I looked into the face of a top-performing F&I professional and said,
Your potential is furious with your performance!
After the initial shock, he realized it was a valuable challenge. As independent agents, we meet regularly with great F&I managers who are producing at the best levels they have seen in their career. A simple request to keep improving performance sounds hollow unless it is shared in contrast to potential.
Agents have a more powerful voice in dealership F&I departments than you might think. You just have to be willing to use it.
Here are two principals that can enable us to become the “screaming potential voice” to the managers with whom we work:
1. People Will Rise or Fall Based on Your Expectations.
As independent agents, we have tremendous power simply by being in a position of authority; as a result, we can use our words to influence how others view themselves. Expressing belief in your team of F&I professionals and focusing on setting high — but achievable — standards for them will have real repercussions.
Instead of praising employees’ talents or brains, praise the efforts and strategies that got them to where they are. When we track effort, we are putting importance in the very thing that creates results. Expect every F&I manager to practice their skills. Expect every F&I manager to grow their knowledge.
Results always follow intentional effort! When we communicate to an employee, we too often leave out the potential we see in them to be even more successful.
2. Every F&I Professional Must Occasionally Be Pushed Out of Their Complacency.
There’s a natural tendency for people to gravitate toward what they’re good at doing. Then they get stuck there and the “comfort zone” lulls their motivation for improvement to sleep. Good leaders push people to try things they have potential for and give them the opportunity to take a risk. They actively look for ways their employees can practice the exact thing they need to do but might be uncomfortable trying.
Why would a top-performing F&I professional aspire to even higher levels of production and customer satisfaction? Because the loud voice of potential is calling them. It drowns out over-confidence, shortens the length of time spent in the comfort zone and makes even the best better.
Be the voice of potential and watch those you have influence over reach record levels in the days ahead. Be an agent of potential!