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Your best F&I trainers may already be under your roof

Dealers are starting to see that the best and most direct training is right under their noses.

When it comes to training your newer F&I managers, who do you trust to do it?

Senior managers? Your Director? Or do you use your F&I provider through their field trainers or enroll new hires in their offsite ‘schools’?

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?’ Fair point but there are a few things to keep in mind about the older way of handling training for F&I.

Decades-Old Training Model is Costly

Many dealerships would hire new F&I managers that may have no experience and would rely on their providers to handle the training. A new manager 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.

The other model is 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.

That adds up fast.

Your Existing Staff Can Be the Best Teachers

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 back office 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 notion that ONLY provider-led training is the best way to guarantee F&I success is misguided. 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.

The Savings Can Make a Big Impact

Dealers that have already made this change 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’s a nice extra bit of profit that can help other critical areas of the dealership.

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.

No, it’s not earth-shattering money saved but it can help in other areas. And you have a staff of F&I managers that will feel that their position is even more important than before…as trainers to the next generation of F&I professionals.

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Kristine Cain
Kristine Cain
Kristine Cain is a contributing writer for CBT News. She has over 26 years of experience in the automotive industry specializing in F&I and B2B sales.

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