F&I Articles, News & Information
Your source for automotive industry and F&I related articles, news, and information. Stay up-to-date with the latest news and information from ADI.

10 Tips to Being a Successful F&I Manager

Successful F&I managers know that they can always make improvements and constantly look for ways to become more efficient and effective. They know that every failure is an opportunity to learn how to succeed and they will learn from every interaction they have with a customer. The most successful F&I managers have a lot in common with each other, and these tips will help you step up your game and become the best manager possible.

Have Fun at Work

People feel much more comfortable interacting with you if you are in a good mood. They will be more compelled to trust you and agree with you if you can make them laugh and find common ground. If you are bored, stressed, or frustrated, this will come through in your body language and facial expressions. Find ways to make your work fun not only for you, but for your customers, and you will notice the difference in your closing rate.

Recognize the Talent Around You

It is easy for pride to take hold when you meet a problem or challenge that is beyond your skills or knowledge. What can really help you is to utilize the talent that you have on your team and lean on other peoples’ strengths. Do not be afraid to take advice from other people or to look at a situation from someone else’s vantage point. One of your team members could present a ground-breaking idea that will transform your way of doing business in the future.

Help Others Succeed in Their Roles

When representatives are at odds with one another, it can have a negative impact on sales in general. If your sales representatives do not have the tools needed to generate leads and sales, you will have fewer opportunities for yourself. Lending a hand to other people on your team and showing those people that you want them to succeed will ultimately generate good karma for you over the long haul. Remember that if you help someone else make sales, it will generate sales for you as well.

Strive to Improve Regardless of Your Success

Successful F&I managers know that they can always do better, and they hold themselves accountable. Even when they had an easy close, they look over the paperwork at the end and run through the encounter in their mind to determine if there was something they could have done differently. Since no F&I manager has a 100% close rate, every single manager can improve. The effective ones know this and place a priority on personal development and learning.

Stay Positive Even When Times are Tough

If you are too aggressive with a customer, that person will feel the desperation in your tone and words. Some F&I managers may find themselves in a rut and then try to climb out of it by trying too hard with the customers they have. Successful F&I managers know that they will encounter slow sales periods, and they recognize that coming booms will right the ship for them. As long as you do not panic and simply remain positive and calm, the sales will follow.

Focus Less on Yourself

As stated above, the success of others will contribute to your own. If you ignore the needs of others on your team and always place your own success ahead of theirs, it will bring down morale. If you do not make a point of helping your sales representatives, they will leave you for greener pastures. You need to recognize the value of your team and place other people ahead of you to guarantee you will have a steady flow of opportunities for everyone.

Customers are keen to detect a greedy F&I manager as well. If you are focused on what you have to gain from each sale rather than sending the customer home happy, it will be noticed. This can result in lost sales, negative reviews, and fewer opportunities in the future if those customers tell their friends and families about a poor experience with your store.

Take Care of Your Office Staff

Accounting is an under-appreciated department at an automotive dealership. However, the people who work in accounting are also very crucial to your own success. Going the extra mile with them to make them feel appreciated will pay dividends. Making sure to be thankful is a good step, but consider ways to make their lives easier. Giving them rewards for good work, buying them lunch, and finding ways to recognize their achievements will make their lives easier, making yours easier in return.

Be Proud of What You Do

Innovations in technology and increased competition have transformed the automotive industry. Regardless of the opinions people have about car sales, things have changed over the last decade. Many of those changes have benefited employees and the customers that you serve. Promoting what you do is important to your success, so find ways to interact with the community.

Determine What You are Working For

Everyone has something that drives them. Successful F&I managers know that they are working for something. It could be that you want to provide a stable and secure life for your family, that you want to be able to afford to see the world, or that you have a charitable cause you want to get behind. Know what it is that you want to achieve and set goals for yourself so that you are driven to succeed.

Don’t Treat Working as Just a Job

You go to work every day with the same purpose in mind, but you shouldn’t just be working for the sake of work. F&I should be more than work and should be something that you enjoy doing. Dedicate yourself to what it is that you do for your team and customers, and you will find that your drive to be good at what you do alone is fueling improvements in your performance.

Want to Become an F&I Manager? Learn More About Our Training Program

People come to the Automotive Dealership Institute from all walks of life. It doesn’t matter whether you have any experience in the auto industry or not. As long as you have a good attitude, work well with people, and a drive to learn and improve, you can be a successful F&I manager. Fill out our online contact form or give us a call today at 877-998-7200 to learn more about our training program.

What Are the Roles and Responsibilities of an Automotive F&I Manager?

F&I stands for finance and insurance in the automotive industry. F&I managers usually work in a dealership’s F&I department (also sometimes referred to as a business office). It is through the F&I department that vehicle loans along with any optional financial or insurance add-ons are marketed to the dealership’s customers. Keep reading to learn more about the role of a dealership’s F&I department and the roles that an F&I manager plays in the dealership’s success.

How Important Is the F&I Department?

Without an F&I department or F&I manager, many auto lots and dealerships wouldn’t be successful. Just because someone agrees to buy a vehicle doesn’t necessarily mean they can pay the full asking price before driving the car off the lot. Because of this, and to protect the dealership’s best interest while also increasing incoming revenue, many auto lots offer financing resources; this financing often comes through third parties, such as banks and auto loan lenders. When dealerships connect customers with these banks and loan lenders, it becomes much more likely for a completed sale to take place. Ultimately, by offering F&I services, the dealership’s best interest is protected thanks to banks and auto lenders covering the cost of a purchased vehicle while still taking on the risk of not receiving the loan paid in full by the loan holder.

The success of most automotive dealerships depends on the F&I department and its managers. 

As the automotive dealership industry continues to evolve, so has the role of F&I managers. The sole responsibility of the F&I manager is to protect a dealer from financial harm when selling new or used inventory. To ensure this goal is met, the F&I manager must establish a vast network of financial resources that the dealership can tap into to help customers buy the vehicles they want. The F&I manager does much more than help secure financing resources for the dealer. He or she also leverages tactics to sell optional protective options to customers as a way to establish additional income streams for the dealer.

What Do Dealers Look for in F&I Managers?

It requires a vast knowledgebase of various roles to succeed in the primary role of an F&I manager. Many dealers require F&I managers to have at least two years of experience in automotive sales along with certification from an F&I training program. Most dealers also mandate F&I managers to have significant experience in managerial roles; however, some dealers do prefer filling F&I positions with someone who has no prior managerial experience but is ready to accept such a role. Two of the most pertinent skills needed for an F&I manager to be successful are clear communication and advanced organizational capabilities.

What Is the Most Important Skill Needed By an F&I Manager?

Dealers don’t want to hire F&I managers that they can’t trust. This is why honesty and integrity are cornerstones of the value of F&I managers. The tasks that F&I managers perform to be incredibly extensive and particularly demanding. With the overall purpose being to protect the dealership, including its owners, from any legal issues, the role of the F&I manager becomes all the more important. To do this, F&I managers must always make sure that the customers and financial entities they work with are really who they claim to be.

If an F&I cannot clearly communicate with customers in such a way that they understand each and every detail of the contracts they sign with the dealer or financing agency, then a dealer will likely lose out on sales as well as face a higher risk of financial loss.

Regular Job Duties of an F&I Manager

Most F&I managers spend their time performing multiple tasks throughout the workday. Much time is typically spend providing thorough explanations to customers regarding the protection programs offered by the dealer (these programs are usually offered through vehicle service contracts). There’s also a lot of time explaining to customers what the APR and any finance charges will be if the customer qualifies for a loan. Very crucial to the manager’s role is the discussion of any disclosures that exist in the contract being signed by the dealer and customer and any involved financial entities.

When not interacting with customers, F&I managers spend their time building and maintaining relationships with various lending institutions and insurance vendors. These managers also take on the responsibility of creating and providing training to the sales team regarding the available lease and finance programs that can be mentioned when selling to a customer.

Also performed by the F&I manager is the task of making sure each and every sale is processed accurately. This requires F&I managers to study and stay up to date on the latest technology and security practices used when processing a deal.

How to Become an F&I Manager?

To become an F&I manager, a person can greatly benefit from going to college and earning a business degree. However, many dealerships don’t necessarily require a formal degree. Instead, they want to see managerial experience and impeccable interpersonal and communication skills in the F&I managers they choose to hire. Because F&I managers have to interact with numerous parties on any given workday, they must exhibit superior and first-class customer service at all times. The dealer’s reputation is often determined by the role of the F&I manager. After all, it’s this manager who interacts with every party involved in a sale.

Do Dealers Train Their F&I Managers?

Ideally, dealerships should hire F&I managers with prior experience in the automotive dealership industry, but no experience isn’t always required. In fact, a lot of dealers prefer to hire F&I managers who have no prior experience. Why? Because this allows them to train the F&I managers according to the dealer’s unique and precise needs.

If you’re thinking about becoming an F&I manager, makes sure to check out the various degree and certification programs available. The more experience you have in F&I, the better as this allows you to expand your ability to offer dealers and customers the best service and options possible, which is a win-win for everyone.

 

image of person on computer for distance learning

The Benefits of Distance Learning For F & I Training in 2021

The entire world is learning to adjust to the global COVID-19 pandemic that began in early 2020. Many businesses and schools are shuttered and been moved online. Thanks to the advent of the Internet, many of us are still able to participate in learning and the workforce from the comfort of our own homes. We surely couldn’t have done this in the 90s. Shelter-in-place hasn’t been easy as we don’t have access to what we did before the pandemic. We miss dining out, going to concerts, having parties, and traveling, for example.

No one was prepared for the pandemic, and as a result, we have had to take some time to adjust to this “new normal”. At the Automotive Dealership Institute, we pride ourselves on not missing a beat. We’re still educating car salesmen all over the United States through our online program. We believe there are enormous benefits to online learning and for that reason, we’ve taken the time to compile a list of these benefits. Read on to learn more.

Flexibility: Learn Where and When You Want

No matter where you are, as long as you have an Internet connection, you can participate in online learning. This is fantastic because we live in a world that is constantly changing. Whether you like to wake up at the crack of dawn or stay up until the wee hours of the night, you set your own schedule and your own dress code. Participate in learning from the comfort of your own home, or when things reopen, go to a café or library to engage in learning. We’re sure you’ll really want to get out of the house as soon as you can!

Save Time: No More Commuting

The time it takes to commute to a training institute is better spent doing other things, like distance learning from home. You save an enormous amount of time by bypassing a brick and mortar institute for an online program that you can do at your convenience. No more commuting, parking, walking to the institute or stopping for gas on the way home. You set your own schedule, too, so there’s no rushing around like a maniac trying to make it to class on time. Online learning gives you more time and freedom to create a schedule that works for you, tweaking it as necessary. This is something you can’t do with in-person learning.

Gain More Retention: It’s a Fact

It’s proven that online learning provides more retention than a boring in-person lecture. Online learning is often filled with fun ways to prove a point, using videos, real-life scenarios, and more. Gaming is often a big component of eLearning, which makes learning fun and motivating. What’s more is when you’re tired and feel you’re not retaining anymore, you can stop and take a break or wait until the following day to resume.

Be Social: This is the Time

During shelter-in-place, people are finding creative ways to be social. An online learning community provides just that. Many of the curriculum developers for our F&I Training course provide ways for you to connect with other learners. This makes eLearning that much more fun and engaging. During this incredibly challenging time, many of us face insecurities, economically and socially. Isolation isn’t good for anyone and many of us are experiencing this at this time. To overcome feelings of isolation, it’s a good idea to socialize with others, even if it’s only online. This human contact can drastically improve a person’s mental outlook concerning the fallout from the pandemic, namely the lockdown.

Learn on the Go: It Couldn’t Be Easier

When you engage in eLearning, you can learn on the go. Listen to audio recordings in the car, prop up your mobile phone and listen to a lesson as you bake a cake, or relax on the couch with a new lesson instead of watching television. If you’re thinking you’re not great at multitasking, don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of learning on the go the more you do it. Practice makes perfect, as they say, and eLearning is something new you’ll have to adjust to if you’ve never done it before now.

Get Ahead of the Game

Right now, there isn’t much to do. We’re restricted in most cases when it comes to dining, entertainment, and traveling. Why not use this time to hit the ground running and get ahead of the game with an online F&I Training course in 2021, especially if you’re out of work or just looking for a new position. With this training course on your resume, you’re sure to impress the hiring manager and get offered a position or even a promotion.

Cost-Effective

Brick and mortar institutes of learning are simply more expensive than online schools. It costs a lot of money to run a campus and that cost is passed down to the students. Not only that, but print textbooks also cost a small fortune. Take these away and you are saving money by opting for eLearning over in-person learning since everything is done online. In some cases, such as at universities, there is a mixture of print and online learning materials, however, our course is done 100% online so there is no added cost for textbooks. Overall, the tuition for an online course is far cheaper than an in-person training program.

The pandemic will eventually end, and we’ll return to a new kind of normal. What will the world look like regarding this new normal? Masks, social distancing, and working from home may become our new norms. One thing is for certain, we can use this time to our advantage by enrolling in an F&I Training course with the Automotive Dealership Institute and reap all the benefits online learning provides. In fact, eLearning is now more popular than ever due to the pandemic, and users are starting to see all of its benefits as they continue to learn and grow.

image of handshake

Make Your F&I Department Customer-Friendly

If you ask anyone what their least favorite part of buying a new or used car is, it’s dealing with the financing and insurance process that comes along with buying a vehicle.  Many people are concerned with feeling pressured into something the don’t want or feeling like they have to make a fast decision. The good news is there are things you can do to eliminate some of that frustration and provide your customers with a friendlier experience. When you take the time to give your customers the best experience possible, chances are they will return to you when they need another vehicle and they may even recommend you to their family and friends in search of a vehicle. The following tips will help you make your automotive finance and insurance department more customer-friendly.

Get Rid of the Papers

The last thing your customers want to do after shopping for a vehicle is to sit down and go through a huge stack of papers. This process often makes individuals feel like they’re signing their life away, which can lead to frustration and even irritation, making the process more stressful for everyone involved. One of the best things you can do for your customers is to transition to a digital system, allowing your customers to view all of the necessary paperwork through an Internet-enabled device and signing digitally to save time. In fact, you can even complete credit checks through secure digital apps.

Not only will you be able to save your customers the time and energy of going through tedious paperwork, but you’ll be doing your part to save the environment. It’s also easier to create a digital filing system so you can find any paperwork easily at a future date. This greatly streamlines the F&I process, allowing you to focus more on providing your customers with the high level of service they deserve.

However, this doesn’t mean you should get rid of all the paperwork. Keeping brochures around allows your customers to learn more about the vehicle they are buying, as well as services your dealership offers while they wait for the results of their financing application. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Have a Conversation with Your Customers

The biggest mistake dealerships often make with their customers is going straight for the sales pitch. The last thing your customers want is to feel like you’re trying to hard sell them on products and services they feel they don’t need. Buying a vehicle is expensive as it is, the last thing people want to do is spend more money than they were planning by the time they leave the dealership. Many dealership push extended warranties, window tinting, VIN laser etching and more, leading customers to feel as if they are just a bank account to their customers.

The best way to combat this feeling with your customers is to start a genuine conversation with them. Instead of throwing a bunch of services and numbers at them, talk about the benefits of the various services and add-ons you have to offer and how it can help them in the long run. Let them ask questions and avoid making them feel like you’re using pressure tactics or that they have to buy these things. When provided with valid information about the add-ons and letting them know why they may want to consider it will allow them to process that information and make an informed decision for themselves.When you give your customers the time to process the information, they can ask any questions they may have and prioritize what they can afford to add on to the purchase price of their vehicle.

Train Your Staff

The most important part of making your F&I department more friendly for your customers is training your employees on the best way to handle customers and make them feel as if their input matters. While a dealership can offer this training to their employees on-site, the best way to handle it is to find a school that offers the professional training your F&I employees require. The Automotive Dealership Institute, for instance, is one of the only schools that offers a program like this, providing your employees with the reliable training they need to provide the best customer service experience to keep your customers coming back to you.

Without the proper training, your F&I staff could miss essential selling points, as well as important parts of the process that can leave your customers missing out. F&I training teaches your employees how to use a digital format, they will have a full menu in front of them so they can easily go through the process step by step to ensure nothing is overlooked in the process. Customers will enjoy a higher quality of service and feel confident you took all the steps necessary to complete the sale seamlessly.

Providing your customers with a seamless, stress-free and low-pressure sales process will help them feel confident when they buy a vehicle from you. Not only will they enjoy a better car-buying experience, but they’ll be far more likely to return to your dealership for service and when they’re ready to buy another vehicle. On top of that, it’s more likely they will recommend your dealership to their family and friends because of their positive experience.

If you’re looking for the best place to train your employees in the automotive F&I department, the Automotive Dealership Institute is your best option. We are proud to offer convenient courses that allow individuals to learn the best ways to serve your customers, including the use of digital technology to make the sales process go as smoothly as possible. After all, the faster you are able to get your customers on the road with their new vehicle, the happier they will be. Contact us today to talk about our course offerings and put your team on the fast track to success.

image of f&i manager with customer

3 Ways to Be a Better F&I Manager

There are steps you can take to separate yourself from the herd as an F&I manager. It’s really just a thin line between being average and being top-notch. And it all comes down to the process you incorporate on a daily basis. Topnotch F&I managers that rise to the top follow a proven formula that results in a collectively big difference. As the economy continues to struggle from the pandemic, customers will start to scrutinize purchases and think twice before buying.  This makes it critical for F&I managers to hone their skills in order to create more revenue for a dealership. Here’ 3 smart steps to take to become the best F&I manager for your dealership.

Get the Best Professional Training

Think about it. The best professional athletes train with the best coaches. Ivy league universities employ brilliant professors to teach at their schools. Following that line, F&I managers should train with a world-class F&I training program. It primes you for the real world. Our world-class training programs have years of automotive experience. The best F&I training is the most important decision that an aspiring and current F&I manager can make for their whole career. Training will help you be the best F&I manager and Automotive Dealership Institute is here to help!

Follow a Formula

You’re only as good as the procedure in your playbook. And you’ve got to follow the given procedure. A proven and repeatable formula will lead to success. If you don’t follow the procedure, you’ll wind up with a different result. It’s just like a recipe for a dish. Change some of the ingredients, and you’ll get a different dish. Often, it won’t taste that as good, and it’s just mediocre. The formula to follow is straightforward. A professional environment plus a proper explanation of benefits plus unbiased information equals a profit in the finance office. Don’t deviate from the formula, and you’ll yield good results.

Unbiased information is all about how the customer feels about your selling methods. Are you selling them or informing them? A proper explanation of benefits centers on the features and benefits of what you’re selling. Are you more focused on the features than the benefits for the customer? A benefit is how the product affects the customer. It’s benefits that sell not the features. People want to know what a product can do for them.

Keep it Professional and Positive

Maintain a Professional Environment and get rid of all the sales gimmicks. Ditch them all. The atmosphere of your dealership shouldn’t resemble that of a timeshare sale. The formula to use is unbiased information, proper explanation of benefits and a professional atmosphere.

Keep it positive. Both negativity and positivity are contagious. You’ll definitely want to go with positivity. Research has shown that happiness spreads like a virus. Infect your customers with happiness. Even if you’ve been down from a stroke of some bad luck, keep it positive with both colleagues and customers. Speak positive thoughts, uplift your coworkers and even take the sales team out for a good lunch. All of these actions will positively affect those around you. It will also affect you in your attitude.

So, how do you become the very best F&I manager? Get professional training to hone your craft, follow the proven formula and be a positive voice at work. Others will certainly notice the vibe.

 

F&I Manager Helping Car Sales during Covid

How Can F&I Help Support Successful Contactless Transactions?

Today, it’s more important than ever to help your customers feel safe when interacting with your business. That’s why contactless payments are rapidly growing in popularity. In fact, if you don’t offer this option to your customers, it could actually lead them to choose another company that does. This is important for all types of businesses, particularly automobile dealerships. Although many customers don’t necessarily pay via a credit or debit card, giving them the option of contactless payment is essential. The field of automotive finance and insurance is unique, but contactless payment options can still be a valuable asset. The following will show you how your finance and insurance department can make contactless transactions a successful commodity.

A Decline in Sales

Since the Covid-19 pandemic ground the economy practically to a halt, the automotive industry has seen a dramatic decline in automotive sales. There are many reasons for this, including the unwillingness of individuals to go out to interact with others, as well as job loss and other economic factors that made it difficult for individuals to even think about buying a new car. While 24 states allowed their dealerships to remain open, it created many challenges to try to keep the business afloat. About 23 states allow online or remote sales options, which have had a positive impact on car sales, but this is still only about half of the country. While contactless transactions may not be the wave of the future for the automotive industry, it’s evident they will be around for at least the near future as the country struggles to get the pandemic under control while maintaining the economy. Therefore, it’s a necessity for automotive dealerships to at least consider the option to give them a boost in their sales.

According to IHS Markit, the projected sales of cars around the world for 2020 is projected to be down 22 percent, selling just 70.3 million units in comparison to other years. They have projected car sales in the United States will fall overall to 26.6 percent, or about 12.5 million vehicles sold for the year. This is the lowest number since the previous market crash in 2010 where sales fell to just 11.6 million vehicles.

This Is Where F&I Can Step in with Contactless Transactions

One of the backbones of the automotive sales industry is the finance and insurance departments. These parts of a dealership ensure car buyers can get behind the wheel of the car they want for an affordable monthly price and they have the insurance needed to stay legal on the road. This is also where cash needs to change hands, which is why it’s essential for car dealerships to look into options for contactless payments. While many other industries entered the online marketplace years ago, car dealerships have had limited interactions with their customers through their websites. Auto dealership websites were typically places individuals could look at a dealer’s stock and decide which cars they were interested in before visiting the dealership. They still had to go in for a test drive and to file the paperwork for the required financing and insurance. This all needs to change given the current state of affairs in the country.

At the dealership, the main goal has always been to match car buyers with a vehicle that meets their needs and their budget. However, dealerships also have a reputation of hard selling or even upselling, which has sometimes left a bad taste in consumers’ mouths. The use of online sales can actually help overcome these perceptions, even if they didn’t apply to your dealership, even before the pandemic. Providing online access to calculators and financing options allows your buyers to not only find the vehicle they want to take home through your website, but also to complete many of the other necessary steps to complete the purchase. They can still be presented with all of the options, such as extended warranties, service contracts and more, all without the pressure they may feel if they’re sitting in the F&I office face-to-face with your professionals. It allows them to feel more in control. While they always could turn down these offer, it’s often more difficult to do so when you’re sitting in an office with a person.

With as many as 87% of car buyers feeling pressured at the car dealership, being able to offer these options online can be a valuable asset and can turn around this perception. This can turn into even more sales than you previously achieved, which will help give your auto dealership a much needed boost in a time when many industries are struggling to stay afloat and keep the economy running in a positive direction. Consumers won’t have to make an on-the-sport decision. They can research their options and take the time to select the ones they feel will be the most beneficial to not only their needs, but their budget as well. They will be much more likely to complete the sale when they feel more in control of the decision-making process.

Completing the Transaction Away from the Dealership

Another area where your finance and insurance department can truly shine is on the closing of the sale. How can you possibly complete a transaction like a car sale without in-person contact? While it’s true the consumer must still pick up the car or it needs to be delivered to their location, there are a lot of things your auto dealership can do to make this process fast and easy for your customers. With the ability to sign document digitally, consumers can now complete all of the paperwork they need to transfer ownership, register the vehicle, sign up for insurance and qualify for financing without having to leave their homes. Everything can be done through electronic forms with e-signatures that hold up legally just as well as signing a regular sheet of paper. Your staff will be able to review documents with consumers through an Internet connection and complete everything necessary to sign off on the sale without ever making physical contact with the buyer. However, you will need to take the time to set up a reliable, robust digital system to make it happen. Once that’s in place, the transaction process will become that much easier for everyone involved.

Even though this new normal is driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, the implications and benefits of moving to a digital platform for contactless transactions can have long-term effects on your business. Even when things return to a semblance of the old normal, you will still be able to offer these options to make the car buying process less stressful and smoother for your customers, which can go a long way toward giving your auto dealership the boost it needs to be successful going into the future. Your F&I employees will continue to have options to work at home as needed and consumers will be able to purchase their next car without the stress of dealing with a salesperson in person. Even after people are more willing to head out and interact with others, it’s a valuable option many people will continue to use and rely on. Not only will it help set customers at ease and help them feel more in control of their car buying decisions, but it will also help build a new level of trust in your car dealership that will last a lifetime.

Times have changed and it’s important for all industries, particularly car dealerships, to embrace those changes and ensure consumers have their needs met in a way that’s convenient and safe for them. Contactless transactions are an important part of this process. Whether individuals are simply wary of the effects of the pandemic or they never felt comfortable sitting in the F&I office at a dealership to complete the car-buying process, everyone will gain the benefits of contactless transactions and a smoother way of buying their next new vehicle.

Military and Veteran’s Education: Post-9/11 GI Bill® and Tuition Assistance

Those who take on the honor of serving in the military are rewarded well for their service and the sacrifices they make over the expanse of their time in the military. One of those rewards comes in the form of coverage for an education to prepare for a career after their time in the military is done. This comes in the form of the Post-9/11 GI Bill® , which can be used for approved educational institutions to get a degree or certificate to work in a particular field. One of the best options when you’re looking for a lucrative career that will continue to show high demand for years to come is to explore using the Post-9/11 GI Bill® for automotive F&I manager training. The field of automotive finance and insurance is constantly growing and has a continued high demand for qualified professionals who have the training necessary to do this job well. The following will explore why military personnel and veterans should consider seeking this certification through the Automotive Dealership Institute.

What ls the Post-9/11 GI Bill?

First and foremost, it’s essential to understand what the Post-9/11 GI Bill is and what it means for military personnel and veterans who have successfully completed their service. This bill provides funding for those individuals who qualify and are interested in pursuing an education during or after their time of service in preparation for a career in the civilian world. The good news is this bill hasn’t remained stagnant and has recently been updated to better suit the changing needs as the world of education changes. Updates to the bill made in 2009 increased the benefits military personnel and veterans would receive. For instance, the Yellow Ribbon Program means qualifying institutions may offer veterans and military personnel additional financial assistance, including a monthly housing allowance, a yearly books and supplies stipend and a one-time rural benefit payment.

Who Is Eligible?

Solely being a member of the US military doesn’t guarantee you will qualify for coverage under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. However, it isn’t difficult to qualify as long as you are in good standing or have been honorably discharged from the military. In general, you may qualify for coverage under this bill if you have at least 90 days of active service since September 11, 2001, you are still in active duty or you were honorably discharged after 30 days due to a service-related injury or illness. Purple Heart recipients are automatically eligible, and some part-time military members may also qualify. All benefits must be used within 15 years after service ends and can be used to pay up to 36 months of educational expenses.

Why Automotive Finance and Insurance?

If you’re thinking about the Post-9/11 GI Bill and F&I training, the Automotive Dealership Institute is one of the best institutions in the industry. Not only have we been the only licensed F&I training facility in the United States for the past 32 years, but we make it easy to get the education you need for the job. When it comes to training for the automotive finance and insurance industry, there are certain standards that must be upheld. Dealerships need to be sure the individuals they hire for this job are qualified to get the work done and will be able to do so without sacrificing the financial status of the dealership or the customers it serves. The Automotive Dealership Institute provides the necessary training to quickly, yet thoroughly, prepare individuals for work in this field, so they are ready to enter the workplace with little or no additional training needed. Courses take place either in person at our Scottsdale, AZ campus or online through our virtual live classroom platform over the course of four weeks with just 160 hours of coursework required. This makes it easy to get on the path to a lucrative career while making use of your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.

A Strong Industry to Join

There are many career options from which to choose, especially when you’re leaving the military and entering back into the civilian workforce. However, one of the most important factors individuals consider when they’re seeking a field to enter is whether they will easily be able to support their families. This can be a difficult task to undertake. The good news is there is a great option that doesn’t require an extensive education that will take years to complete. The automotive industry is strong and will continue to grow and expand in the coming years. Vehicles are always something people will need, even if they already have one. This doesn’t mean you have to settle into the life a salesperson to take advantage. Instead, you can work behind the scenes and help those who purchase a vehicle get the financing they need, as well as explore their insurance options. If you get the right certification to work in this field, you can expect to make an average of about $143,000 per year.

Start Your Training Today

Enrollment with the Automotive Dealership Institute is fast and easy, even when you intend to use your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to pay for your coursework. Not only do we offer the training you need in a format that takes only four weeks to complete, but we also offer job placement services after your graduation to help you find the ideal job in your area of the country or wherever else you would like to live. We have an over 90 percent job placement rate, giving our students peace of mind knowing they will graduate armed with the skills and knowledge they need to effectively work in this industry. While not all dealerships require this certification, you will boost your chances of getting a job in this field and making a higher salary as a result.

F&I Manager Training: Become an F&I Manager with No Experience

Becoming a finance and insurance manager provides you with an opportunity to earn a high salary while working in a position that is essential to the average auto dealership. In addition, because the auto industry continues to thrive, most finance and insurance managers enjoy ongoing job security and plenty of opportunities for growth. 

If you are considering a career in this field, you may wonder whether any experience is necessary to get a job. 

Can You Get an F&I Job with No Experience?

If you are trying to get a job as an F&I manager with no experience, you may face some difficulty. In general, dealerships are most interested in hiring individuals who are prepared to take on this role. However, you can overcome the issue of having no experience by completing a finance manager training program before you start looking for an F&I position. 

Why Is Finance Manager Training Necessary?

If you are hoping to be successful as an F&I manager, you will need a solid base of knowledge and a variety of skills.

You will have a range of responsibilities in your job. F&I managers are responsible for helping consumers secure the loan they need to be able to buy the vehicle they have chosen. This part of the process involves the ability to pull and interpret credit reports, perform careful calculations and explain the results to customers.

F&I managers must also explain and promote the extra products and services offered by the dealership, such as maintenance plans, paint protection, gap insurance and more. Not only must you be able to understand and explain these products, but you must also be able to establish rapport with customers to increase the odds of making sales. 

F&I managers have one of the most important positions within any dealership. They complete a significant amount of paperwork that must be accurate. They also spend a lot of time with customers, so people skills are essential. For these reasons, finance manager training is highly recommended for anyone who wants to be successful in this field. 

What to Expect in Finance Manager Training 

You can easily enter finance manager training with no experience. These programs are designed to help you learn all of the skills you need to work as an F&I manager, even if you have absolutely no background in the field. 
The exact experience you will have in finance manager training will depend on the program you choose.

Finance Manager Training at Automotive Dealership Institute 

At the Automotive Dealership Institute, you can complete your credentials in approximately four weeks. While involved in the program, you will learn everything you need to know in order to succeed in your career as an F&I manager. You will learn about the basics of the car sales process, how to interpret credit reports and how to make all the calculations necessary for the financing process. You will also learn how to interact with customers effectively and productively throughout the process.

Automotive Dealership Institute is committed to making sure that every graduate of our program has the experience they need to transition seamlessly into a career as an F&I manager. In order to accomplish this, we incorporate “real-world” practice situations into our programs. During our program, you will have a chance to practice your skills in realistic situations so you will be better prepared to begin your career. This means that even if you entered the program with no experience in the field of car sales, you will have relevant experience when you graduate.

Begin Your Journey to a New Career with ADI

With a career in F&I management, you will enjoy a number of benefits, including job security, an exciting career, a substantial salary and much more. If you have no experience in the field of car sales, however, you need finance manager training in order to begin this career successfully. 
If you are interested in beginning your career in F&I management, ADI is here to help you achieve your goals. Our program is the only licensed F&I trade school in the United States for the past 32 years. With our program, you can have all the information and skills you need to begin this career in as little as one month. If you are a veteran who qualifies for benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, we can help you use your benefits for our program. Contact us today to learn more about the program or to begin the enrollment process!

The ‘Why’ of the F&I Department: Helping and Protecting Customers

If you are looking for a new career, one of the best options available is finance and insurance management. F&I managers are responsible for making sure an auto dealership’s F&I department functions properly. But what is the purpose of the F&I department? At the most basic level, the F&I department exists to help and protect customers. 

What Is the F&I Department?

The F&I department is the department within the auto dealership that is responsible for helping consumers get the financing they need to purchase the vehicle they have chosen. This department also offers extra products available for purchase from the dealership. Examples of products that are often sold by the F&I department include:

  • Credit insurance/payment protection
  • Gap insurance
  • Maintenance plans
  • Extended service contracts
  • Anti-theft products, such as car alarms
  • Paint or fabric protection
  • Excessive wear and use protection

For most dealerships, these products make up a significant portion of profits. However, these products are also beneficial to consumers. 

How the F&I Department Helps and Protects Customers

The F&I Department helps and protects customers in several different ways. Some examples include:

1. Providing consumers with valuable products. 

Anti-theft devices, paint protection and some of the other products available from the F&I department can enhance the customer’s purchase and provide valuable protections. By investing in these products at the time the vehicle is purchased, customers can avoid expensive repairs or other unwanted situations that may have occurred down the road. 

2. Counseling consumers on the products they need most. 

In many cases, consumers may not know what products are available from the dealership and how they could be beneficial. Professionals in the F&I department can help consumers review the options available and decide which of these products will be best for their needs. 

3. Helping consumers through the financing process. 

Financing a new vehicle can be confusing for consumers, especially for those who don’t have a lot of experience with credit and loans. Professionals in the F&I department can help consumers understand the financing process and choose the loan option that will meet their needs most effectively. They can also help the consumer understand how their credit report affects the interest rate and other important aspects of the loan. 

4. Guiding consumers through paperwork. 

A significant amount of paperwork must be filled out and submitted before a vehicle purchase is complete. The sheer amount of paperwork can be overwhelming for customers. In many cases, the questions asked are complicated and confusing as well. Fortunately, the professionals working in the F&I department understand all the relevant documents and requirements, so they can guide customers through each stage of this process and put their minds at ease when necessary. 

5. Protecting consumers from bad credit deals. 

Not all consumers will seek financing within the auto dealership. Although some external sources of financing are reputable, others may not be. When consumers trust the F&I department to handle vehicle financing, they can be confident that they are receiving a safe, reliable loan from a reputable lender. 

How the F&I Department Serves the Dealership

The F&I department is an essential component of a functioning auto dealership. Although many auto dealerships may focus on the F&I department’s ability to boost profits, this is not the department’s only purpose. As discussed above, the F&I department also offers help and protection to every customer who purchases a vehicle from the dealership. Being aware of all functions of the F&I department can help auto dealerships to leverage this department more effectively.

Specifically, when the F&I department is able to provide a better quality of services to consumers and build solid relationships from the start, consumers are more likely to invest in the products and services that boost the dealership’s bottom line. For this reason, it is important for auto dealerships to staff their F&I departments with trained professionals who know how to build rapport with customers and promote extra products with ease. 

The Importance of F&I Training

Professionals working in the F&I department need a large base of knowledge and a variety of skills in order to do their jobs effectively. The best way to gain the necessary knowledge and skills is by completing an appropriate training program, such as the one at Automotive Dealership Institute.

ADI has been the only licensed finance and insurance school in the United States for more than three decades. At our institution, students spend four weeks learning all the information they need to succeed as F&I managers. Our students also spend time developing their skills by engaging in “practice” deals that simulate the work they will do after graduation. In addition to providing our students with a comprehensive education, we also offer job placement services to every student who completes our in-classroom program. Please contact us today to learn more or to get started on application and enrollment.

How Do I Become an F&I Manager?

Finance and insurance managers play an important role in the operation of a car dealership. There are several paths you can take to become an F&I manager. However, it is generally in your best interest to attend an automotive finance school if you are hoping to begin a career in F&I management. 

Other Options

A career as an F&I manager requires a portfolio of skills and a solid base of knowledge. It will take time and effort to build the skills and knowledge you need in order to be successful in this job. If you are not comfortable with the idea of attending a trade school, you may be able to get the background you need by working as a car salesman. In most cases, you will be able to get a job as a car salesman with only a high school diploma. However, it may take many years working as a car salesman before you have the knowledge you need to move into an F&I management position. 

In rare cases, you may also be able to find a job as an F&I manager by doing some independent study and applying for the position outright. However, this path is becoming less common, so it may be difficult to find a dealership willing to hire you for the F&I department without training, credentials or a significant background in sales.

About Automotive Finance School

Automotive finance school offers you the fastest and most effective path to a career in F&I management. When you attend auto finance school, you will spend your time focused on developing the skills you need to be a successful F&I professional. Some of the topics you will study in auto finance school include:

  • The basic auto sales process – Before you can work in F&I management, you must be able to understand the auto sales process. One of the goals of your training will be to teach you about the basics of this process. 
  • Financing of vehicles – As an F&I manager working for an auto dealership, you will be responsible for helping buyers to finance their vehicles. For this reason, you will need to understand the financing process in detail. 
  • Interpretation of credit reports- An important part of the financing process involves the interpretation of buyer credit reports. A good auto finance education program will teach you how to read and understand this information. 
  • Use of relevant technology – In order to be effective as an F&I manager, you will need to know how to use several software programs. During auto finance school, you will learn how to use these programs properly so you can be comfortable with them when you begin your new job. 
  • Laws and regulations – Multiple state and federal laws and regulations apply to the sale and financing of motor vehicles. Part of your auto finance education will be focused on understanding these laws and regulations and how they affect your job. 
  • Handling objections – One of your most important tasks as an F&I manager will be to sell the extra products and services the dealership offers, which brings in a large portion of dealership profits. In order to fulfill this role successfully, you will need to know how to handle objections from buyers. 

Benefits of Attending an Automotive Finance Trade School

Automotive finance school is not the only option available for people who hope to begin a career in F&I management, but it is typically the best option. Auto finance school can be completed in a relatively short amount of time, allowing you to enter the field much faster. In addition, because you will receive credentials after you complete an appropriate automotive finance training program, prospective employers are more likely to take you seriously. Furthermore, you will be better prepared for a successful career as an F&I manager if you complete an auto finance program, as you will have a chance to learn everything you need to know before you take on your first position. 

Studying F&I Management at Automotive Dealership Institute

Automotive Dealership Institute has been the only licensed finance and insurance institution in the nation for over 32 years. We offer a comprehensive training program that will help you build a solid base of knowledge and develop all the skills you need in order to become a successful F&I manager. Not only will you spend time learning in a classroom environment with our program, but you will also have an opportunity to hone your skills by practicing with real-world deals. 

ADI’s program takes only four weeks to complete. After you graduate from our program, we will be happy to help you find your first job. In fact, more than 90 percent of our graduates are able to find a suitable position within 90 days of completing the program. Please contact us today to learn more or to begin the enrollment process.