The right person will guarantee current, future and
incremental income, contends Eddie Fraydon.


There are different schools of thought about utilising business
managers (BMs). Some say spoon-feed them and ensure they have a
full and accurate referral to the customer, and are brought in at
an early stage to ensure a non-threatening introduction to another

By doing this, BMs are thought more
likely to up-sell a variety of value-added products and convert
customers into thinking about finance. I feel that this is the
wrong way to integrate a BM into the sales process.

You should only introduce BMs early
for a tangible reason. If the customer is payment-led, and the sale
of the vehicle relies on this, then it’s justifiable. However, I
believe once sales have been agreed or closed, that’s when true BMs
will get involved. They would qualify the customer, as the majority
of the referral content from the salesperson is fantasy.

This way you discover the truth and
are more likely to discuss something that’s relevant, rather than
starting talks in the wrong way and having to undo what you’ve
done, after being misinformed in the first place.

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Many will disagree, generally
because they are normally looking for others to blame, or don’t
want to accept accountability. But if you have a strong BM he or
she will introduce themselves naturally prior to the formal
referral by offering the customer a drink or even just walking past
and saying hello, thus securing a warmer reception later in the

I would not even want the
salesperson to speak about value-added products, or even the method
of payment, because if the explanations are not clear and robust
they will jeopardise that side of the sale later on.

For cash or direct lender
conversions in today’s marketplace the only way to go is PCP. HP is
outmoded and irrelevant in the majority of cases and, to protect
your business for the future, you must be a believer and an
advocate of PCP. This will provide income now and successfully
enable you to cash convert to increase your finance penetration.
And, if you are clever, it will continue to provide an income and a
regular car sale for future years as you deal with the same
customer again and again. Importantly, in future these customers
will want to deal with you, having been looked after so well.

Putting your income as a BM in
someone else’s hands, relying on the salesperson to look after you
and essentially do your job for you, really isn’t for me. If you
are good at what you do, you should be able to stand or fall by
your performance – because it is yours.

Good BMs are worth their weight in
gold and will produce more income and profit than the chassis ever
will, while bringing customers back again and again. F&I is an
incremental income, the size of which very much depends on who you
have in that chair.

The author is a divisional
director at West London Motor Group