It is Not Just Money: Why Professional Training is Essential for Your Dealerships

professional training for dealerships

The advantages of F&I training or Finance and Insurance professional training for dealerships staff

Finance and Insurance (F&I) managers work directly with consumers, so their role is vitally important when it comes to understanding consumers’ needs, encouraging them to buy valuable products, and at the same time maximizing the dealership’s profit. Therefore, professional training for dealerships staff, is of utmost importance for dealer’s success.

Mistakes in the F&I department can cost you more than a sale. It could potentially impact customer satisfaction, loyalty, increase acquisition cost, and severely affect the dealership’s reputation.

Some of the advantages of professional training for dealership staff are:

  • Close more deals: The right person for F&I department can contribute significantly to grow your profitability and customer satisfaction. Proper training will help your staff interact with your customers effectively, understand their needs in a better way, and offer products and services to match their needs.
  • Improve customer satisfaction rate: A satisfied customer can become a brand advocate for your business. They cost less to serve and are typically willing to pay more than other customers. They often act as word-of-mouth marketers for your company and are highly likely to refer their friends, family, and acquaintances to your dealership. Win satisfaction, and profits will follow as night follows day.
  • Compliance: Federal and local laws change from time to time. Hence, professional training for your dealership staff could help them stay updated on the latest regulations and safeguard your business.

Therefore, it is critical to ensure that your staff is regularly trained in a professional manner.

Maintaining a high-performing F&I manager is crucial to your dealership’s bottom line and success in today’s changing environment. Therefore, hiring the right person to fill the role requires looking for specific personality traits.

The list of qualities of a successful F&I manager can be endless. However, efficient F&I managers have the right combination of three core qualities:

1. Intensely goal-driven

The F&I managers have the capability to boost your dealership profit. A lot of the F&I profits come from products such as vehicle service contracts, GAP waiver and insurance, pre-paid maintenance, glass protection, and tire and wheel coverage. The F&I manager must be aligned with the dealership’s goals and know their penetration benchmarks.

Distributing profits among valuable consumer add-ons helps create consumer peace of mind and allows dealerships meet consistent revenue goals. It would add up to attain revenue goals for the dealership. Having a goal-oriented approach would enable the managers perform better and increase profit.

Taking accountability for results is another major distinguishing character. Blaming poor results on outside entities such as the bank capping my deals, lack of support from sales personnel–the salesperson is undermining the sale of products, the product does not award good commission, would impact operations in the long run. Top performers find a way to rise above those excuses.

2. Empathy or customer-focused

When a customer enters your F&I office, do they feel like they are being “sold” or offered valuable options? Understanding customer needs and offering useful products is just one part. Another key step is sharing narratives about how the coverages being offered have protected other customers just like them. A real-world instance can help customers recognize the value of the products.

3. Compliant and highly ethical

An employee’s reservations towards ethics and integrity raise a big red flag. Your dealership cannot afford to lose its reputation due to negligence or ignorance in complying with finance and insurance regulations. Therefore, hiring the right personnel for your team is non-negotiable.

Now arises the big question: How would you precisely identify the right person for your F&I department?

The characteristics of the people you place on your team significantly influence the success of your dealership. A strategic personality evaluation could help achieve the objective of identifying the right person for your team. However, merely conducting personality tests would not suffice. Comprehending and decoding the individuals’ traits and finding the right fit for the role demand experience and expertise.

Furthermore, finding the suitable person and sharpening their skills through extensive F&I training will make a tremendous difference in your team’s performance. Comprehensive finance and insurance or F&I manager training should include document preparation, presenting loan and financing options to customers, state and federal compliance knowledge, training to sell ancillary products, identifying indications of customer receptivity, and psychological training to close the deals faster.

The right person for the role and proper training to enhance employee’s skills contribute to your dealership’s profitability. Additionally, personality assessment helps discover employee’s traits and motivation in determining if they would succeed in the F&I department and be trained appropriately to achieve sales goals and cultivate consumers’ goodwill with the transparency of process and prices.

The following chart shows the critical ingredients for the success of the dealership.

Benefits of data-based professional training and development for dealership staff

Whether Sales or F&I department, one of the core functions of your staff is to understand customers’ needs to serve them better. Similarly, the development of your employees should also be done based on their individual needs and traits. Taking a data-based approach to learning your employee’s potential and characteristics would help provide customized training. PRO Consulting specializes in training dealership staff based on data insights.

In terms of employee performance, the results of tailored training have been significantly higher than traditional training.

Retaining efficient employees is another major challenge that dealerships face.

The turnover rate costs dealers millions of dollars, and the current atmosphere is creating a revolving door of retail automotive talent. A COX Automotive staffing study shows, the sales consultants’ turnover rate is 67%, and F&I and other dealership roles are between 38% and 40%.

The stats demonstrate that dealers need to take an unbiased look at their hiring practices, compensation plan, and overall culture or risk of losing talent to other dealerships or industries.

On the whole, professional training for dealerships staff is key to overall success. Thus, the role that the “right person” plays in success is undeniable. The PRO Consulting team has helped auto dealers find the right fit for essential functions and train employees for significant improvements in productivity. Furthermore, our professional training for dealerships including comprehensive F&I and Sales training has shown proven results in raising employees’ efficiency, which in turn increases sales and profits. Contact us to get custom solutions to grow the profitability of your unique dealership.

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