F&I Training Needs a Reboot
F&I Training Needs a Reboot.
When it comes to training your newer F&I managers, who do you trust to do it?
Senior managers? Your Director? Or do you offload it to your F&I provider through their field trainers or enroll new hires in their F&I ‘school’?
After all, F&I is typically the most important profit center in any dealership…you can’t risk poorly trained and unethical people in the box.
But…there may be a good argument to be made for simply doing it yourself.
Before you think ‘This is crazy…our provider has been handling our training for decades now. Why would I change what’s been working?’, there are a few things to keep in mind about the older way of handling training for F&I.
The Old F&I Training Model….
Dealerships would hire new F&I managers that may have had little to no experience and would rely on their providers to handle the training. A new manager (s) would have field trainers come in and conduct a week or so long program to get them up-to-speed on everything from sales tactics to handling objections and product knowledge.
Often F&I providers would almost make this a mandatory part of doing business with them, implying that the new managers would not be as successful as they could be without their specific training. We’ll get back to that in a minute…
The other model was for dealerships to spend a lot of money to send their new F&I managers out to offsite training sponsored by their providers. Transportation, hotel, meals, training fee, etc.
Onboard a handful of new F&I managers over the course of a year and that can be a bit much.
This reliance on provider-sponsored training has been around for decades and has become a consistent source of revenue for these companies. And dealers see it as a necessary expense to help keep their F&I managers trained and earning a high PVR.
A Better Way for a New Generation of F&I
Dealers are starting to see that the best and most direct training is right under their noses. Senior managers and Directors are often the best teachers.
Why? They know your local clients the best and they have their finger on the pulse of the dealership in a general sense. They already know how your backoffice wants the dealer folder to be submitted and knows what sells best in your market.
They are also trusted, successful, and already on the payroll. And that speaks to possibly the biggest issue…you don’t have to pay thousands extra for outside training.
The outdated notion that ONLY provider-led training is the best way to guarantee F&I success is misguided and short-sided. Flipping this responsibility to your existing F&I staff empowers them and helps them take responsibility for building a top-flight and cohesive team.
And when they succeed, it’s a source of pride for your existing staff.
Put Your Money Elsewhere
Dealers that are making this change in training know that the money they are saving can be put to good use in other areas of the dealership. And when you consider how expensive it is to send even two F&I managers a year to offsite training, that adds up.
Put that back into marketing. Add another lift to the service bay. Pay for a nice holiday party to help show your appreciation to the staff for a great year.
You get the picture.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ll look at other benefits of separating training from F&I administration later this month.
If you can’t wait, send us an email here to find out more about how much more you could be adding to the bottom line in F&I by embracing a new way of looking at training. We can’t wait to talk to you….
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