Justin Gasman

Finance Services Director | McCaddon Cadillac Buick GMC

Justin grew up in the car business and officially began his automotive industry career in 2003. In 2014, he joined the staff of McCaddon Cadillac Buick GMC in Boulder, CO as the dealership’s sole full-time F&I professional. That year, he won first place in F&I and Showroom’s F&Idol contest and helped McCaddon earn F&I Pacesetter status. Justin is AFIP Master-certified and is dedicated to conducting every transaction legally, ethically and professionally.
Have You “Lost Interest” in the Cash Deal?

By

After a recent F&I Master’s class, I came back to the dealership better, stronger, and faster than before. That class taught me about having a conversation with purpose. So, since we are having a conversation anyway, let’s make it count? This is the biggest opportunity on cash deals to move the needle. Especially if you are working in a high-line store catering to affluent customers with higher credit scores.  The One Pay Lease Many business managers forget the least used tool available – The One Pay Lease. To a cash customer, this is a way to purchase the vehicle by writing the dealership a check for the total of payments on a 36-month single payment lease. Nobody talks about this and even fewer people are proficient at this technique. This is what separates the average managers and professional grade F&I pros.  Explain the advantages for a customer to consider a single payment lease as opposed to simply writing us a check. It costs far less because there is less interest and lower rates. This makes it less expensive than a traditional lease and paying cash for people who enjoy driving the newest cars. Lastly, the credit approval is easier since they get all the payments upfront.  The Cash Deal in Disguise The cash deal has evolved and sometimes is a “finance deal in disguise.” People actually walk in with a shoebox filled with dirty 20’s and 100’s that they have been hoarding during the pandemic. Now that the world isn’t ending, they want to get rid of it and come into our dealerships in droves with cold hard cash. It’s a great reminder, if you collect $10,000 or more in cash, report it by properly filling out the finCen8300 form. If you aren’t sure, my advice has always been, “when in doubt, fill it out!” What is a cash deal in disguise? That’s when you get the cash buyer who is really just using an outside lienholder. You will still need to present your options menu however. Most F&I managers will print up a CASH menu and start their presentations.  After reviewing how much each product is in terms of overall total cost, they are forgetting that if the customer is using an outside lender, the customer is ultimately going to be making a payment. In this instance, it’s still important to review with your customer, based on the terms of their own financing, what the base payment will be and then what impact adding these protection items can have on that monthly payment. Ultimately, closing the sale on a payment, even though it’s “cash”. Present these as finance deals with different payments and you’ll be surprised how much more product you will successfully enroll your customer in. Show it to them in terms that make sense to their budget. On true-cash deals, sell the value in the product - that’s all you can really do. When they use outside financing, appeal to their budget and explain how much this will benefit them. How does cash affects pricing? I get asked all the time if customers can get a better price if they pay cash. My answer is always the same. “We give the same great pricing to ALL of our valued customers, regardless of how you choose to pay for the vehicle.” Other than the occasional factory rebate that is connected to financing, the dealership’s selling price is the same whether it’s cash, lease or retail installment sales contract. Having an attitude of gratitude. Appreciate and welcome the cash deal. Best part about a cash deal? Not worrying about funding issues! The only thing you have to do is be a great salesperson. As Jim Rohn once said, “if you stoke the fires of their desires, and you’ll not fail to make the sale!”  Remember, if a person can sit down at your desk and stroke a reader for $85,000 - they can certainly add $5,000-$10,000 more for whatever protection options they want. Don’t be afraid of the cash deal or the cash buyer. Those are usually disciplined, persistent, highly intelligent people with four common traits: capacity, ability, stability, and equity. They want to buy; they just can’t be sold. You’ll have to earn it the old-fashioned way, by being genuine and serving them with the heart of a teacher and the right spirit of intent. Remember to try a one pay lease for a great cash conversion, present the outside finance deals like regular finance deals, and on true-cash, put on your selling shoes and tap in! #bing #morewinning
Automotive Careers: What It Takes to Move Up the Ladder

By

F&I is a position in the dealership that provides excellent opportunities, but it is a career that comes with extremely high expectations and demands. In traditional thinking, the lot attendant might aspire to selling cars someday. While the salesman who has either started a while back or is a new hire is already thinking, someday I want to be a sales manager. There is always the desk manager who never worked in F&I and wants to grow. What about the F&I pro who might want the opportunity to run a store and serve in a GM position? And finally, there's the GM who wants to buy in and become a partner or a dealer in the end.  We are all trying to advance ourselves and our careers, and that is a good thing. And then there are some people who realize they are better at some things than others. This means it's okay to "stay" in sales or "stay in F&I." This is a GOOD thing! I am not trying to discourage anyone from following their dreams or pursuing their goals. I am however, encouraging those who have a passion to learn more about F&I to take a moment and think hard about the requirements and skillsets needed to perform the tasks, execute the responsibilities of that role and perform them at the highest levels of excellence.  The key to greatness is the business office is twofold. The first is being really proficient with paperwork, filling it out neatly and completely. Having an eye for mistakes while still being able to move quickly is paramount. You have to be the person who sweats the details inherently. This is one of the more important qualities to hone as a strategy in the world of F&I for moving up and getting promoted into a manager position within that department.  The second skillset you must possess is the ability to gain common ground quickly, establish trust and credibility, and being viewed as authoritative and consultative while not coming across as arrogant or 'salesy'. This is imperative so you can present and gain acceptance of participation for your products and services. Typically, salespeople are either really good at filling out paperwork, but they can't sell or close a deal. Or you can't read their handwriting (when it's present), but they can outsell the whole floor. It is much rarer to find an individual who possesses BOTH qualities and executes at the highest levels. Those are the people, who with the right guidance and proper training and development, can be molded into high revenue producers with great CSI and 5-Star online reviews - the ultimate in "more winning!" Salespeople who are just selling cars because it's a "job" or they are doing it until something "better" comes along need not apply. Those that fear being rejected and have the inability to move forward definitely can't stomach the life of an F&I professional. You must be a great listener who asks all the right questions and remembers that everyone is a prospect for something we have to offer in order to be excellent in this profession. The appeal of the warm office on a cold day, waiting for salespeople to bring you closed deals, comes at a price. That price is: you have to be the best closer in the store, who can break down a deal, check it for errors, fill in all the blanks, submit and electronically digitize the various components of the deal with all the different portals and logins, and then present the options and contract the deal – quickly, effectively, compliantly, and profitably – all at the same time, while remembering to smile! When you can do this and still keep a positive attitude even when you run into mistakes constantly, you know you might have a chance to make this a career and start your climb! #bing #morewinning #noextrachargeforapositiveattitude
The Calm After the Storm

By

It's finally December 37th and your last deal is in the books and you have officially gone from hero to zero. The last rush of commercial deals and that comes with it has settled. For those of you who are new to this business, this is where the local business owners waited until the last week of the year, or in many cases, the last day of the year to pull the trigger on a large purchase to avoid paying as much in taxes. They have to get it into this year and generally like to finance as much as they can. This makes selling aftermarket products and service contracts that much easier. Everyone is expecting you to live in their world, much more so than usual this time of year. The salespeople are running around franticly trying to sell or pre-sell the limited amount of premium new car merchandise as possible. Dealer trades are happening so fast you almost don't know which car goes where. The F&I deal appointment calendar is filling up to the point where we have no more available spots, but the deals keep coming. The grosses are high and the momentum is fierce. Everyone is making money and the customers are leaving happy. It's fun again. This is why we love the car business!! Then the New Year comes. The excitement and the flurry of customers start to dwindle. The reality of limited or no inventory starts to set in. You realize if it weren't for the employees parking in the back lot, it would appear we have even less inventory. Then the last few deals come together. People are spent. They are experiencing a bit of a financial hangover to say the least. They overspent on Christmas and are worn out from the holidays. They are watching the change of power politically and keeping a close eye on the stock market. People are unsettled, and quite frankly, anyone who was in the market for a vehicle who had any sense of urgency, already bought. In fact, we probably pulled ahead 2-4 weeks' worth of business, to "get it into this year" for tax reasons. This is a time where salespeople, managers, F&I, and honestly the whole store starts to feel the lag. All the deals are billed. The funding screen in DealerTrack shows every deal is booked or funded. The e-leads have slowed and the phones aren't ringing as much. The walk-in showroom traffic is noticeably down. The high of a huge December is wearing off and the idea of a "bad month" starts to set in. There is an old quote "Just remember...there was calm before the the storm... there will be calm after..." This is the time to be thankful for the big win last month. Take this time to focus the extra "slow" time on controllable activities. Start by cleaning your workspace or your office. Get rid of things that are no longer adding value to your work life or bringing joy to your space. Get all of your accounting in order. Finalize your year end numbers and start setting goals for the upcoming year, both professionally and personally. Refill all of the empty folders in your office that need forms. Order more for your stock room so you are ready for the year. Fill up your printer with more paper and change your ink cartridges. Wipe down the dusty pictures. Disinfect your keyboard and mouse. Pre-sign some basic forms you will need on your next deal. Basically, spend the idle time, prepping for the next "storm." This will keep you focused on something positive and not allow your mind to focus on how slow it is. It is all about keeping your attitude positive and your outlook bright. Doing incremental things daily will allow you to have the mental toughness to survive the calm after the storm. Go forth and profit! #morewinning #bing
Creating the Ultimate Dealership Customer Experience

By

I was talking about mindset with my good friend Tommi Weeden and I was explaining to her that sometimes I work with guests that require A LOT. What I meant by that is they seem to take longer to get through the process. They can be walking "time bandits" in all honesty. She told me something that really resonated with me. Tommi told me: remember that everyone is different and we all process things differently. For this reason, don't look at your customer as "high-maintenance". Consider them "white-glove". That's when the lightbulb went off for me. Reframe Your Mindset White-Glove by definition means marked by special care or attention. By shifting your mindset and reframing from a negative to a positive, the whole experience is different. These days, automobiles, for the most part, have become commoditized. Meaning, unless it's a rare used car with low miles and custom modifications, or a new car with limited production, when they want a new car, the customer can send out the same email to ten different dealers and the race to the bottom is on! Therefore, we must focus on the customer experience, now more than ever before. The manufacturers are pushing this with surveys and secret shoppers on the customer's side; while simultaneously tying the dealers' trunk money to various programs that sound like alphabet soup. If you don't achieve certain metrics on these surveys, your dealerships' payouts are reduced, or altogether eliminated. Working at a Cadillac-Buick-GMC dealership, I can tell you firsthand, they want us to create what they refer to as, "Cadillac Moments". This is the "wow" factor. Honestly, it's not a bad idea. It's also not something we needed the factory to convince us to do in the first place. After all, you can't retain customers if they don't enjoy the experience. For us, this is second nature. To a struggling store who has bad or no processes, these factory programs can be life saving for the dealership's longevity. Consider These Four Questions To Create Your Dealership "Wow" Factor What are some ways you can personalize and white-glove your guest's experience? How can you surprise and delight your customers? How do you create lasting, memorable moments with your customers? What can you do to make the deal appear to be quicker and simpler, regardless of how long it actually takes? Why not start out with something as simple as offering them something warm or cold to drink when they come into your office? Find out if they are purchasing the vehicle to celebrate a recent success or promotion and make this all about THEM! The purchase of a new vehicle is a VERY exciting time for many people, and this is a simple way to build excitement with them. How about finding out what kind of music they like to listen to ahead of time, and have that playing when then enter your "House of Happiness" as my mentor GP Anderson would say. When you are about to give them two tickets to the magic show, why not make them as comfortable and relaxed as possible; this will result in giving you and your dealership a competitive advantage over your competition.  By custom tailoring your presentation and your behavioral interactions with each guest, you will ultimately build and develop deeper loyalty and trust with each customer you engage. You can really only achieve this by taking the time to understand and even anticipate the needs of your customers. This allows you to "outrun" objections to issues prior to them being raised by the customer, thus preventing issues and resulting in a pleasurable experience for your guests. You have to do the deal and process the paperwork, regardless. Therefore, why wouldn't you make it fun for you AND the guests, and by doing so, increase your grosses and your ultimate satisfaction with the process? This to me sounds like More Winning! #bing #noextrachargeforapositiveattitude
Everybody is Your Friend, You Just Haven't Met Them Yet

By

I was leaving my building in downtown Denver, heading to the dealership in Boulder this morning and I was thinking to myself how grateful I am to have the most wonderful circle of influence that I have in my life. Not just because of the people who had mentored me over the years, but also for the people I had found over my career who cared about me when they didn't have to.  In this business, I have discovered that we don't simply sell cars and complete the necessary paperwork. We end up being three things: a detective, a psychologist, and a babysitter. Our main priority, above all else though, is to protect the dealership. Our second goal is to serve the guest and maximize profitability. So how do we do this when we are working with total strangers, as opposed to the repeat and referral deals? Smiling. Live for the smile of the day! Put your guests at the heart of your business and constantly strive to scratch their record by injecting a touchpoint and creating a moment. Your ultimate goal should be to have your guests leave your dealership and share the word about your world-class service and come back as customers for life.  We want to cement our customers to us. That's why we sell prepaid maintenance and service contracts. We want to create the exceptional experience our guests deserve. The best way to do this is to start becoming the most positive person in the dealership – make your daily goal to infuse excitement into every deal you can. If you have a genuine passion when you work with people, they will be able to tell. Authenticity is key! Successful business managers know that they have to have readiness & integrity to get the job done correctly beyond the passion. Have you ever noticed that some people always seem to be "lucky" and other people always seem to "be on the struggle bus"? It's not by accident, usually. Over the last eighteen years in this business, I had realized that when I was a rookie in F&I, I would become easily upset about a deal that didn't go my way. I felt it was my god-given right to sell every one I met something. I've learned that the less pressure I put on myself to sell something, the more people buy from me. I find it is much better to have fun with the process and transfer that energy and enthusiasm over to the customer. When a customer is having fun with you in your office and enjoying "the process," the amount of time you spend with them diminishes in their eyes. The old saying, "time flies when you're having fun," is so true.  Becoming a connector of people is how we make a living in this business. The first dealer I worked for used to always say, "go meet the people." Make friends with everyone you meet. The truth is, everywhere you go, you will meet and encounter people. Why not make sure that everyone you come in to contact with gets connected to you. Meaning you tell them who you are, where you work, and what you do.  Following this simple step, which does take effort, will lead to you building your circle of influence much more rapidly and much bigger than you could imagine. I can't tell you the number of people who started as total strangers walking into my office, walked out, gave hugs, exchanged cell phone numbers, and became Facebook friends. The best part about what we do is the relationships we make. The real finesse in F&I is managing your relationships. Not only with the customers but with the salespeople, the lenders, and everyone you come into contact with. If you can master your ability to connect with others somehow, you will master this profession just as surely. Every deal is an opportunity to make a friend. 
Make Your Paycheck Great Again: The Squirrel Doesn’t Get All Its Nuts from One Tree

By

Over the past few months, I have had what seems to be a recurring conversation with a variety of people in my circle of influence. Today, while prepping some deals that were coming in later in the evening, I sat down with one of my best salespeople at this dealership, Joe Cleland – and he was the inspiration for the title of the article you’re about to read. If you were intrigued by the title of this article but are still asking what the heck the #kingofbing is talking about, it’s three simple words – Assembling Your Paycheck!  I told Joe that I was taught back in 2003 when I started selling cars at the local family-owned Chevrolet-Honda-Pontiac dealership in Boulder, Colorado, that the key to making it in this business is highly dependent upon your ability to make money. However, sometimes the way we look at the deal or the sale is too narrowly focused, and we forget about all the various ways there are to make money on a car deal. I was taught to pretend that the showroom and the dealership are covered in cash, because it is. There is money everywhere if you look hard enough! Sadly, some people will walk around the store, see a $10 bill on the ground, and not even stop to pick it up.  Simply, all you need to do is take every opportunity to maximize your pay plan. Instead of looking at the sale of the car as a “mini” or the buy rate deal as a “flat”, look at all the numbers involved. Turn over every rock that you encounter along the way down the road to the sale. You might see a $20 bill under one. Look a little closer, and you might see a $50 bill under another one. Hell, you might make $420 if you get really good at what I’m talking about! My point here is the commission on the car deal is just the beginning. There are the F&I spiffs, the parts department spiffs for accessory sales, the referral fee for sending in neighbors and friends, and family members to do business with your store. The bounty placed on the used car you can find for the store for the dwindling used car inventory. The factory sometimes has spiffs for achieving certain volume standards, such as Mark of Excellence with General Motors. Perhaps selling a GM Card can provide some earn power points that can be redeemed for merchandise or cash in your bank to pay bills or go on vacation. OnStar and XM Radio sometimes have spiffs available for upgrading products your customers are already going to sign up for, to a degree, so why not capitalize on that also.  You have to be creative and willing to do the impossible. You have to spend time working on your words – what you will say and when you will say it. I once heard someone say, if you want what I have, then do what I do. The problem is, most people, especially people in sales, have a high propensity to take the path of least resistance. It takes effort and persistence, and discipline to assemble the paycheck you want to have!  This is why it is so important to use your time wisely every day. You need to always be on the lookout for the next opportunity in your store where you can add value. Spend your time crafting your pitch and building your process to perfection. Remember to feather in ALL of your income opportunities so that every turn you take with each customer is maximized to its fullest potential.  Like our friend the Squirrel, you have to grab a little bit here and a little bit there. One dollar at a time and from all over the park, tree by tree. This is how you make your paycheck great again!  #bing