As you probably know, succeeding as an F&I professional often seems like it involves one step forward before taking two steps back. However, it doesn’t need to be that way. In fact, one very simple exercise that has helped countless men and women in this profession is to simply ask yourself five questions every month.

Once a month, take some time to look at yourself in the mirror and answer these powerful questions.

  1. How Are You Growing?

Your ability to grow as an F&I professional is dependent on your ability to grow your abilities. No two customers are the same. You’ve probably learned that your current skill set makes it easier to succeed with some while you still struggle with others.

Likewise, you’re probably better in some areas of the job and weaker in others. Maybe your per-copy averages are low with cash customers right now. How are you growing to improve yourself in this area?

  1. What Are You Doing Every day?

The famous basketball coach, John Wooden, recommended making every day a masterpiece, which is one of the reasons most experts say he was responsible for more superstars than any other coach.

This advice is equally applicable in your role as an F&I professional. Progress isn’t something to commit to every now and then. If you’re already reaching every goal, it’s time for new ones. Otherwise, take steps every single day to improve where you need to so that you’re always moving closer to those goals.

  1. Are You Successfully Connecting with Customers?

There’s a misconception that those who do best with finance and insurance absolutely love to talk. Although it doesn’t hurt to be outgoing, it’s better to be a first-rate listener. In fact, good listening is one of the best sales techniques and perhaps the most underrated skill involved.

Every month, look back on the conversations you had with customers. Were you able to ask unique, specific questions that formed a strong connection because you did such a good job listening to them?

  1. Is Your Offer Irresistible?

Do your offers make customers desperate to buy? If not, you might be underestimating just how many options the average car buyer has these days. Unless you make them an irresistible offer, don’t be surprised if they turn you down.

Each month, reflect on the offers that were snubbed and think about what you could have done to make them much better.

  1. Is Your Goal Forcing You to Grow?

Be careful about using anyone else’s yardstick when judging your progress in this field. Instead, pick goals that force you to grow, both as a person and a professional.

For example, your numbers could be exceeding monthly targets even though you’ve yet to master the irresistible offer. Instead of letting yourself off the hook, force yourself to continue growing.

Keep Yourself Accountable

While there’s no substitution for good training, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty you can do to help your career in F&I along.

One of the most important steps you can take is to hold yourself accountable for answering the five questions detailed above.

Set a reminder so you’re forced to return to them every month and then track your progress so you’re constantly putting more effort into those areas where you have the most room for improvement.

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