The old saying that “the devil is in the details” could be a motto for automotive business managers. When a salesperson brings a customer in from the showroom floor ready to buy, it’s tempting to think the sale is in the bag. But between brokering finance packages, insurance deals, and numerous optional extras, there are plenty of things that can go wrong, and even the smallest problem can undo hours of good work.
It’s no coincidence, then, that the best F&I (finance and insurance) professionals are usually the most meticulous, going through contracts and credit reports with a fine tooth comb. These same principles are applied to their sales process, where they use checklists and take time to ensure every aspect of the deal is explained to the customer.
For students in auto programs, improving your attention to detail will help you broker the best deals in your future career without worrying about potential problems, keeping both your dealership and customers happy.
An Automotive Business Manager Should Have Extensive Product Knowledge
One of the most important things about any sales job is to know your product. For an automotive business manager, this means being able to present different financing, insurance, and additional service packages to a customer in great detail, and advising them of the best options for their needs.
This can also sometimes require technical knowledge about the cars on the lot. For instance, an F&I manager should be able to tell a customer about the different parts and services covered in a vehicle service contract, and make recommendations as to whether the coverage is suitable for the model they are purchasing.
An Automotive Business Manager Should Control The Sales Process
Of course, agreeing a deal with the customer is only the start of a business manager’s job. Depending on the specifics of a deal, they may need to do credit checks and arrange loans through financial institutions, always keeping a careful eye on whether the financing arrangements impact their profit margin. Even in cash sales, they need to ensure all funds are accounted for and verified.
Considering they have to process insurance applications and sales contracts too, it can amount to a lot of paperwork. A good business manager will take ownership of the process, seeing to it that nothing slips through the cracks.
The First Job Of An Automotive Business Manager: Protecting The Dealership
One thing you will probably hear regularly throughout your automotive business manager career, is that protecting the dealership should be your number one priority. As the final point of sale for customers, it is the responsibility of the F&I department to make sure the dealership complies fully with industry regulations.
Most business managers will use comprehensive checklists to make certain they follow best practices during the sales process. Ensuring that customers fully understand all clauses and conditions in the deal also reduces the risk of the dealership incurring any unexpected liability or being subject to legal action further down the road.
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