A job in finance and insurance management offers many advantages, including excellent employment opportunities across the nation, a lucrative salary, job security and much more. Although anyone can pursue a career in this field, possessing certain skills or having a background working in certain fields will make it easier for you to make the transition.
F&I Management Basics
F&I managers serve a distinct and important purpose within an auto dealership. As an F&I manager, you will be responsible for helping each customer obtain the financing needed to purchase a vehicle. You will also complete all the required documentation, and you will help with insurance needs. In addition, F&I managers promote and sell some of the dealership’s most lucrative products, including extended service contracts and other vehicle purchase add-ons.
Working as an F&I manager requires a wide variety of skills. Although you can learn many of these skills in an F&I management training program, having certain characteristics will make it much easier for you to adapt to your role.
Skills and Experience You Need for F&I Management
Some of the skills that will help you to be successful as an F&I manager include:
1. Experience with sales.
One of your primary responsibilities as an F&I manager is to sell the products your dealership offers. The more effectively you can sell these products, the more success you will enjoy as an F&I manager. In addition, because most dealerships will base your pay at least in part on commission, being a capable salesperson will increase your earnings.
While some people are naturally more persuasive and adept at sales, others will need to learn this skill and improve it over time. Having experience in a sales position and/or a natural affinity for sales can help you transition into a career as an F&I manager with less effort.
2. Customer service skills.
As an F&I manager, you will spend a large portion of your day interacting with customers. Understanding how to provide excellent customer service will make you much more effective in your job. If you have had any experience in a customer service role in the past, you will be able to translate these experiences into your new career.
3. Interpersonal skills.
As you are looking for financing, completing paperwork and discussing extra products, you will be working closely with customers. To build strong relationships with each customer, you will need superior interpersonal skills. Some people have these skills from birth, while others build them as they work in customer service positions. If you are someone who already possesses good interpersonal skills, you may have an easier time transitioning into a job in F&I management.
4. Finance and accounting skills.
As an F&I manager, you will be responsible for making a number of important calculations for each of your customers, including loan payment amounts, the cost of vehicle add-ons and more. These aspects of your job will be much easier if you already possess some talent and/or interest in mathematics.
5. Technology skills.
Modern F&I managers need to be able to use a variety of software programs and other tools to do their work on a daily basis. If you have experience using technology, adapting to this part of your job will be simpler. However, it is always possible to learn these skills even if you don’t have any experience with technology.
6. A strong work ethic.
A job in F&I management can be both rewarding and lucrative, but it requires a consistent effort and a strong commitment to your employer and your customers. If you have a solid work ethic, you are more likely to be successful when you begin work as an F&I manager.
Building the Skills You Need
Although possessing some of the skills and experience above can go a long way towards preparing you for a career in F&I management, there is no substitute for the knowledge and skills you can build when you attend a licensed training program. When you attend a training program, you will learn:
- The basics of auto financing and loan approval.
- How credit scores and reports work and how they are used to make financing decisions.
- Skills needed to use appropriate technologies efficiently.
- Math skills.
- Interpersonal and relationship-building skills.
- Sales skills.
The best F&I management training programs will not only require you to spend time learning the skill sets you need, but they will also give you the opportunity to practice your skills in a realistic environment so you can be well-prepared for your job.
F&I Management Training at Automotive Dealership Institute
Automotive Dealership Institute has been the nation’s only licensed Finance and Insurance Trade School for over 30 years. With our program, you can build all of the skills you need to be successful in an F&I management career. Although having certain background experience or personal characteristics can help you in this transition, our institution is proud to accept students from all walks of life.
When you choose to study F&I management with ADI, you can complete your entire program in as little as four weeks. ADI offers both in-classroom training and an online training option to meet the needs of different students. In addition, our institution offers job placement assistance across all 50 states. Our graduates benefit from an over 90 percent job placement success rate within the first 90 days after graduation. Specialized financing assistance is available for U.S. veterans.
If you are interested in a career as an F&I manager, the first step is to get the training you need. Whether you have a background in sales and an affinity for customer service or you are just entering the field, you can be successful as an F&I manager with the help of ADI’s training program. Please contact Automotive Dealership Institute today to learn more or to enroll in a program.