F&I training companies are working to answer a question on many dealers' minds: How can they get their F&I managers comprehensive training without sparing them for days at a time?
Training is an essential component for keeping skills sharp and compliance standards high in the F&I office. Most dealerships recognize the value of F&I training, but it can be time-consuming and often includes travel among their top-earning employees.
At least three F&I training companies -- Zurich North America, Safe-Guard Products International and Allstate Dealer Services -- have added or expanded the digital components of their programs, offering training that managers can participate in without leaving the dealership. Other program changes include an emphasis on selling service contracts and catering product presentations to individual customers.
Safe-Guard's revamped training program provides F&I managers materials online before live F&I training, which trainers say could substantially shorten the time managers spend away from the dealership. And with the launch of a separate online learning management system, prospective trainees can get a head start on the program without waiting for a class to open up. Individual online sessions should take 10 to 15 minutes to complete and will cover topics such as compliance, F&I product details and sales tactics.
"As we refine this over time, it can be more of a prerequisite," David Pryor, chief marketing officer of Safe-Guard Products International, told Automotive News.
In-person training sessions usually last three to four days, but Safe-Guard's goal is to shorten that to two to three. "But, of course, to do that, we need [students] to come prepared," said Pryor.