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March 8th, 2017

Welcome to Agent Entrepreneur, a monthly eMagazine dedicated to the interests and concerns of general agents and entrepreneurs in the automotive finance and insurance industry. Agent Entrepreneur is your source for industry news and updates as well as original feature articles to keep you well-informed of best practices and trends.

Be sure to visit AE's website at www.ae-emagazine.com regularly for the latest updates.

You can also join our Twitter page.

Featured Articles

Escape the Complacency Trap

Forward-thinking agents are helping dealers prepare for the next downturn by focusing on customer retention.

By: Dean Harrison

As 2016 drew to a close, new-vehicle sales were expected to top out at 17.1 million, a slight decrease from the record 17.7 million units sold in 2015. Experts say this may be as good as it gets for sales volume. Experienced agents know the car business is cyclical. History tells us that, with every ... Read More »

Is Technology Your Tool or Your Replacement?

Agents who fear obsolescence in a digital world should take every opportunity to use the Internet and big data to their advantage.

By: Ken Tomaro

Any agent who has been in the business more than 10 years can remember the old routine: Wait till the close of the month before scheduling any visits. Show up and pull out the F&I log book, add up each column of numbers, do your long division to calculate PVR, product averages and penetration. Once ... Read More »

The Shoulder Bone Is Connected to the Back Bone

Agents can help ensure Safeguards Rule compliance by ensuring internal and external access to customers’ nonpublic personal information is properly controlled.

By: Robert J. Wilson Esq.

Many of you may be familiar with the children’s sing-along song called “Dem Bones” or “Dry Bones.” Most verses recite the connection between the bones: “Shoulder bone connected to the back bone, back bone connected to the hip bone,” and so on. You may be wondering what, exactly, this has to do with you. Well, ... Read More »
Meet the Executive

An Interview with Patrick Brown

AE goes worldwide with Patrick Brown, the new president and CEO of IAS.

By: Tariq Kamal

In September, IAS expanded its leadership team by appointing Bob Corbin to the role of executive chairman and hiring Patrick Brown as president and CEO. Citing Brown’s experience as an entrepreneur and executive, Corbin describes Brown as “the right person at the right time.” Agent Entrepreneur caught up with Brown less than a month into ... Read More »
Summit Updates

Agent Summit Names 2017 Advisory Board

LAS VEGAS — Organizers of the annual Agent Summit have named the members of the advisory board for the 2017 event, which will be held May 21–24 in Las Vegas. For the fifth consecutive year, Randy Crisorio, president and CEO of United Development Systems (UDS), will serve as advisory board chair. He will be joined ... Read More »

Reinsurance Symposium Returns to Agent Summit

LAS VEGAS — Organizers of the upcoming Agent Summit have confirmed the 2017 event will feature a Reinsurance Symposium for the fifth consecutive year. The four-day event will begin on the evening of Sunday, May 21, at Paris Las Vegas, with the Reinsurance Symposium scheduled for the following afternoon. “The Reinsurance Symposium has been an ... Read More »
F&I Success

Duck Dynasty Determination!

Did you know Phil Robertson and Terry Bradshaw were teammates at Louisiana Tech? Learn how two shared principles made both men champions in their chosen fields.

By: Rick McCormick

Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame was raised in abject poverty. His boyhood home had no electricity, toilet or bathtub. Food was anything they grew in their garden and whatever meat they could hunt. Nevertheless, he said they were always “happy, happy, happy.” Despite his limited beginnings, Phil went on to acquire a master’s degree ... Read More »

Master the Art of Communication!

You can be an agent, and you can be a bad communicator, but you can’t be both.

By: Rick McCormick

I just finished a very frustrating phone conversation with the company that provides my phone and internet service. The word “communication” is in their company name, and the reason I am frustrated is the person I was dealing with had no idea how to communicate effectively. The conversation made me feel as if my business ... Read More »
Hot Tips

Deposits and Withdraws

Hello! This is Fernando Romani with UDS with this week's tip

You know, we all have a bank account, and when you have a bank account you can't really withdraw any money unless you make a deposit first and you put the effort into it...

Watch the Tip Here »

A Proper Disclosure

Gerry Gould of UDS with this week's tip!

So you want to increase CSI, you want to decrease CITs? You want a customer satisfaction and you want to get contracts and transit done right away? ...

Watch the Tip Here »
Small Business Tips

10 Tips For Leaders To Support Workplace Diversity, Part 1: Things To Do At Work

As leaders, our words and actions have a great impact on workplace diversity. Here are several simple things you can do at work that will make your workplace more inclusive, while boosting morale and increasing performance, reports Forbes. In Part 2 we will focus on things leaders can do outside of the workplace, which nonetheless ... Read More »

How to Become World-Class at What You Do

It can feel impossible to move toward your dreams. You know exactly what you want to do, but there are endless obstacles in your way. There is so much competition – thousands or millions of people competing to do exactly what you want to do, reports Inc.  How do you get out of the rat race? How ... Read More »

How to Use Your Time Wisely by Prioritizing Your Goals

Many executives race from meeting to meeting or crisis to crisis without giving much thought to the rationale for their hectic schedules. They spend too little time on activities that support their highest goals and often report a serious mismatch between priorities and time allocations, reports Entrepreneur. Think carefully about why you are engaging in any ... Read More »

Intuition Is The Highest Form Of Intelligence

Intuition, argues Gerd Gigerenzer, a director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, is less about suddenly "knowing" the right answer and more about instinctively understanding what information is unimportant and can thus be discarded, reports Forbes. Gigerenzer, author of the book Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, says that he is both intuitive and rational. "In ... Read More »

This 1 Problem-Solving Behavior Sets Self-Made Billionaires Apart

Although they're different in several ways, self-made billionaires like Bill Gates, Donald Trump, and Elon Musk share the skill of champion problem-solving. Leaders who have made most, or all, of their own wealth tend to share one habit when it comes to creating change–and it's not just taking on the big challenge in the first place. It's a commitment technique ... Read More »

How to Triple Your Sales by Knowing Exactly Whom You're Dealing With

Treating people the way you want to be treated is the wrong way to do business — at least if you are in sales, reports Entrepreneur. Now, that phrase may bring you up short. But just think about this a moment . . . "You never want to treat prospects the way you want to be treated. You ... Read More »

6 Ways To Position Yourself For A Promotion

So you’ve busted your butt for two years and counting, but you’re still sitting in the same position where you started. Sure, you like your job (and you’re good at it, if you do say so yourself), but you’re hungry for growth and pining for a promotion. Is jumping ship the only way to advance? The ... Read More »

A Simple Equation to Create a Healthy Culture

Whether you acknowledge it or not, your company's culture is its vitality, reports Inc. An overwhelming amount of CEOs and HR leaders now recognize culture as a key driver of employee's behavior, business innovation, and customer service. In Deloitte's 2016 Global Human Capital Trends survey, 82 percent of respondents indicated that culture is a competitive advantage. It's ... Read More »

3 Strategies for Projecting Success and Confidence as a Leader

An old friend called me yesterday. We hadn't spoken in a while, and when I asked him about his job, he said, "I can't believe the idiots I have to put up with at the office." "Well," I responded without too much thought, "you can either put up with all of the extra headaches that ... Read More »

The Five Secret Steps To Building Resilience

My sister recently sent me the obituary Dr. George Diaz, our next-door neighbor from our childhood in Florida. Dr. Diaz was our dentist and it always seemed as if he was always there at the right moments I needed him in my life. He was available to perform emergency surgery on my sixth birthday when ... Read More »
Automotive Industry News

American Auto Guardian, Inc. (“AAGI”) Unveils New Branding

SCHAUMBURG, Ill.– American Auto Guardian, Inc. (“AAGI”) has unveiled a new corporate brand, new logos for existing products, and an innovative new exclusionary vehicle service contract. AAGI’s 2017 Product Launch included a three-day event in Scottsdale, Arizona, which commemorated 20 years in business by introducing select agents to a bold new look for the company ... Read More »

Wise F&I has Partnered with Darwin Automotive

ST. LOUIS – Wise F&I provides a full suite of voluntary protection products to the automotive finance and insurance market. Wise F&I products are now available through Darwin Automotive’s Prescriptive F&I Selling Software. This partnership provides automotive retailers utilizing Darwin access to all of Wise F&I products, including: GAPWise, WiseCARE, TIREWise, WiseTVP, THEFTWise and KEYWise. Darwin ... Read More »

EFG Companies Launches Enhanced Lifetime Wrap Coverage to Complement Drive Forever Worry Free Limited Lifetime Powertrain Protection

DALLAS – EFG Companies, the innovator behind the award-winning Hyundai Assurance program, today announced the launch of the Drive Forever Worry Free Lifetime Wrap, an enhancement to the company’s market-differentiating limited powertrain protection. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2lUkufY. The Drive Forever Lifetime Wrap is designed to help dealers close more deals at a higher gross with improved ... Read More »

Compliance Auditing Firm TDC Forms Strategic Partnership With Accelerated Service International

NEW YORK — Total Dealer Compliance (TDC), a car dealership compliance-auditing firm with an E-Learning Platform, today announced it has entered into a strategic partnership with Accelerated Service International (ASI), the industry leader that provides innovative products and superior service to its customers, dealers and agents, to mitigate the risks a car dealer faces from regulators. ... Read More »

CNA National Distributes Over $40 Million for Dealer Participation Plans for 2016

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—CNA National Warranty Corporation (CNAN) returned over $40 million to automobile dealers across the U.S. through its various participation plans for 2016. This brings its inception-to-date total to more than $424 million. “Over the past five years, we’ve seen a significant increase in returns,” says Joe Becker, president and chief executive officer. “This performance ... Read More »

F&I Digital Media Awards Now Accepting Entries

TORRANCE, Calif. — Entries are now being accepted for the 2017 F&I Digital Media Awards, organizers announced Friday. The submission deadline is Friday, March 31, 2017. The program, which was designed to honor companies and individuals who are driving innovation in the digital F&I space, is presented by F&I and Showroom and sponsored by F&I Express. It is comprised ... Read More »

Sonic Reports Recordbreaking Fourth Quarter

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Sonic Automotive Inc. reported a series of highwater marks for pre-owned sales, F&I gross profit and fixed ops gross profit in the fourth quarter of 2016. In a Feb. 21 press release and investor call, executives with the nation’s fourth-largest auto retailer said those gains, coupled with a strong December, overshadowed losses in new- ... Read More »

Randy Henrick Joins Mosaic Compliance Services

TAMPA, Fla. — Attorney and compliance expert William Randolph “Randy” Henrick has joined Mosaic Compliance Services LLC as vice president and compliance counsel, the company announced. Mosaic’s cofounder and president, attorney James S. “Jim” Ganther, said he expects “great things” from Henrick, who joins the company with more than 20 years of experience in the ... Read More »

National Auto Care names Steve Verney as Chief Financial Officer

WESTERVILLE, Ohio – National Auto Care today announced the appointment of Steve Verney as the company’s Chief Financial Officer, leading the finance, accounting and reinsurance teams. In this new role, he will work to help National Auto Care amplify its recent profitable growth and build an even stronger foundation for the next level of success. ... Read More »

RoadVantage Appoints Mike Essig as Director of Risk Management

AUSTIN – RoadVantage, the fastest-growing provider of F&I programs for the automotive industry, today announced that Mike Essig has joined the company in the role of Director of Risk Management. Essig joins RoadVantage with 13 years of industry experience, specializing in actuarial analysis and risk management, most recently as Risk Management Director and Actuary at CNA ... Read More »

AUL Corp. Announces Charitable Contributions

NAPA, Calif. – AUL Corp., the award-winning and leading warranty and vehicle service contract administrator in America just released a reporting of its recent contributions to charities. Since 2012, AUL Corp. has contributed $173,619.00 to 80 separate non-profit organizations. These organizations range from local Napa food banks and children’s charities. AUL has committed to continue this effort through 2017. In 2012, AUL ... Read More »

VisionMenu releases Remote F&I

FT WAYNE, Ind.- VisionMenu release Remote F&I- a remote Menu, Disclosure and Document signing web application that uses the vSignature technology, Patent-Pending, to control what a customer views on their smart phone and allows eSigning of any document. The remote tool gives the finance person 100% control over what is displayed on the customer smart ... Read More »
AE Featured Companies

Please click on a company logo to get more information.

American Auto Guardian, Inc. (AAGI)
American Guardian Warranty Services, Inc.
Arch Insurance
AUL
CSO
Dealers Assurance Company (DAC)
EcoProProducts
Endurance Dealer Services
Entire Car Protection (ECP)
F&I Administration Solutions
F&I Express
GWC Warranty
Impact Group
Innovative Aftermarket Systems (IAS)
Line 5
MaximTrak Technologies
National Auto Care
National Automotive Experts / NWAN
Old Republic Insured Automotive Services, Inc. (ORIAS)
Portfolio
Protective Asset Protection
Reahard & Associates
RoadVantage
Safe-Guard Products International
Simoniz USA
SouthwestRe
StoneEagle
The Warranty Group – Resource Agent Group/ First Extended
United Car Care (UCC)
Universal Lenders
Vanguard Dealer Services
Wise F&I