Forget the F&I ‘Trainer’…Maybe Your Staff Really Needs a Coach

Forget the F&I ‘Trainer’…Maybe Your Staff Really Needs a Coach

When your dealership is faced with an F&I manager that is underperforming in PVR and CSI scores, what do you do? Instead of immediately running ads online for a replacement, consider another alternative.


The first strategy may be to get a trainer to help because that’s the automatic default. Call up your administrator and have them send someone to ‘re-teach’ everything again to fix the problem. 


What your F&I manager may need more than a ‘trainer’ is a coach. Think they are the same? They’re not.


Trainer and Coach…How Are They Different?


Trainers come into the dealership to teach a new employee how to execute specific processes, paperwork, and widely accepted best practices in F&I. They give knowledge where there is none (assuming the F&I new hire is truly green and has never been in the role before). 


A coach is something altogether different. Coaching is the act of improving and enhancing knowledge that is already intact. They help elevate the skills the F&I manager already possesses and gives them the edge to take their skills to the next level for more success.


Coaching is More Efficient


Your F&I administrator probably offers some level of training and will either send someone to the store (or Zoom until things are safer) or you could pay a sizable amount of money to send the F&I manager away to a school for intensive training. But can your dealership shoulder that cost now? Is it necessary?


Another thing to consider…


The time your F&I manager is away means others are taking up the slack. Efficiency suffers. Deals could back up on busy days. In house training takes time, too. If you have hired a new F&I manager, they need time to ramp up before they can take their first deal. Can your store afford that time?


Choosing to have your best performing F&I manager or your Director simply coach staff that need it keeps all hands-on-deck as training can be done mid-week when it’s slower and it costs NOTHING extra.


No Substitute for Respect & Rapport


There is nothing more deflating to a struggling staff member than to have someone they don’t know or someone that has never done their job tell them what to do. Lean on a strong existing staff member for a better result.


They already have an established rapport, and they KNOW all the pitfalls you face. They have ‘been there, done that’ and when you want to improve, you will take their advice and guidance better than someone from the outside or someone who hasn’t worked a deal in years. Respect (or lack thereof) looms large in this scenario.


Coaching rather than using a random trainer could make all the difference and will almost certainly build a stronger F&I team for the long term.