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!