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It's the Money: Why F&I Manager Training Is Essential for a Car Dealership

Whether you’re a salesperson or a dealership, you can realize increased profits with F&I training.

Before the pandemic, the automobile industry was on a good run. For instance, analysts thought sales would dip in 2018. However, consumers surprised the industry by exceeding sales expectations significantly.

In that year, automotive sales surpassed $17 million. However, profit margins for automotive sales remain slim.

For this reason, dealerships hire financing and insurance (F&I) managers to boost profits. Automotive F&I manager training can help you to take your organization’s profits to the next level.

To learn more about why an F&I dealer training program is essential for a car dealership, read on.

Automobile Finance Manager Job Description

An F&I manager is a finance professional. They help customers access financing.

Most consumers can’t buy a new car out-of-pocket. Financing allows customers to buy the vehicle that they desire.

Dealers rely on features such as add-ons and financing to generate profit. In this capacity, finance and insurance (F&I) managers work directly with consumers. However, they’re also an important part of the dealership sales team.

F&I managers pull credit scores and fill out sales contracts. They also determine payoff amounts and perform title checks.

However, there’s one area where the role of an F&I manager is vitally important. F&I managers encourage the sale of additional products.

Different products increase monthly payments. In turn, those increased payments boost dealership revenues.

These products might include vehicle purchase add-ons. For instance, the finance manager might encourage a buyer to purchase an extended warranty.

They may also compel buyers to purchase paint protection. Also, they might encourage buyers to purchase gap insurance. Together, these products contribute to the dealership’s bottom line.

An F&I manager also serves as a go-between between customers, financing agencies, and the dealership. With each transaction, an F&I manager’s goal is to help consumers access financing.

At the same time, however, they also work to maximize dealership profits. The F&I manager arranges financing terms that will generate as much profit from interest as possible for the dealership to accomplish this objective.

A Day in F&I

With each sale, a dealership can make a profit in several ways. The first profit opportunity is the trade-in of the buyer’s current vehicle. The second is when the customer buys a new car.

The third profit opportunity is when the customer applies for financing. This opportunity is where the F&I manager adds value to the team.

The F&I manager works in tandem with the sales team. Together, the team members work to make the deal as profitable as possible for the dealership.

When customers buy a vehicle, they can use outside financing. Alternatively, they can seek funding at the dealership.

In-house financing represents a significant opportunity for generating revenue. The F&I manager’s role in generating in-house loans is substantial for any dealership.

The finance manager at a car dealership also helps customers with suboptimal credit access financing. These consumers pay more in interest rates. As a result, the dealership realizes more profit.

Many dealerships offer F&I managers commissions for arranging lucrative loans. The incentive encourages finance professionals to sell more profitable financing packages.

F&I for Today’s Selling Environment

In the current environment, it’s more important than ever for customers to feel safe. Overnight, contactless payments have become wildly popular.

Today, contactless payment is important for all businesses. However, it’s particularly critical for the automotive industry.

Dealerships that don’t offer this service can miss out on potential business. Consumers are more likely to do business with a dealership that does offer the service.

Many customers cannot pay for a vehicle with a credit or debit card. Nevertheless, contactless payment is still an important option.

Payment in the automotive industry is somewhat different compared to other retail spaces. However, contactless payment can still serve as a valuable incentive.

If you’re wondering about auto F&I manager jobs, analysts forecast a bright future for F&I managers. However, embracing contactless practices is key.

Contactless payment is no longer nice to offer. It’s quickly becoming a requirement.

As a result, dealerships are adjusting to a remote sales environment. Meanwhile, they’re learning to create a seamless sales process in this setting.

Today, dealerships must create a smooth experience from the time a customer visits a website until they sign on the digital dotted line. Now, F&I managers must use creativity and ingenuity to meet these demands.

Closing the Deal With Automotive F&I Manager Training

Today’s consumers are used to instant gratification during retail experiences. Dealerships were already moving toward emulating this experience, albeit slowly. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the need to provide this experience now.

Some dealerships are waiting to see how things unfold. Others, however, are charging headfirst into the new normal. These dealers are providing value-added services, such as digital interviews and other technological enhancements.

Accordingly, the F&I managers of today and tomorrow will need to find ways to inject profit into the remote buying experience. By embracing off-site customers, dealerships can fulfill the needs of today’s consumers. F&I school can teach you how to operate in this new environment.

Prepare for F&I Profits With a Trusted Partner

Now that you know more about automotive F&I manager training, you need a training organization with a track record for success.

The Automotive Training Network has helped to promote dealership success for more than three decades. Veteran dealership owners with experience in real-world automotive sales lead our organization. Our leadership serves as thought leaders in the automotive industry.

Our company has helped more than 12,000 dealerships across the nation improve company performance. We’re passionate about assisting dealerships in succeeding.

Contact an Automotive Training Network representative today at (480) 999-5055 or connect with us online to get started with the skills that you need to help your dealership excel beyond the competition.