An effort at creating certified F&I staff, something common to the auto industry but not in the powersports industry, is being developed and planned for the coming year.
The effort is aimed at providing dealership personnel a greater understanding of F&I regulations, product knowledge, ethical business practices and more.
The certification process has been developed by Gart Sutton & Associates, an industry management consultant group and is being sponsored by GE Money and Powersports Business.
Sutton and his staff have prepared a two-day workshop, called Finance & Insurance Retail Specialist Training or F.I.R.S.T., that dealership staff can attend to become certified.
“To be profitable today, you have to have an effective F&I department,” said Scott Hume of Got Gear Motorsports, Ridgeland, Miss., a member of one of Sutton’s dealer 20 groups. “It’s just not possible to do a good job of selling F&I products without proper training.”
Another member of the 20 group concurred.
“You can’t present this product effectively unless you understand it and follow the proper word tracks,” said Josh McBroom of Neosho Powersports and Destination Powersports, Neosho, Mo. “This takes the right person with the right training.”
During the workshop, F&I personnel will learn about contracts and agreements, a typical F&I menu presentation, conflict resolution and key F&I performance indicators and benchmarks.
Part of the workshop will include pre- and post-workshop video-taped role-play activities as well as audience-participation classroom sessions.
The course will not include any endorsements of any individual F&I provider’s programs or products.
Workshop participants must pass tests that will be held during the workshop to qualify for certification. There will be a password-protected Web page listing the students and their certification dates. Graduates can access it or provide dealers with the password, so they can verify their certification and training date.
All of the workshops will be held at GE Money locations.
The cost of the two-day workshop is $995. The cost includes Sutton’s book, “The Best Operators Guide to Finance & Insurance” on CD, F&I forms and job aids, a course workbook and workshop lunches. The workshop also will include two follow-up seminars that will be held online, one 30 days after graduation and then six months after the workshops.
Class sizes will be limited to 12-15 students. Interested participants can register at gartsutton.com. psb