Don’t stress over the things we have no control over. Recognizing that we do not control the market and that we probably don’t have much control over how many cars get sold is the first thing we should realize. When sales are down, there is a lot of pressure on everyone in the dealership. Don’t let that effect you. If you panic and start to overreact, it will manifest itself into your interactions with your fellow employees and, more importantly, with your customers. We have to calmly focus on our job and be sure we maximize every opportunity that does come along during these periods. Focus on constructive activities. If you have some extra time on your hands, try to stay busy. Hone your skills. Practice your presentation. Develop your lender relations. Be a cheerleader. Whether you know it or not, the people around you look to you for direction. Show by your demeanor that you are not worried, there is no reason to panic, and that you are a true professional who has dealt with these little dips in business before. Ask the sales department if there is anything you can do to help make a deal. Stay positive. “Create some F&I Karma” I got this tip when I was a relatively new F&I manager. I had been rolling along, fat dumb and happy, making money, when suddenly I ran into that inevitable run of customers who just didn’t react to my presentation. It was like I had all of a sudden lost my “touch”. As this slump continued I got to the point where I was frustrated enough to call the product representative who had initially trained me and asked for help. He asked some questions, reviewed the reactions I was getting, and then he said “OK, I have the answer”. “Keep doing what we taught you. But first, clean your office”. I said “What?” He said “Go out to the wash rack and get some cleaner and a rag and clean every inch of every surface in your office. Straighten out all of your files, organize your forms in logical order, and keep doing what you’ve learned to do”. “Create some F&I Karma” he said. Now I thought he was nuts. What would that have to do with my F&I presentation? But I was desperate enough to try anything. So, I did as told. It took me an hour or so and my office was clean, really clean, and organized. The result? The next customer took everything I was selling. And I went on a “roll”. My numbers were better than ever and it was like the job was easy again. Now this may seem like a silly suggestion and I can’t explain it, but it just works. Does cleaning your office change the way customers behave? Maybe not. But there may be some logic to this suggestion. Sometimes it's interesting what seemingly insignificant, simple, things can do to improve your F&I performance. The environment of your office is one of those things. When a customer first enters the F&I office, they will be heavily influenced by what they see, hear, and smell. Therefore, it is important that those things they see hear, and smell works for us, not against us. Make your office look like a professional business office. Get rid of the clutter. Clean it up. Most of all, realize that it is temporary. This too shall pass. By the time you read this message there’s a good chance that the “tough run” will have already become a memory. That’s how it works. But in the meantime, relax, stay sharp, clean your office and focus on being ready when that next customer comes through the door. 11

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