Where in the World Is Your Finance Penetration?

Way back in 1971, C.P. Snow wrote about technology in the New York Times. He said, “Technology… is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.”Many dealers are voicing that sentiment these days. Far too few have done anything about it. Some have learned to use computer software with skill. They use the apps on iPhones, iPads, and Blackberries. They have created an effective Web site. They use Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn for social networking. For others, these are merely words and technologies that test their ability to conduct both business and their private lives. Dealers, already feeling the brunt of the two-plus year recession and massive changes in the car industry, are becoming increasingly concerned about their ability to not only keep up, but to even remain in the playing field.Why should dealers bother with such things? Isn’t the old way good enough? Nope!Customers who always shopped on the lot are now shopping on the Internet before they take a step toward a dealership. They’ve researched every model in their price range and with the features they want. They’ve read a dozen articles about how to get the best deal. They’ve become more savvy than many sales people hired by dealerships; they know their credit score; they know where they can find the best price on insurance, window tinting, undercoating, you name it. Everything once sold to them by a finance officer from the menu is for sale on the Internet.Are you one of the dealerships where handwringing has become a daily pastime? Have you taken a close look at your bottom line? Have you noticed what would happen to your finance portfolio if you removed your sub-vent rated and nonprime customers? Have the numbers of your prime-financing customers dwindled to an all-time low? Perhaps you haven’t seen the drop in your captive financing yet, but beware, it’s coming just as surely as the first snowstorm.Snow was right, back in 1971! The Internet can either become a beacon for drawing in more satisfied customers to your dealership and vastly increase your bottom line, or it can stab you in the back. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy. How?Statistics show that 80% of car customers go online before they make the decision to buy and before they come to your dealership. What are they researching? Brands, models, features and, most of all, prices. Most of all, prices. The majority of Americans in today’s economy are deeply concerned about their budget. They have a fixed amount to spend on a car payment and all the other expenses involved in owning it. The vehicle they choose must fit within that fixed figure. They cannot afford to buy on whim or to make a careless mistake. They won’t take the chance of being bamboozled into buying things they don’t want, don’t need, and can’t afford by a fast-talking sales or finance mangerWhere do these savvy customers get their information? One of their first sources is Edmunds, the friendly consumer-shopping guide. Edmunds has never been and still isn’t the dealer’s friend. Edmunds does whatever is necessary to achieve the sale on vehicles and products from the Internet shopper… and then refers these buyer to specific retailers to obtain a fee! Banks. Finance companies. Insurance companies. You name it.Don’t let them get a strangle hold on your customers! If you haven’t already checked this article on Edmunds.com, perhaps you should do so right now!Confessions of an Auto Finance Manager In the Back Rooms of America’s Car Dealerships By Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor and Nick JamesIntroduction”Congratulations, you’re getting a great deal!” the car salesman says, pumping your hand. “Let’s sign the paperwork and you’ll be on your way in your new car!”At first you’re relieved – the negotiating is over. But then the salesman walks you down a back hallway to a stark, cramped office with “Finance and Insurance” on the door. Inside, a man in a suit sits behind the desk. He greets you with a faint smile on his face. An hour later you walk out in a daze: The whole deal was reworked, your monthly payment soared and you bought products you didn’t really want.What happened to your great deal?You just got hit by the “F&I Man,” also called the finance officer. He waits in the back of every dealership for unsuspecting customers so he can increase the profit for the dealership and boost his commission.In this four-part series, written by veteran auto finance manager Nick James, you will learn the F&I man’s tricks and how to avoid them. When you’re done, you’ll be ready to safely navigate this crucial part of the car buying process, and the F&I man will never work his “magic” on you again.- The Editors at Edmunds.comAre you still ushering your customers into the office of your “F&I Man”? No? You have a Web site? You update it once a month? You have a tech-savvy employee who checks your e-mail messages every morning? BUT… how would you answer these questions?When your potential customers come to your Web site, what resources do you have available to steer them away from online financing? Do you have a quick reference guide for their buying the vehicle that fits their budget and your financing terms? Is the information presented in a complete, forthright and friendly manner? Does it enlist confidence and trust? Will readers feel they’d get a no-nonsense financing deal from you?If these online customers make a call to ask a few questions, does your finance manager answer them, or resort to the former game of “I can only reveal those options when you come in for an interview”? Does he or she become discouraged by the process of reviewing transactions over the phone? Does your Internet manager have direct access to your finance manager at all times; avoid posting rates and product pricing on your Web site; work well with your sales and finance departments? Have you utilized the I-chat technology now readily available to instantly answer your customers’ finance questions? How many phone calls to your finance department go unanswered on a daily basis? How are online customer calls being handled in your F&I office?Reducing your finance penetration will not only effect the overall performance of your dealership, but will negatively effective your reinsurance investment. If your customers are financing with someone else, they could also be buying their other products. Take a long and serious look at the insurance products you sell, the agent who works with you, and the changes that must be made to keep you competitive with the technology available to all your customers. You must remain competitive in products offered, their quality, and their prices. Should you be considering a new partner?What new and creative processes are you providing your current and potential customers within your Web site? Have you considered presenting your menu as a virtual finance manager? Do you have WebEx with a preloaded menu available for review with your customers whether they are onsite in your finance office or sitting in the comfort of their home? Why not?An upfront sales approach is the best way to reestablish a thriving business in today’s technological world. Teenagers and college students are facile in the use of every conceivable tool involving the information highway. They are your future customers. They will find Edmunds and every comparable site and use the information to their advantage. Provide them with a dozen reasons to buy their vehicle and products from your dealership. Ensure them that financing their dream car with you is the only sensible choice.Although computer use and Internet technology has been around for several decades, it has taken a giant leap in recent years as more and more consumers realize they can save themselves time and money by letting their fingers do the walking. Another great American journalist, Sydney J. Harris, who wrote for the Chicago Daily News and later the Chicago Sun-Times, died in the late 80s; but, he was savvy about where technology would take us. He said, “The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.”We’ve reached that point. Where in the world is your finance penetration? It’s time to find out! Do it… today.

HR Departments Should Use Online Business English Courses for Corporate Training

Why do I say that corporate Human Resource Departments should use online Business English courses for corporate training? An Online Business English teaching website using Skype or a virtual classroom can be useful for developing their employees and increasing their competitiveness. There are also some other very good reasons.One reason is that there is a trend towards using more online learning courses in the corporate world. There must be some good reasons for corporations to be doing this. These online courses can be more flexible in timing, number of attendees, etc. They can be more effective due to having one to one training or smaller groups (not as costly so no need to have large classes to reduce the cost per person). Thus, an online course will take less money out of the HR training budget, or it will allow more people to be trained with the same amount of money.Why online courses?They can be cost effective. There will be no needed airfare costs to bring in a trainer, or to send the students to the location, and also there will be no lodging and food costs. A classroom may not be needed for the students to access the internet. With a virtual classroom it is just like a classroom: there is a whiteboard that can be used by both the students and teacher, the teacher can show videos, the class can review word documents, excel files, and PowerPoint presentations. Many of the virtual classrooms can have students online at one time from five different locations, so there may be no need to have a physical classroom for the students to take the online course. As well, because of the lower cost, the course can be given to fewer students and still be cost effective. The money saved by using online courses can be used to give more courses to the employees.If the HR departments and corporations are doing online training courses then why not online Business English courses? As shown above, online courses can have significant cost savings for companies. These can be used to upgrade and improve the English of the non-native English speakers in your corporation that have to deal in English in the business world. The courses can be customized to suit the needs of the company and the students. With fewer students needed to make the courses cost effective they can be even more customized for the students.Why online Business English courses?They can improve international communications for sales and business people. Employees, especially sales people, will be better able to give presentations. Employee will be more comfortable in business situations. There will be fewer communication problems with clients and suppliers. These courses can be targeted to an individual’s problem areas.What courses can be taken?There are many business English courses that you can take. For example Business English Courses: English Job interviews, Business Correspondence, Presentations in English, Writing, Resume Writing, and Business English, Negotiation, Meetings, Telephoning, Socializing, and other similar courses. There are many online English and Business English courses, some which use Skype and others that use a virtual classroom providing lessons. A virtual classroom will have an on screen whiteboard on which both the student and teacher can write and draw, be able to show Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, and be able to show YouTube videos during the class.What are the benefits to the company?The benefits to the company are many. Foreign companies can improve the English of local hires since most communication will probably be in English. Local companies can improve communications with foreign clients and suppliers. Your employees will be happier because they will be more comfortable talking with clients or suppliers in English. The clients and suppliers will be happier because there will be fewer problems caused by miscommunication. Online courses can be run with fewer students, so there will be a cost savings because the neither trainer nor the students need to be brought together.For headhunters and human resource recruiting companies their candidate will be more appealing to the client, and will be more marketable. They should do better in job interviews with the client and be more likely to be hired by a foreign or international company searching for local employees.In summary there are many benefits and savings from online Business English courses. Your employees will be more comfortable speaking English, there will be fewer communication problems, your sales presentations will go smoothly, and you will have lower training costs per employee. HR departments should use online Business English courses for all or part of their training needs if they are doing business internationally.

What Can You Do With A Degree In Nutrition?

Earning a degree focused in nutrition can have many potential career paths other than becoming a nutritionist. There are six main types of nutrition paths to choose from, including teaching nutrition, public health nutrition, nutrition consulting, clinical nutrition, food science, and food service management. Most nutrition jobs should fall within one of these categories.A degree in nutrition could help individuals land employment as a public health official, dietetic consultant, school food service director, quality control manager, food distributor, or wellness coordinator. Individuals may be employed through health maintenance organizations, school systems, food manufactures, wellness centers, and exercise and fitness centers. Government agencies also have the potential to employ those with degrees in nutrition. Some of the government agencies could include Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program, SNAP- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Department of Health, and U.S. Public Health Services.While earning a college degree, individuals will most likely be required to study a wide range of courses to gain a well-rounded education. Students could be expected to take courses related to nutrition, consisting of anatomy and physiology, introduction to food science, sociology, bacteriology, chemistry, and biochemistry. By completing an internship, individuals are able to gain hands on experience in the nutrition field before committing to a job or while still in school. Internships can serve as a great way to determine where your interests are, and if obtaining a career in this field is a good fit.It is important for individuals wanting to succeed in a career in nutrition to possess skills such as organization and planning, strong verbal and written communication, proficient math skills for weights and measures, and interest in the well-being and health of others. To be successful working in nutrition, individuals may be required to advise patients in practicing good nutrition, monitoring diet modifications, and assessing health plans. Those with a degree in nutrition should also be able to monitor food safety conditions and create menus for specific dietary needs.Depending on your place of employment and job description, individuals with a nutrition degree may be asked to create visuals aids and nutrition manuals that could be useful in teaching. Companies dealing with food service may hire nutrition graduates to create meal plans, ensure food safety, or develop new food products. Salary potential can depend on more than the actual job, but also education level, years of experience, and location of employment.