When it comes to working in the automotive industry, one of the most lucrative career paths you can choose is in the area of finance. If you wish to work as a finance manager, it’s important to understand what you should expect from this career and how to be the most effective finance manager you can be so you can help your customers get behind the wheel of the vehicle of their dreams at a price they can afford. The following tips can help you be the best auto finance manager you can be.
Get the Right Education
First and foremost, it’s important to make sure you have the right education before you become an auto finance manager. Not only will this help you show your employer you are the best choice for the job, but it will also ensure you can provide the high level of service your customers require with the accuracy they expect. There are options that make getting this type of education easy with online courses that can be completed in a short amount of time, all while giving you a solid grasp on the materials and an understanding of the software and processes needed to do your job well.
Listen to the Customer
While many of them may not be well versed in the nuances of automotive financing, it’s still important to listen to your customers and fully understand what they need so you can help them. It should be your goal to learn as much about your customers’ needs and financial capabilities so you can offer them the best products to get them behind the wheel of the right vehicle, while keeping their monthly payments as affordable as possible. Not only does this allow you to provide better service, but it also helps your customers feel more connected to you, giving it that personal touch.
Finish with the Most Important Point
Chances are you will have to make a pitch to many of your customers, going over a number of points to help guide them to the best possible choices. However, it’s essential to understand they aren’t likely to remember most of what you say. Typically, the last thing you say is what sticks in their minds the most. This means you should decide which pieces of information are the most important and save those for the end of your pitch. This ensures your customers can make the most informed decision possible and always remember the most important factors.
Communicate with the Staff Regularly
Perhaps the most important part of your job is communicating with customers and helping them make the right decisions regarding financing their vehicles, but this doesn’t mean you won’t regularly interact with the rest of the staff at the dealership. In fact, it’s essential to keep the lines of communication open with your coworkers as well, allowing everyone to remain on the same page. You will need to work together with the sales staff, as well as other areas of management, to provide each customer with the seamless service that makes buying their next vehicle easy and less stressful. It’s also important for the other members of the staff to be aware of the rules and regulations surrounding the financial side, so they don’t inadvertently mislead the customers.
Just like many other jobs, the field of automotive finance is constantly changing. Not only will the deals lenders offer continually change based on the economy, but there are rules and regulations that may be updated as new laws are passed or expire. Therefore, it’s essential to keep up to date with all of these changes. You can do this by completing any continuing education courses that may be offered in the area of automotive finance, such as Automotive Dealership Institute’s F&I Training program, as well as by keeping up with the news and attending any seminars or other events associated with your field in the area. Once you do learn new things, don’t hesitate to set up a meeting and inform everyone else at the dealership about the changes, so they can make the appropriate adjustments in their area as well.
Use Only Products You Believe In
It’s easy to build up a large portfolio of options when it comes to financing vehicles; however, not all of them are as reliable and legitimate as others. This means you should take a close look at everything your dealership offers their customers and keep the list down to only those products you can truly believe in. Your customers come to you believing you will only offer them options that fall within their best interests. If you fail them, they not only won’t return to your dealership when they need a new vehicle in the future, but they are also likely to tell their family and friends about the experience, discouraging them from using your dealership as well. This can be alleviated by providing only products you know you can believe in.
Stay Compliant and Transparent
Customers need to know they can trust you. The best way you can do that is by using only the most ethical practices in the financing industry and staying compliant with all the rules and regulations put in place to protect the consumer. It’s important to be completely transparent with your potential customers, so they fully understand what you offer and where you stand in the area of finance. When they feel they can trust you, they are much more likely to purchase a vehicle from your lot and return to you for their future needs as well.
Build Lender Relationships
Having a good relationship with your customers and other employees is critical to any successful business. However, it’s just as essential to build positive relationships with the lenders your dealership uses as well, so you can offer your customers the best options when it comes to financing vehicles. When you work with certain lenders over the long-term, they are more likely to offer you better rates and can help you land more sales. After all, a solid stream of income is better than a few small loans on occasion for both you and the lender. There’s a certain level of trust between you and your customers and you need to strive for that same trust with your lenders to secure the financing those customers need.
Being a finance manager is about more than just getting your customers the loans they need to pay for their vehicles. You will wear many hats and play many roles along the course of the car buying process. The good news is you can become an effective finance and insurance manager when you follow these simple tips. It all starts with getting the right education at an institution like the Automotive Dealership Institute, so you get a solid foundation. Whether you’re already working in the field of automotive finance and insurance or you’re looking to make a career change, once you are trained in the field and you understand the importance and the role of each of these tips, you can rest assured you can provide your customers with the level of service they deserve and help them get behind the wheel of the vehicle they’ve always wanted without stretching their budget too far.
Interested in getting into F&I or stepping up your F&I knowledge? Learn more about the F&I training program at ADI today.