Now that Agent Summit has wrapped for another year, let’s take a brief moment to look at some of the highlights from the show.

One of the biggest sessions at a show is typically the keynote speaker, and Agent Summit was no different. Dave Anderson, author of “4 Simple Strategies for Mastering the Art of Execution,” gave a strong keynote that resonated with us. His strategies break down into four ideas:

  • Get the process right.
  • Get the leadership right.
  • Get the culture right.
  • Get the team right.

What really stood out to us at RoadVantage is that this is the philosophy we live and breathe every day. From the beginning, I set out to create a company with the best and brightest people in the industry, providing exceptional service. That in turn leads to innovative products and satisfied customers. Too often, companies start with the product first, and then try to build a company around that. It was gratifying to hear Mr. Anderson advocating for an approach that we feel so passionately about ourselves.

Anderson also pointed out that when it comes to hiring, you can teach industry knowledge and skills, but there are some traits a person either does or does not have: character, attitude, drive, energy and talent – CADET for short. To have the best team, you have to hire the best people, and focusing on these characteristics above experience or industry knowledge is the key to getting there. This is a lesson I think everyone in the industry — providers, agents and dealers alike — can learn from.

Next up: Our very own National VP of Sales Brad Blizzard spoke on a panel at Agent Summit. “Profit Opportunities” was Brad’s panel, where the discussion focused on product sales and how to achieve maximum value. Brad pointed out that a strong focus on F&I product sales and customizable bundles will help lead to maximum value.

Another panel that our team found valuable was the one presented by Mike Burgiss, Founder and General Manager of MakeMyDeal. He focused on the next generation of sales, and where we need to go from here to see F&I flourish as technologies continue to change.

He highlighted that our industry is fast approaching a point where we can no longer ignore the Internet when it comes to F&I. He shared a few key statistics from last year’s study to back up his point

  • 83{137f86425451f0eed4391b215cab1f0aedcc26ced4aeb45d9a5267c3194b8614} of customers are interested in learning about F&I products before coming to dealership.
  • 63{137f86425451f0eed4391b215cab1f0aedcc26ced4aeb45d9a5267c3194b8614} of customers would be more likely to buy F&I products if they could learn about them before coming to dealership.
  • 58{137f86425451f0eed4391b215cab1f0aedcc26ced4aeb45d9a5267c3194b8614} would be more likely to buy F&I products if the products were on the website.

All of this adds up to the need for F&I products to be part of the online sales presence at dealerships. His point, however, wasn’t that we should all plan to sell to consumers directly — as a matter of fact, he noted that the selling still happens at the dealership level. But consumers are begging us to demystify the F&I space by allowing them to learn about their F&I options in the same way they research the make, model and trim of their potential new vehicle. As an industry, we all need to find a way to better address this increasingly critical issue. The Internet isn’t going away, and consumer demand for transparency will only continue to grow.

We want to thank everyone who came to visit us at our hospitality suite and chatted with us on the show floor – we are honored to serve this community, and we loved the opportunity to talk to each of you and hear more about your plans and goals for F&I.

This post was written by: Garret Lacour, CEO RoadVantage