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Does your dealership have a process in place for a quick transition from the sales floor to the finance dept?  Are your customers waiting for a hour or more to get into the finance office?  Does your F&I producer come out to meet the customer before the consumer get's to his/her office?  Ladies and gentleman I could go on and on with questions that I talk about with automotive managers and what we find is very concerning. 

First, the transition from the sales floor to the finance office should be seamless.  I was in a Toyota store a little while back and they had what was called a finance lounge.  Now the goal with their finance lounge was to remove the customer form the sales floor over to a much more comfortable lounge so that while they were waiting to get into the F&I office they could begin the process of getting logged into the Toyota system database.  It is a very upscale lounge with Ipad's at each chair and snacks if someone is hungry.  Now unfortunately most dealerships have a completely different process in place and it's as follows: the customer just agreed to purchase your vehicle and now they have to sit in those hard chairs and round table for the next hour while they wait to get into finance!!  What do you think most of these people are doing while waiting to go to finance; they're talking about how maybe we're moving too fast we didn't plan on buying today, let's get on our smartphone and see how much the car we just bought is down the street or even worse after a hour of waiting you go to get your customer and they're gone!!  For the love of God this is not what people want to deal with after they just made the next biggest purchase next to buying a home. 

Consumers after they give us their business need to be in the F&I office as quickly as possible.  Another brillant strategy is to have the F&I producer get out of his/her office and come out to the sales floor to meet the customer for a interview to build some rapport and gather field intelligence.  What this does is make the process much easier when you present a menu to sell products. 

In this day and age the old school way of doing business has to change.  Their is too much money on the line to take the chance of conducting business as usual. 


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  • Awesome information James!! Those issues that you mentioned are unfortunately still going on today...
  • That being said I work in an extremely small dealership.   The advantage we have is myself and another guy are the sales and finance managers.  Customers stay in my office until paperwork is printed and ready to sign.  I am the internet manager, asst manager and finance manager.  Normally my Sales Manager prints and I sign.  When they are done I give them a gift from the dealership and deliver the vehicle to them.

  • It really is a team effort.  Stores I have worked in the past have failed miserably.  Same story knucklehead salesperson half asses the deal and paperwork.  He then drops the customer off and leaves to go take another up, smoke or whatever.  Sales management and finance have to work together with a plan that works.  When I first started salesperson babysat the customer until he got into finance and waited in the area to immediately greet the customer as soon as they walked out.  These days you will be lucky to find the salesperson as the customer waits alone outside the office.  The Finance Manager then gets back up taking care of that customer.  Starts with management and ends with management.

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