Once the business manager has met the customer and reset the clock
    they should review the deal, talk to the sales person and sales manager about
    the customer and the deal. Set up your computer and your menu. If you are
    ot using a menu system I implore you to do so. It is a fact that those who use a
    menu system average almost $500 more on a vehicle than those who do not.

    There are some outstanding menu systems out there. MenuVantage and
    Dealer Track are the most used and best known. In addition, if used in the correct way, it helps keep
    you compliant with OFAC and the new Red Flag Regulation.
If one looks at all the Federal and local government regulations and laws it
appears out hands are tied.
Unfortunately some dealership owners turn the other
way and do not want to know if their business managers are compliant and hope
they do not get audited or that someone does not file a complaint against them. I
have been told by business managers that they do not care about being compliant.
They tell me, “After all, what are the chances that I get audited or caught?”
    The fact is that there is an only a very small chance, HOWEVER, all it takes is once and your life is changed
    forever. Dealer principals have said to me that what they do not know will not hurt them. I am here to tell you that
    what you do not know can put you out of business or in jail.
    I am amazed when I visit a dealership and sales people have customer information all over
    their desks just asking to be picked up by a would be identity thief. Or go into the service
    department and see Repair Orders sitting on a desk with all kinds of private customer
information totally exposed. I can hear you saying to yourself  “The service department needs to protect
customer information under the Safe Guard Rule?” YES!
Why? Most of your service customers come from the
sale of a vehicle in the sales department. Right? Most customers finance their vehicles. Right? Once they sign a
purchase agreement and fill out a credit application all that information is now covered under the Safe Guard and
Privacy Rule. Names, addresses, phone numbers and any other information pulled from your dealership's DMS is
private information under the law. Therefore it has to be protected. The best practice is to treat all customer information
as being part of the Privacy Rule and Safe Guard Rule as soon as they come into the dealership. That way there is no
guess work. That way there are no mistakes.
Copyright © 2008 Automotive Dealers Network. All rights reserved.
Michael is one of the nation's leading Compliance Experts.
He is an agent for Curran EasyCare, serving New England
Automotive Dealerships. They offer insurance service
coverage, RV coverage, driver care, GAP coverage and
    Let's get back to your business office. I told you it is all about process and creating habits. When the sales
    person brings the customer into the dealership the customer usually asks two questions right away. First, what is
    your bottom line? Second, what is my interest rate? In most cases the sales person responds “I will ask my
    manager about the price and right now the manufacturer is giving 0% for 60 months.”, or whatever the current
    manufacture’s subsidized rate is. From that point on the customer will expect the 0% rate and will blame the
    business manager if they do not qualify for it. Once that happens the business manager will not have a
    single opportunity to present any aftermarket products. You have to train your sales people and sales
    managers to pencil the deal right in the first place and know the right answer to the interest rate question.
    The business manager MUST do two things once the salesperson tells them that the customer has reached
    agreement on the figures and wants to buy the vehicle.

    First and most important, the business manager MUST go out and introduce themselves. Tell the
    customer exactly what you are going to do. A good introduction could sound like this. “Hi, I am Michael
    Maguire, your business manager. I am going to take care of all your paper work so that when you go to the
    DMV it will be as easy as possible for you. In addition I am going to help you with your financing and go over
    all you options to protect you investment.” It is important that you reset the clock. You know your sale
    person told them that they would be in the business office for only a couple of minutes. You have to reset
    the clock so that they do not feel like you are keeping them unnecessarily. It should sound something like
    this. “I will be back in about five minutes and bring you to my office. Once we get started the whole process
    will take about twenty to thirty minutes.” If you have a survey for the customer to fill out this is a good time to
    give it to them. It keeps them busy and focused while the business manager is gone. If you do not have a
    survey for the customer to fill out it is a good thing to do. Surveys should have questions about the amount
    of miles they drive, if they have ever purchased a service contract in the past. If you want an example of a
    survey, email me and I will send you one. (Michael.maguire5@comcast.net )

Michael Maguire
Agent-Trainer/Curran EasyCare
The right answer to the rate question is this: “Mr. Jones, when I get your payment from my
sales managers they will be using the average rate for new which is 6.9%. Once we agree on the
figures I will introduce you to our business manager who will work hard for you to get you the best
avail rate.”  That is all that needs to be said. If the customer asks “I thought that the Ford had 0%
financing?” The sales person should say. “Yes they do for highly qualified customers. The good
news is that if you do qualify for the 0% your payment will go down. Our business manager can
help you to see if you qualify for the special rate.” Most of the time, if you address the customer’s
concern about rates, the customer will move on.

    The other thing you have to do is make sure your sales manager and business manager
    are a team, not separate departments. If you pay your sales managers based only on front end
    numbers and gross they will isolate themselves from you business manager. You have to give the
    sales managers an F&I incentive. By giving them a small piece of the back end profit they are less
    likely to sell out the business manager.  Sales managers also need to understand that it takes more
    than ten minutes for the business manager to do their job. They have to build a relationship with the
    customer and present all the products in order to be successful. The average time a good business
    manager spends with a customer is thirty to forty minutes. If a business manager is only spending ten
    to fifteen minutes with a customer it is impossible to bond with the customer and present 100% of the
View Michael Maguire's profile on LinkedIn
OK then, how do you fix it and make profit at the same time. The fix is easy and
usually most dealerships end up making more money than they were before. How? It is
all about process. Make doing what is right a process which ends up being habits.
That process begins as soon as the customer walks on to your lot.
    By the way, the desking sales manager should never pack payments with F&I products.
    Besides it being illegal in some states, most of the time the business manager ends up defending the
    payment rather than showing its features and benefits. Never try to sneak service contracts or other
    products into a payment. You might get away with it once in a while but not always. Most customers,
when they find out, feel you tried to take advantage of them and will end up selecting nothing from your Business
That important feeling of trust is gone and you will never get it back.
When the business manager is ready he/she should go out personally and lead them to his/her office. Take your time.
The customer should feel more relaxed because they have already met the business manager and they know what is
going to happen next. Take the first five minutes to build a relationship with the customer. Be sure the business manager
has personal photos of family members and of hobbies, anything that a customer would relate to.
Present 100% of
your products to 100% of the customers. No short cuts. Short cuts cost money.

In my next article I will talk about how to present a menu to a customer giving them the feeling they are in total control.