Tag Archives: F&I Tips

Create a Lombardi Culture

I just returned from Green Bay, Wis. Like most visitors, I drove by and took pictures of the Vince Lombardi statue in front of Lambeau Field.

The Green Bay Packers’ stadium is built right on the highway with residential houses just across the street. The reason they do not relocate the stadium is that, since legendary Packers coach Vince Lombardi came to town in 1959, Lambeau Field has been hallowed ground. This is supported by a 30-year waiting list to buy season tickets!

Vince Lombardi made champions of the Green Bay Packers by creating a winning culture and chasing perfection in the pursuit of excellence.

Let’s look at two lessons on how Lombardi turned one of the worst teams in professional football into a dynasty:

1. He Created a Winning Culture.

When Lombardi took over in Green Bay, he didn’t create a bold new strategy. He didn’t change the people. He didn’t come up with a magic fix. He changed the organization’s culture.

Culture is “the way we do things around here.” Culture is the sum of the key values of an organization, expressed in behavior. Vince Lombardi wanted the Green Bay Packers to have a culture of excellence. The natural results were championship teams.

2. He Chased Perfection.

One of Lombardi’s most powerful quotes reveals his culture statement:

Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence. I am not remotely interested in just being good.

As independent agents, our goal should be to create a culture of excellence in our team that will be duplicated in the dealerships we serve. Lombardi knew that, to make a culture change, you have to determine the behaviors that demonstrate them. You also must articulate those values and model the behavior you want from others.

Lombardi produced excellence because he demanded it from everyone and, most importantly, from himself. I know I am speaking to independent agents that are not remotely interested in just being good. So let’s make excellence the theme in 2017!

Speak with the Loudest Voice!

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!

It’s Show Time!

F&I - It's Showtime!

I just returned from taking two of my granddaughters to their first Broadway show, Disney’s production of Aladdin. Like most other first time visitors they were amazed. And the more they learned about what the performers went through on a daily basis the more respect they had for them. Here are a couple of take-aways that can remind us that no matter what has happened before we meet each customer once they are in-front of us it’s – Show Time!

Every customer deserves the same level of passion and personal interest! Broadway performers are expected to provide 8 performances each week, and every show is expected to be their best performance. In the F&I office we are expected to show personal interest in every customer, build trust, ask great questions and help them see why certain products are critical in their situation. And when we encounter objections we are expected to provide meaningful information and deliver it with passion.

We may have had a bad day and may be experiencing issues at work or home. However, this customer deserves the best information with the highest level of passionate belief in our products. We may deserve a “Tony Award” for our performance. But that is what professionals do and why not just anybody can do this job. Talented professionals with unparalleled dedication to their craft make the cut and the customers benefit from their interaction with them.

Customers complaining about the price beforehand leave saying WOW! The “cheap seats” at the show were $89 and the best seats were $257. Why would anyone pay that kind of money for something they could see on a DVD for much less? Simply, seeing the show live is different.

The experience, the passion, and the effects all make it worth the investment.

Does your customer experience a different process with you than what they have at other dealerships? If you’re not different than you are just like everybody else and the effort to move them to buy will be difficult. When happy customers who appreciate the professionalism they encounter buy, you receive an award. It’s called a paycheck! If you want a better paycheck make sure every customer get your best process, explanation of the products and the highest level of passion.

The lead character, the “Genie”, provided a performance that was rewarded with a standing ovation. It seemed he would have a heart attack if he kept up the pace. Yet he does it every time, 8 times a week. Well, here comes your next delivery. Whether it is number one this month or number 81, “It’s Show Time” Give them your best!

I look forward to seeing you on my next post! Visit our F&I training page to learn more about how we can help you help more customers! Also feel free to contact me. Exchanging ideas with F&I Professionals is my passion!