Choosing GI Bill Approved Schools and Pursuing F&I Management

After completing their service in the military, veterans often want to enter the workforce in order to stay productive and bring home extra income. If you have recently been discharged from the army and you are looking for a new career path, a career in automotive finance and insurance management can be a great option. Not only can you receive the training you need for a career in this field quickly and easily, but you may even be able to go to school for free thanks to the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

What Is the Post-9/11 GI Bill?

The Post 9/11 GI Bill is designed to provide educational benefits to individuals who served in the US military following 9/11. The bill offers funds that can be used to cover a variety of expenses, including tuition and other related fees.

How to Qualify

You may qualify for educational benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill if you served on active duty for at least 90 days after September 10, 2001. You must have also been honorably discharged from the army. Alternatively, it is also possible to qualify for benefits under this bill if you served for at least 30 days after September 10, 2001, and were discharged because of a service-connected disability. These benefits may be available to you, or they may be transferred to a spouse or child.

What it Covers

If you meet the qualifications to receive benefits through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you may be able to use these benefits to pay for your tuition, housing and books. In some cases, the cost of relocation may even be covered if you have to move in order to attend school. Your monthly housing allowance will be determined based on your chosen school’s zip code. Your book stipend will be calculated based on the number of credit hours you take, with a maximum stipend of $1,000 per year. To qualify for relocation benefits, you must meet specific qualifications with regard to your current location and the location of your institution.

The amount of tuition and other fees that may be covered depends on the time you spent in the army. If you served for at least 36 consecutive months, 100 percent of your tuition will be covered. Shorter periods of service qualify for reduced payments. For example, if you spent only 90 days in the service, the Post-9/11 GI Bill will cover 40 percent of your qualifying fees.

Pursuing F&I Management at the Automotive Dealership Institute

As a veteran with access to Post-9/11 GI benefits, you have a variety of career options. However, one of the best options available is a career in F&I management. F&I managers are responsible for handling the financing and insurance needs of customers at auto dealerships. When a customer wants to purchase a vehicle, you will process all of the financing paperwork to help the customer qualify for the necessary loan. You will also be responsible for offering specific products available from the dealership, such as extended service contracts and other services.

Careers in this field are both exciting and lucrative. The auto dealership industry has been growing rapidly in recent years, and car sales are expected to increase in the future. When working as an F&I manager in this booming industry, you will typically earn a combination of salary and commission payments, allowing you to bring home a sizable income if you are successful.

Why Study at the Automotive Dealership Institute?

Working as an F&I manager requires a solid base of knowledge and a distinctive skill set. To give yourself the best chance of success in this industry, you need to get a specialized education before you apply for your first position.

Automotive Dealership Institute is the nation’s only licensed F&I school. This school has been in operation for more than three decades, training countless individuals to work as F&I managers in auto dealerships all across the United States. If you choose to study at our institution, you will receive training from experienced professionals who know what it takes to be successful in F&I. With our program, you can graduate in as little as four weeks with the background you need to enter the field and begin working immediately. Automotive Dealership Institute also offers job placement services. In fact, over 90 percent of our graduates are able to find positions in F&I management within 90 days of graduating from the program.

Automotive Dealership Institute and the Post-9/11 GI Bill

Automotive Dealership Institute is an approved school under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which means that military veterans who meet the requirements can qualify for a free education at our institution using this bill. We even have a dedicated VA liaison who can help you access the benefits you deserve and begin your education immediately. If you are interested in learning more about enrolling in our F&I program using the benefits available under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, please contact Automotive Dealership Institute today to get started.

Personality or Sales Ability: Is Either More Important for F&I Success?

When it comes to success in the F&I industry, professionals need to learn how to strike a delicate balance. They must create deals that interest their clients, and offer them value, while still building revenue for the dealership. They also must understand how to speak with customers, engaging them without sounding so pushy that they turn the customer off to the deal.

Finding this balance requires carefully developing the right skills and sales ability as well as having the right personality. It is common for people new to the profession to wonder which might be more important: personality or skills? We wanted to explore with you the important role that each trait plays for successful F&I professionals.

The Right Personality

An F&I professional must be someone that the prospective customer can trust. Salespeople who are personable and know how to develop connections with people quickly tend to thrive in this field. Conversely, those who have trouble engaging with others and do not know how to make an emotional connection often end up losing customers.

An important trait for any successful F&I professional is empathy. They must understand what the customer wants to see and have a genuine desire to help them reach their goals. These professionals give customers confidence that they understand the problem and will help. They do not fall into the stereotypes of salespeople who are so fast-talking that they seem more concerned with making the sale than with helping the customer.

One of the biggest struggles here, however, is that these personality traits tend to be innate. People who understand how to build connections and communicate a genuine desire to help have these traits as a part of their personalities, they are not taught these skills. People who struggle in this area can read through examples and practice with others before speaking to customers, but they will have to work very hard to develop empathy for their clients.

The Important Sales Skills

Succeeding in the F&I industry, however, also requires nurturing important skills within the sales industry. As a new professional, you will need to know about disclosures, procedures, and drafting contracts. You will also need to know how to work efficiently with each step of the way to provide good service for the customers, which means you have to know these skills extremely well.

Through your F&I training and experience, you will also learn other important sales skills, including the types of questions or proposals that will turn the heads of prospective customers and how to answer their typical objections.

The Right Sales Professional Has Both

Those who succeed in the F&I industry know how to have the right balance of personality and skills. A professional who has all the by-the-book traits and understanding, who has been trained about contracts, but has a poor personality that turns customers off will not see good results. Similarly, a sales professional who has a great personality and knows how to interest people the moment they walk in the door, but is missing vital skills when it comes to trying to make a sale will similarly not succeed within the industry. Those who thrive will know how to nurture the right personality traits and remain up-to-date on the latest sales skills.

The Role of Proper Education and Training

Personality traits and natural sales skills, however, will never be as important as comprehensive training. Nurturing certain personality traits, such as tips for making connections with customers, can be practiced. Sales skills can be taught and mastered. Training, however, molds people into F&I professionals.

A good school will also help new professionals learn everything there is to know about the industry. Everything from learning how to interpret credit reports to building deals that appeal to both the customer and the business, should all play an important role in the training. Given the rise of technology within the industry, knowing how to use the various platforms and software will also make success significantly easier.

When it comes to F&I education, no school has the credentials of the Automotive Dealership Institute. As the only licensed and government-approved school in the USA, and an institution that has trained F&I professionals for dealerships across the country for over 30 years, there is no better place to learn the skills and nurture the personality traits needed to thrive within the industry.

The professionals who succeed in the F&I industry continue to be those who not only have the skills needed for the job, but also combine them with the right personality traits. The instructors at the Automotive Dealership Institute know what those new to the industry need to thrive in dealerships across the country. Those interested in entering the field should seek out the best training that will help them nurture their important personality traits while also supplying the skills needed to build an excellent career.

Ready to get started on the path to success in automotive F&I? Get in touch with our helpful advisors today!

The Past, Present and Future of F&I

The finance and insurance industry offers incredible potential for professionals who want to find steady employment with great salary potential. With room to grow and one of the highest salaries within the trade sector, it is no wonder that this field appeals to many.

Car sales, like many retail industries, are impacted by a number of various factors, including the state of the economy. Projections indicate, however, that the industry as a whole continues to be strong and provides a strong employment outlook for those willing to work through a rigorous training course.

The F&I Industry in the Past

Car buying just a few years ago was drastically different from today. To begin, the recession saw a number of major car brands — including Ford– take a big hit in their sales numbers.

Customers themselves were also regularly at a disadvantage. Without the benefit of the internet at their fingertips, they did not have as much flexibility as they do today in regard to researching financing options as well as the make and model of the car they wanted. Customers instead had to do their research at home, writing down what they remembered, and doing their best to buy cars without all the information in front of them. This resulted in customers who ended up buying cars that did not really suit their needs.

The F&I Industry Now

Over the past few years, we have seen strong numbers in car sales. The years 2015 to 2018 saw over 17 million in light vehicle sales, which created excellent job potential. Projections from The Center for Automotive Research also indicates that car sales will rise over the next few years, making now a great time for new professionals to get involved in the industry.

Customer perspectives have also changed. Customers now have access to information about different cars and financing options at their fingertips, often even while they are speaking with F&I professionals. This forces those in the field to be on their toes. They have to understand how to construct deals that appeal to customers while still providing value for the dealership.

In essence, the job of F&I professionals has certainly gotten harder over the past few years — customers are better educated and armed with information about financing alternatives. On the other hand, the F&I professionals who have been well-trained and understand how to provide value for customers and create deals that appeal to all parties have become even more valuable for dealerships. Moving forward, those interested in the F&I field will not want to cut corners when it comes time to learn the trade and prepare for the industry. The professionals who stand out will be the ones who have a strong educational background.

The F&I Industry in the Future

As the F&I industry moves forward, professionals will only have to contend even more with customers who have educated themselves and come prepared to sales conversations. Additionally, technology will play an even larger role in finance on the side of car dealerships. Technology continues to mature, and not only does it provide customers with valuable insight, but now it also helps those interested in making sales.

The new F&I professional will want to make sure that they understand the latest technology in the field. They will want to train with these programs and see how they can use them to provide better deals for the customer.

The job of the F&I professional will be to provide value for the customer. Customers have all their options in front of them. It will be the job of the car dealership to help them fill in gaps in their understanding and then guide them to see how particular deals will provide them with the best possible value.

Preparing for the Future of the F&I Industry

As technology and innovation continue the march forward, professionals who work in car dealerships will need to compete with the information and the assurance of increasingly informed customers. This provides both benefits and drawbacks for dealerships. Customers will have more information about other potential financing options, giving the F&I professionals more objections they will need to overcome. At the same time, technology will make it easier for professionals to better understand the needs of customers and provide them with deals that emphasize value. They will also have customers who are better informed about the cars they want to buy, which paves the way for happier customers.

Those interested in pursuing this field will want to make sure they receive their training and education from a reputable institute. They will want to have a firm grasp of finance, constructing deals, working with customers, and the technology needed to excel in the field.

This level of training is only available from the Automotive Dealership Institute. With over three decades of experience training F&I professionals and the nation’s only accredited school, the Automotive Dealership Institute is uniquely situated to provide the highest caliber training. It is the only school capable of accepting GI Benefits, which makes it even easier for veterans looking for an excellent career opportunity that will help them transition to civilian life.

The Automotive Dealership Institute not only provides students with the highest level of training, but they also ensure that students know how to use the latest technology. Following graduation, they also provide support for those interested in finding a job across the country.

Those interested in the F&I Industry know that it is a growing field with the potential to provide excellent salaries. As the industry continues to evolve, the professionals who are prepared will set themselves up for success moving forward.

Contact the Automotive Dealership Institute today for more information on our online and in-person programs.

Keeping a High Standard for F&I Compliance in Education

The automotive industry is one of the fastest growing and most consistent industries in the country, making it a great option for those who are still trying to determine what they want to do with their lives or those who are looking to make a career change. While not everyone is cut out to be a salesperson, that doesn’t mean you won’t have a future in the automotive industry. In fact, car dealerships are always in need of individuals who are qualified to work in the areas of finance and insurance. However, because of the strict regulations in this field, it’s essential for anyone who’s interested in making this their career to get the necessary training from the right school, so they are properly prepared to serve their employer well.

Stay on Top of Changes

While it’s necessary to work with a good trade school to learn the ins and outs of automotive finance and insurance, this won’t be the end of your learning endeavors. In fact, the rules and regulations in place in this area are constantly reviewed and can change on a regular basis to reflect the current market. You can get the certification you need from a trade school like the Automotive Dealership Institute, but you’ll need to be dedicated to continuing your education as long as you’re working in the field. Part of your job will be to stay on top of the changing trends and regulations in the industry, as well as to communicate that information to the other employees at your dealership in order to provide accurate details to those who are buying vehicles. One of the fastest ways to lose customers at a dealership is to relay inaccurate information at any point in the buying process. Keeping everyone properly trained will prevent this from happening.

Stay Compliant

Another essential factor in being an effective employee in the field of automotive finance and insurance is staying compliant with the laws and regulations put in place for everyone’s protection. While these regulations are primarily put in place to protect the customers and ensure they are confident in the vehicle they buy, as well as the financing to fund that purchase, they are also critical to protect the dealership as a whole. When you are hired for this job, the dealership is counting on you to maintain the appropriate compliance, so they can maintain a good reputation among their customers and continue to do business. Getting the proper training will help you achieve this important task.

Keep Up with Technology

Technology has become the foundation of much of the growth in many industries. The automotive finance and insurance industry is no different. You will find there is a lot of technology that can help make your job easier and ensure you are able to find the best possible deals for your customers. Without a firm knowledge of what these technologies are and how they can be used, you won’t be able to do your job as well. The Automotive Dealership Institute takes great pride in training their students using the newest technologies and best practices in the field, so they can go on to work in dealerships and offer the advantage to their own employers. This is another reason continuing education in this field is so essential, allowing you to stay on top of any rapidly changing technology. The faster you can implement these changes into your work processes, the more effective you will be at your job, helping more customers get behind the wheel of the vehicle they’ve always wanted.

Enjoy Excellent Earning Opportunities

One of the most important things individuals want to know before they choose a career field is what the earning potential is for that particular job. While it’s important to enjoy what you do, it’s also beneficial if you can find a career path that pays well too. When you’re looking at the finance and insurance aspect of the automotive industry, the earning potential is definitely there. However, since some of it may be based on your performance as a whole, it’s essential to make sure you get the proper training to set you up for the pay increases you deserve. Choosing a trade school with extensive experience in this industry is an absolute must. The Automotive Dealership Institute carries this distinction proudly. For more than 30 years, the trade school has prepared individuals for working in this industry, giving them the specialized education they need to become attractive candidates for these jobs. When dealerships are hiring individuals to fill this position, experience is a necessity. However, everyone has to start somewhere. If they receive applications from candidates who have been trained properly at a reputable trade school, they are far more likely to offer them the job. Because these individuals will have some experience through their education, they won’t need as much training and will be able to work more effectively in the field from the start.

If you’ve been thinking about starting a career in the automotive finance and insurance field, it’s time to look at the Automotive Dealership Institute. They offer an online program that is convenient, yet thorough, as well as in-person F&I training programs at their Scottsdale, AZ campus, providing individuals with the necessary training to work in this field and help their employer sell more cars while earning a positive reputation within their communities.

To learn more about F&I training at the Automotive Dealership Institute, get in touch with our helpful advisers today!

The 4 Pillars of Success in F&I Management

Have you been considering a career in automotive finance and insurance management? This can be a lucrative career if you get the right training from a trade school with a reputation of providing their students with the quality education they need. However, it’s about more than just getting the right training. The knowledge and experience is invaluable in your success, but because you’ll be working with people, there are some other pillars of success that must be present.

Be Passionate About Your Job

There’s no better way to sell the products and services you offer than to be truly passionate about them. People can tell if you’re bored with your job or don’t truly believe in what you’re trying to sell them. It’s critical to make sure you are passionate about as much of your job as you can be, so your customers will see that passion and feed off of it. If you’re excited about what you have to offer, they are more likely to be excited about taking advantage of the offers you present. One of the best ways to build the passion about what you do is to truly understand the process. This may mean going through the process yourself, paying attention to what you see as a flaw and learning what you can do better. After all, if you aren’t willing to go through the financing and insurance process on your own, why should anyone else want to? It will be your job to sell your customers on a number of options when they’re buying a car. Get to know each of them in detail, so you can easily explain what they do and why they are important for your customers to consider.

Help Your Customers

This may seem like an obvious answer when you’ll be helping them get the financing and insurance they need to purchase and operate the vehicle they want. However, it goes deeper than that. As mentioned, you will be responsible for cross selling a number of finance and insurance products as part of the car sales process. Not every customer will need all of them, so it’s essential to take a close look at each customer’s unique situation and determine which of the products or services will actually help them and which will be a waste of their money. A high customer satisfaction rating for a dealership depends heavily on being able to offer them the products and services they need and nothing more. Many people are buying a car on a tight budget and haven’t left a lot of room for additional things. It’s up to you to help them find the products or services they actually need to protect their investment and allow them to enjoy their new car. If your customers feel you are helping them, rather than simply pushing things on them, they will be more receptive to making the right choices.

Always Listen

While some customers may not be aware of what they need or even what they want, some will know exactly what they’re looking for. However, even those who aren’t aware are likely to have some limitations that will impact the vehicle they purchase and the options they choose, particularly in the area of finance and insurance. This is why it’s essential to really listen to what your customers are saying. Not all of them will be clear in what they’re saying, but if you learn to listen to how they say things, as well as pay attention to their body language when they say it, you are more likely to pick up on the little things that will allow you to help them get the car they need without causing financial stress. While many dealership employees will listen to customers at the start, it’s essential for those working in finance and insurance to continue listening throughout the process in order to provide the utmost in customer service.

Tell a Good Story

There’s a lot of waiting when it comes to financing a car and purchasing the various types of insurance needed. This means there’s plenty of time to talk about the options and more. One of the best ways to become a great salesperson, especially when you’re trying to convince someone why they need a product or service, is to be able to tell a great story. As you work with more customers, you will build an array of personal stories regarding how the various products and services you’re offering have actually helped people. Perhaps you sold an individual gap insurance for their used vehicle purchase, and they had issues that ended up paid for by the insurance. Learn how to tell that story so you can use it to show others why they should consider buying it for themselves. The better you can tell these stories and elicit an emotional response from your customers, the more likely they will be to see the benefit of each product or service you are presenting to them.

People skills are an essential element when you’re working in the automotive industry, not just for those working on the sales floor, but also for those who are working in the finance and insurance department. When paired with training from a reputable school like the Automotive Dealership Institute, these skills can help you better serve customers and become an effective player in your dealership team.

Contact our helpful advisers today to learn more about F&I training at ADI!