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do frequently and then stack your new behavior on top. This is called habit stacking. For example, “When situation X arises, I will perform response Y.” After I conduct weekly training for my team, I will take time to learn a new productivity tool. 3. Reassess market changes and profit centers: Being updated with the market shift and trends and aligning your F&I portfolio to match the customers’ needs require regular consideration. Not to mention, monitoring your portfolio will keep you adequately equipped to serve your customers and stay relevant in the market. For instance, when the car inventory return to normal or close to normal, how will it impact the used car prices? How would the F&I products align with that scenario? 4. Conduct save-a-deal meetings: Each week, take time to review dead deals with other managers to identify solutions and see if there is a better way to go. Review the three C’s of credit. Namely: Character—defined by credit and loan repayment history. Capacity- measures income and ability to service a loan or line of credit. Collateral- asset(s), in this case, the car you have them on. A fresh set of eyes and ideas with your colleagues could help you find constructive outcomes and raise your dealership’s profitability. 5. Attend and conduct weekly F&I and sales training: Weekly sales and F&I training are excellent resources for you and your team to stay updated and efficient. Moreover, conducting weekly training would present you with opportunities to optimize processes and practices through methods such as role-plays. Additionally, taking support of result-driven professional F&I trainers would build your staff’s confidence and techniques, thus, improving your bottom line. How to become F&I Manager: Dealerships want F&I managers who possess the necessary skills, driven attitude, and experience in a dealership setting. Here are proven tips to help you become a successful F&I Manager: F&I training: The first step towards starting your journey to become a successful manager is to obtain professional training. To emphasize, F&I Manager training has several benefits, including objection handling, closing deals, compliance, and ways to enhance customer experience. Acquire F&I products knowledge: Connect with your current F&I department to learn from them. Ask questions, go through the product brochures, and learn about the products your dealership offers. Another excellent way is to get in touch with professional dealership consultants to discuss your career progression and obtain guidance. Customer centricity: Customer centricity helps

Read More

9 Reasons Why Professional Training is Essential for Your Dealership Success

Why professional dealership training is critical for your success One of the core responsibilities of dealership leaders is to hire great people to ensure that their staff contributes to the store’s profitability and success. There is no single formula to achieving that. However, professional dealership training plays a crucial role in attaining mutual growth and success. Furthermore, in the era of microwave mentality, shoppers want a new kind of buying experience. They look for convenient options to buy vehicles and lightning-fast response time. The customers depend on your sales team to complete the purchase, and you depend on them to meet your revenue goals. Therefore, dealership teams need tools and skills to keep up with the changing customer behavior while improving the PVR and performance of their dealerships. You need to build a winning team—a team to support your business objectives and growth. This is where professional training comes into play. Comprehensive professional dealership training of your personnel opens the door to reaching new heights. Let’s look at some of the key reasons why professional training is essential for your dealership staff. 1. Better understand shoppers’ needs A critical step in selling is understanding what your customers are looking for. Often, customers either aren’t clear about what they need or don’t really know what they want. Efficient sales personnel need to be trained to ask the right questions, listen, and tailor products and services to assist customers satisfactorily. Furthermore, with the proper training, the Sales and F&I personnel can correctly identify customers’ unique needs and present vehicles and products to suit their habits and needs. In addition, training also guides sales teams to effectively offer related products to increase the value of a sale. Thereby, growing the dealership’s profitability while raising customer satisfaction. 2. Influences your sales team’s efficiency Sales and performance training help your staff build skills needed to close more deals faster. When you hire a salesperson, they are often either fresher with minimum experience or have learned through their experience over time. A data-based approach to understanding your employee’s potential and characteristics would help provide customized training. This keeps your staff updated, aligned with goals, and helps them learn proven selling approaches such as consultative over transactional methods. 3. Hiring for a replacement can hurt your business Employee turnover is a huge problem in dealerships. Hiring for a replacement can cost 33% of an employee’s salary and may include costs such as: recruiting cost—ads and job portals fees cost of interviews—time of your human resource post-interview cost—check reference and backgrounds checks cost of employment—relocation expenses cost of business loss—because you didn’t have the right people to do the work efficiency buffer time expenses—to let the new employee learn and settle in their new role Great dealerships work hard to maintain their staff’s satisfaction. It is cheaper to keep your employees motivated and productive than finding and hiring a new employee. Training plays a critical role in achieving this goal—it helps employees attain professional growth and reduces turnover. 4. Enhance your customers’ experience When dealerships do not have a strategic employee training and development plan in place, it leads to inconsistent store experience. With comprehensive training, your sales team can transform into friendly, knowledgeable, and trustworthy people customers need to complete their purchase. 5. Maintain professionalism and build a stronger relationship Positive personality, effective communication, building rapport, and professionally presenting oneself all count when it comes to selling. Dealership reputation and growth are influenced by improving how your sales team conducts themselves in front of your potential shoppers. Training your staff regularly is key to achieving success and increasing profitability. 6. Learn People’s management skills Manager’s training is another essential aspect for running a dealership successfully, as management skills require deliberate efforts and abilities. Leadership directly impacts employees’ retention and development, reducing turnover rates and contributing to the dealership’s success. Training helps managers learn how to lead teams and optimize efficiency and profitability. 7. Maintaining compliance Let’s face it, the regulations and laws change frequently and vary even at the local level, so keeping up is not easy for F&I managers. Dealerships can be held legally responsible for lapses in compliance. However, the largest share of compliance responsibility falls on the shoulders of the F&I department. To emphasize, proper training and compliance audits are the best ways to ensure that your team members are up to date with regulations and maintain compliance. 8. Acquire the correct understanding of responsibilities and goals Without professional training, the responsibilities and goals of the dealership personnel may be unclear. Furthermore, clear goals and streamlined processes define a solid automotive retail business. It can be attained by strategically training the staff. After all, training is what separates your dealership from the competition. 9. Obtain product knowledge F&I managers often provide customers with information such as the difference between a vehicle service contract (VSC) and extended warranty and GAP coverage. Similarly, a Salesperson helps customers understand the specs of the vehicle. Without professional training, it would be challenging for teams to gain complete control of the selling process, handle objections, and close the deals. On the whole, professional training for dealerships staff is key to overall success. With that in mind, the PRO team has helped auto dealers find the right fit for essential functions and train employees for significant productivity improvements. In addition, our comprehensive F&I and Sales training has shown proven results in raising employees’ efficiency increasing sales and profits. Contact us to get custom solutions to grow the profitability of your unique dealership.

Read More