38 May 2015 Canadian Auto World F&I News By Lawrence Papoff

It’s a given: the customer is changing. They search online 24/7 and come to the dealership armed with infomation but their knowledge about what awaits them in the F&I office is often sketchy. They want the lease or sales transaction over with quickly. But there is paperwork and products to be sold.

“This is quite a challenge for the F&I manager who must quickly identify the customer’s needs, handle objections and present the right products in a timely manner,” Marie-Claude Grisé, training academy consultant, told Canadian AutoWorld.

“The F&I manager must be able to keep the customer engaged throughout the whole process and keep them enthusiastic about their purchase.” And do it all quickly and effectively. Change was in the air at Volkswagen Financial Services and Audi Financial Services as well as in the business offices at Volkswagen and Audi dealers across the country. Grisé says dealers wanted training programs improved and advanced courses designed. With the help of LGM, the captives were eager to oblige.

“As a result of this feedback, we enhanced the current training curriculum with more interactive content to develop knowledge and skills related to financial product offerings.

“In addition, we ensured that the updated curriculum was integrated within the existing dealership training curriculum. This was important as we wanted to ensure that the customer has one seamless experience within the dealership,” she said. At the top of the training pyramid, they placed the Volkswagen and Audi Elite Performance course. “We developed a unique three-day workshop that focuses on effectively presenting our protection products to customers using a consultative selling approach. Participants learn how to handle objections and to qualify customers.

“The workshop is designed to keep F&I managers engaged through group discussion and role-play,” she explains.Nadine La Calamita is financial services manager at Audi MidTown Toronto. She has eight years of experience in the business office, two of them at Midtown. La Calamita agrees the new customer is better informed but only a small percentage of them are familiar with what she has to offer them because they don’t buy cars that often.