Thursday, March 01, 2007

Kelly's Korner - Going For The Goals


The first quarter of the New Year is nearly history. Are you gaining on your goals? Goals are sometimes handed to F&I professionals with a percentage to reach but no markers to guide them. Even when the sales department production goals remain the same, the bar for F&I will typically rise. So let’s assume you want 6% of the sales volume as F&I income. How will you get there?

First, think SMART. Set your Specific • Measurable • Attainable • Relevant • Trackable F&I goals as percentages of penetration. One dealer I worked for in my retail years taught me that if the percentages are there, the dollars follow.

F&I managers and the sales manager are members of the same team. They are jointly accountable for the number of financed deals expressed as a percentage of retail sales.

In the products arena, measure service agreements, prepaid maintenance, tire and rim coverage and protective coatings as a percentage of retail sales. Treat equity protection such as GAP and credit insurance as a percentage of financed deals.

Now take a look at the F&I production for last year. Your new goals should reflect a small increase in percentages over a 30-60 day period. Make sure the goals are out of reach, but not out of sight. Reasonable goals promote growth and build self-esteem. When people can reach their goals, they gain confidence and are willing to increase them the next time. Impossible goals defeat the team before the race gets started.

Do you track the progress of your F&I production? Do you review reports daily, weekly, or monthly? Senior management needs to track progress daily in the form of a DOC report and comment on the percentages. If the numbers are on pace say so. Let the producers know you take notice of a job well done. If the numbers fall short, start coaching.

Job aids such as goal cards can serve as daily reminders to stay the course. The goal cards we developed for the entire sales department sometime ago are still a popular item with our clients. The cards are double-sided and feature a daily work plan on one side and 30-day goals on the other. Design your own goal aids or give us a call to learn more about ours.

Goals unattended are no more than good intentions unless they are routinely measured and monitored. So set SMART goals and do get rolling, because when the going gets tough, the tough start showing!

“Kelly’s Korner”, OIADA Oregon Dealer News, March 2007