Ward’s Auto had a great blog a few weeks ago that, on the surface, might not seem to be much about F&I. Most of it is spent talking about the writer’s personal journey, but the message he is sending is clear: we often don’t realize what actually motivates us.

We think we know what drives us in the F&I industry. Maybe we think it’s money or material things. Maybe competition is what we think should drive us, possibly combined with recognition from our peers that we are “better.” But in many cases, these are just the things we believe should motivate us.

It might seem like a cliché, but it’s true: no two people are alike. No two F&I managers will have the exact same motivations either. Some are genuinely fueled by the things we all expect to be motivated by, while others are competitive with their peers. And still others are internally driven, pushing themselves to beat their own personal “best” regardless of where they stand in relation to their peers. And then there are those who are motivated by the satisfaction they get when they have helped a consumer secure the right protections for themselves and their families.

RoadVantage Senior Vice President and 35-year automotive dealer Randy Ross has extensive experience in managing and motivating F&I managers:

“In my experience, the money and other material things are motivating at first, but not what ultimately drive most successful F&I managers to excel,” said Ross, who was one of the co-founders of Group 1 and still owns a dealership in North Carolina. “It comes down to connection: the feeling that you’re appreciated by the dealership, and that you’re contributing to the dealership – to meeting corporate goals, for example – these are the strongest motivating factors.”

Too often, we have a one-size-fits-all approach to motivating F&I managers and dealers to sell more products. People are complex, and individual motivations can vary wildly. There is no one right answer to motivating the people in your F&I department. But the first step should be to recognize that a program you believe would motivate you to soar to greater heights, doesn’t guarantee it will do the same for those who will be operating under it.

Talk to your F&I managers about what motivates them, and ask them what rewards they would get excited about. Maybe it’s recognition for a job well done, maybe it’s time off for a child’s game, maybe it’s a bonus… or maybe it’s something else entirely. Encourage them to think about what really gives them satisfaction at the end of the day.

Armed with the knowledge of what motivates your individual F&I managers, you can craft a plan that will have the best chance of truly succeeding at what it is setting out to do: motivate them to sell more F&I products.

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This post was written by: Garret Lacour, CEO RoadVantage

Published: November 15, 2016

Original Source: http://roadvantage.com/2016/11/15/motivating-the-fi-manager/