Channel | Highlights

Overview of Agent Summit 2015

Agent Summit is back and better than ever, and this year at an exciting new Las Vegas location, The Venetian Palazzo. As the industry’s only training and networking event created specifically for agents, this year’s show is positioned to explore the latest techniques, trends and challenges when it comes to selling to dealers, training, coaching and development, and technology. The goal of the show is to help agents better serve their dealer clients by improving their dealers’ F&I performance and growing profits. Agent Summit V will feature some of the top constituents of the industry as they zero-in on the most relevant issues to agents today.

For the third consecutive year, Agent Summit will launch with a pre-conference Reinsurance Symposium, beginning midday on Monday, March 2, 2015. A 12:30 p.m. meet-and-greet will be followed by sessions on controlled foreign corporations (CFCs) and non-controlled foreign corporations (NCFC). The Reinsurance Symposium will conclude at 3:00 p.m., shortly before the welcome address and the commencement of Agent Summit.

The advisory board has done a great deal of work putting together an agenda to address the topics most critical for agents. Sessions are jam packed with content to help agents be more productive and land more profitable deals. For the third consecutive year, Randy Crisorio, president and CEO, United Development Systems, has taken the lead as the advisory board chair.

Crisorio says he is looking forward to what promises to be a banner year for Agent Summit, which has grown in scope and attendance since the inaugural event in 2011. “Agent Summit has skyrocketed to the forefront of interest and attendance for agents and indirect providers alike,” says Crisorio, “We often hear of the valuable takeaways put into practice when returning home and that delivers a lot of satisfaction to the group assembling the content.”

This year’s advisory board includes Tony Fincannon, president, Dealer Associates; Arden Hetland, president, American Financial and Automotive Services; Bill Kelly, partner, Automotive Development Group; Lance LaCoe, president, Century Automotive; Sid Vance, partner, MAJ Consulting; and Tony Wanderon, CEO, National Auto Care.

“From the outset, we have recruited advisory board teams made up of talented and dedicated general agents and leading industry executives. This year’s board continues that tradition,” says David Gesualdo, show chair and publisher of Agent Entrepreneur and F&I and Showroom.

Day One

Day one of Agent Summit begins at 3:30 pm, after the conclusion of the Reinsurance Symposium. The opening sessions will focus on business-growing strategies for selling to dealers. Jimmy Atkinson, COO, AUL Corporation will feature in the first presentation, titled “SELLING TO DEALERS: A Winning Strategy for Closing More Business.” Atkinson has more than 30 years of industry experience and works daily with agents and dealers across the country to create unique solutions that keep pace with the rapidly changing marketplace. His presentation will highlight critical steps in the process for creating opportunities and making more deals happen. Atkinson will also look at the key aspects of product penetration and dealer development.

The next session, titled “SELLING TO DEALERS: Make Your Pitch Count,” takes attendees to ground zero for a close up look at the battle plans for winning the war and unseating the incumbent when it comes to partnering with dealers. A panel of seasoned industry veterans, including Dylan Doran, president, Western Fidelity Insured Services Inc.; Brian LoBaugh, partner, AutoGroup Services; David Neuenschwander, vice president, National Automotive Experts; and Joe Nuszkowski, division vice president, Protective Asset Protection; will share their expertise and insights on how to get the job done. Jay Sharpnack, national sales manager, CNA National, will keep things rolling as the session moderator.

“The F&I space is more competitive than ever, which puts a lot of pressure on the strong relationships that most agents have,” says Sharpnack, “Big Box companies continue to rely on processes, pricing, perception and scare tactics to get in the dealer’s door. Agents have to push themselves to prepare, work harder and smarter to know the tactics of these Big Box companies, and take a page out of their playbook to beat them at their own game. Dealers don’t necessarily buy what someone does, but why they do it. This session will drill down to the driving forces behind the most successful players in this space – good agents.”

Day Two

Tuesday brings a full day of informative sessions divided into three categories: training, coaching and development, and technology. Each topic will open with a featured speaker followed by a panel session.

Ron Reahard, president, Reahard & Associates Inc. is recognized in dealer and agency circles as a top trainer in the F&I segment. In his presentation “TRAINING: Training, Sir!” he will share his results-driven techniques and focus on strategies agents can use to expand upon the product-provider aspect of agency operations to become true business partners to their dealer clients.

In the training panel session, titled “TRAINING: Cashing In Through Training”, Jay Lawrence, field training director, National Auto Care, will lead an all-star cast of training authorities. They plan to drill down on topical themes as well as look to the needs of retail personnel in service, sales, desking and F&I management. Tony Dupaquier, director of F&I training, American Financial and Automotive Services; Gerry Gould, director of training, United Development Systems Inc.; Glen Tuscan, President, Dealer Commitment Services Inc.; and John Vecchioni, director of business development, United Car Care, make up the panel and represent the cream of the crop in training expertise.

Day Two will continue with Joe St. John, director of training for Innovative Aftermarket Systems (IAS), presenting his neuroscience-based coaching and development session. St. John will use brain science to demonstrate how behavior based coaching delivers greater effectiveness in the F&I office and more product sales for agents. He will address a “why” focused, behavior-driven model that seeks to elevate skill and effectiveness at each and every opportunity. St. John’s scientific approach will be presented in his session titled “COACHING & DEVELOPMENT: Xs & Os – Brain Science for Better Coaching.” Agents should come away with with new strategies that yield increased sales and PVR.

“To remain relevant and prove oneself indispensable to one’s dealer clients, agents must stay up to date with new theories and methods,” said David Gesualdo, show chair and publisher of Agent Entrepreneur and F&I and Showroom. “Joe’s presentation is guaranteed to captivate our attendees and, hopefully, pay dividends for their dealer clients.”

A line up of peak performers, including Adam Barocio, president, Premier F and I Development LLC; Doug Dingman, owner, PRO Consulting LLC; David Frisbie, owner, Profit Portfolio Inc.; and Michael Marchione, director of training, Interstate National, will follow in the coaching and development panel session titled “COACHING AND DEVELOPMENT: Cashing in Through Training.” Jim Schaffer, vice president, Northeast Dealer Services, will act as moderator to the panel. As people, processes and products hold their place as constants in the formula for maximum profitability, this panel will look at growth from the inside as well as the needs of retail personnel in service, sales, desking and F&I Management. They will offer unique solutions for overcoming everyday obstacles that stand in the way of premiere F&I performance on the front lines.

The final two sessions for the day will look at the latest technology impacting the F&I office. First, Jim Maxim Jr., president, MaximTrak, will show agents how to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology offerings. His presentation, titled “TECHNOLOGY: The Technology-Driven Agent,” will touch on several topics that address the benefits of embracing technology in agency operations, including what to look for in an IT partner, using advanced tools to drive sales, and how to anticipate potential threats. Maxim will share innovative solutions to streamline operations and make life as an agent easier and more profitable.

Matt Nowicki, vice president, Innovative Aftermarket Systems (IAS), will moderate the panel session on technology, “TECHNOLOGY: The Technology-Driven Agent.” This group of technology providers and F&I agencies includes Brent Allen, president, StoneEagle; Steven Jameson, Director of Sales and Marketing, Dealer Resources Inc.; Randy Pazik, president and owner, Accelerated Profit Technologies; and Mark Thorpe, founder and president, The Impact Group. They will examine the various decades-old menu styles and tracking systems still employed in today’s marketplace. Nowicki will challenge the panel on the debate of menu effectiveness and the variety of available tracking metrics. Attendees are sure to leave this session armed with an understanding of best – and worst – options in technology for the F&I office.

A Third Day for Agency Principals Only

In response to the overwhelmingly positive feedback from Agent Summit 2014, a bonus third day designed exclusively for agency principals will once again conclude the summit. This specialized session will focus on the business operations involved in successfully operating an agency. The morning will get started in high gear with an agency principals only breakfast and roundtable discussion. Throughout the morning session, giveaway winners for the Tissot Sailing Touch, Luminox Deep Dive, and Rolex Explorer II will be announced.

“I am truly excited about this year’s Summit for a variety of reasons” says Crisorio, “First, the Venetian Palazzo property is awesome and I can see group Gondola rides taking place once the Summit heats up. But really – the speaker line up is pure energy and with business being as good as it is, we need to employ every tool in our box to charge ahead. The delivery of content is sure to light the fuse and bolster our opportunities to cash in this year.”