From Sales to F&I: How to Grow From Salesperson to F&I Manager

Many individuals who enter the automotive industry do so as a salesperson. These individuals quickly learn how to guide their customers toward the right vehicle for them and help them plan around any budgeting constraints they may have. However, this doesn’t mean you are limited to working in the sales department for the rest of your career. A job in sales can often leave you at the same level, unable to progress your career as far as you’d like. This is when it can be important to seek out additional training so you can continue to work in the automotive industry, all while advancing it into a more lucrative venture for you. Not only will you make more money in the long run, but you will also learn new skills and remain challenged in your career so you don’t fall into the same patterns and become bored. The following are some things to keep in mind if you’d like to progress from being on the sales floor to working in the finance and insurance department.

The Clear Promotion Choice

You may have been in a job before where you felt someone got a promotion more because of who they were or who they knew, rather than what they knew and were able to provide for the company. This can cause a lot of resentment among coworkers, which can ultimately create a more toxic work environment with a higher rate of turnaround. The good news is when you complete the right kind of training to further your career in automotive finance and insurance, you are giving yourself the skills you need to do the job well. When it comes time to promote a salesperson into this important management role, many of your coworkers will apply for the same job. If they haven’t completed the necessary training, they are more likely to be passed over for someone who has obtained certification in this field. Because some schools that offer this type of training offer it online at a relatively fast pace, you can complete the work you need to become qualified for this position quickly and easily in between your job and family.

As long as you have the right skills, you can feel good about earning this promotion. Not only will it make you feel like you’ve gotten what you deserve, but it also means your coworkers are more likely to see the position as earned, rather than given to someone who doesn’t deserve it. Although they were passed up for the same promotion, they are less likely to feel animosity toward you, which contributes to a more positive work environment.

Learn the Necessary Skills

When you work as an automotive salesperson, you are responsible for making sure every customer who walks onto the lot gets the information they need to purchase the car they’ve always wanted. If you hope you move beyond this position, you need to learn additional skills. Those who work as a manager in finance and insurance are also salespeople, but it’s more than about just selling a car. When buyers sit down with this manager, they will work through all the paperwork necessary to obtain the financing needed to drive off the lot in their car. However, this isn’t the only thing the manager is in charge of. You will also be responsible for selling other products offered by the dealership, such as extended service contracts and insurance. This means you need to have a strong knowledge of these products and how to put them in the hands of customers who may not be expecting to have to make these purchases on top of their vehicles.

In the area of finance and insurance, you will need to become familiar with the software used to calculate payments and process the loans and other financial elements the customer chooses to purchase. The same knowledge you use on the sales floor is much different from that you must possess in the finance office. This requires specialized training before you undertake the job.

Any Mistake Can Be Costly

Those who work as a finance and insurance manager at a car dealership will see a lot of money pass through their hands. Some customers pay for their vehicles with cash or a check, while others will require your assistance to obtain financing from the bank. Regardless of how the vehicle is paid for, it’s important to not make even the slightest mistake during any transaction. One small mistake can end up costing the car dealership more than a little money. Not only could they potentially lose the sale in the long run or have to eat the cost of the mistake, but it could also sully the reputation of the dealership, losing even more potential sales. This means those who work in this area of the dealership must have a strong understanding of the processes, pay careful attention to detail and use great care in every transaction they oversee. Once a mistake is made, it’s not just the dealership that will suffer. The individual who made the mistake is also at risk of losing their position and never getting another similar job, which makes it essential to get the necessary training to protect yourself from this fate.

After Hours Sales

While bank hours and car dealership hours often coincide, it isn’t always possible for individuals to purchase a vehicle when banks are open. This can complicate the car buying process for those who require a bank loan to purchase the vehicle. The good news is if you get the proper training to work in the finance and insurance area of the automotive industry, you will learn the process the banks use to approve individuals for a loan. This means you can easily calculate whether an individual qualifies for a loan and what the likely terms will be for that loan. Individuals who come to the dealership outside of regular banking hours can still drive off the lot with the car of their choice and you can run the official loan once the bank opens again the following business day. Because of this, the car dealership is able to close more sales and makes buying from them more appealing because customers can come in at any time and get approved for a loan. However, it’s important to remember this is a precise process. Without a firm understanding of how banks calculate loans, you could approve an individual incorrectly, which leads to them either having to bring the car back or losing your dealership money. Either way, it can ruin the dealership reputation and harm its future, as well as your own.

Because of all these factors, it’s essential to get the proper training if this is your intended career path. At Automotive Dealership Institute, you can get all the training you need to progress into the finance and insurance career path and feel confident you have the skill and knowledge needed to do well on the job. These courses are offered online so you can complete them from anywhere with an Internet connection on your own time, allowing you to carefully balance your already busy life of work and family, while training for your future. Once you receive your certification, you will be ready to apply for the next opening so you can advance your career and get a solid grip on your future in the automotive industry.

Learn more about F&I Training at ADI