19 Nov Digital Tools Can’t Replace Your F&I Manager…But It Can Make Them Better.
Some industry experts have predicted the demise of the F&I manager due to more technology being used in the sales process but there are plenty of signs that they are not going away…just evolving and adapting.
And with the industry still reeling from the pandemic, digital delivery has taken off as a viable option for selling a car with both safety and convenience in mind.
What Does Today’s Buyer Really Want (Besides More Inventory to Choose from…)?
Today’s buyer wants a tech-friendly process when they DO walk into the F&I office and most dealerships have implemented the latest-and-greatest digital menus to help provide a more visual and interactive way to sell products and explain financing options.
Buyers like the transparency that comes with these workflow solutions, and it shows. These presentation tools can also reduce time in the F&I office from 45 minutes down to 20 minutes or less on average. Higher profits, greater efficiency.
Will F&I Eventually Go Away?
The F&I department is still an important and profitable part of the dealership. The F&I manager’s role has evolved and become more consultative. Many top producers are willing to engage more out on the sales floor, email buyers with product information or offer to Skype/Zoom with an online buyer to answer questions and help influence them to come into the store.
With COVID, F&I managers have been forced to adopt more flexibility in engaging the buyer in a remote channel. The old ways are gone…now it’s all about establishing trust and fostering a non-threatening selling experience both in person AND online.
A well trained and professional F&I manager will embrace new technology, not run from it. They will be more customer-focused, not pay plan focused. That will result in higher PVR, higher product penetration, and most importantly, higher CSI.
No software program or flashy touchscreen can replace all that. F&I isn’t going anywhere…it’s just evolving to get better and that’s ok.