Finding Finance and Insurance Careers in the Automotive Industry

Interested in finance and insurance (F&I)? Love cars? Looking for a way to merge the two into a long-lasting and fulfilling career in the automotive industry? It’s time to consider a career in auto sales and F&I management. Now is a great time to invest in F&I training, which can provide everything you need to succeed in this career. That means you will acquire excellent leadership and communication skills and have the expertise required to handle the financial and legal aspects of a sales transaction.

Automotive Business Manager programs are designed to teach the skills required to oversee the financial and legal aspects of the automotive industry. Students in these automotive training programs are trained in finance and lease options, sale of after-market products and the use of specialized software.

Becoming an F&I manager means you will be in the center of the action. It also means you will have a direct impact on profitability and be rewarded accordingly. Need another reason to invest in F&I manager? Job Futures 2000 predicts that more than one-third of all jobs created in Canada will require a skilled trade designation or a college diploma.

What about the extensive restructuring of the automotive industry? There has been a lot of change, but the automotive industry remains one of the world’s largest and most important business sectors. Moreover, a surge in demand is expected as consumers make purchases that would normally have been made in the last two years and additional demand is created by increases in population, new consumer offerings and improved manufacturing technology. Employment prospects for automotive sales and F&I management are good for the following reasons:

A growing shortage of well trained individuals to fill sales occupations
Service Canada predicts there will be strong demand for qualified candidates in Sales and Service, Business, Finance and Administration “because this sector will account for more than 45% of all retirements over the next five years.”
Significant worldwide growth within the automotive industry

You know what happens when demand for a specific job goes up. Salaries also go up. That’s exactly what is happening for F&I Professionals. Key elements of F&I training programs can include the following areas of study:

Business Manager’s Role in the Dealership
Financial Institutions and Their Requirements
Getting the Contracts Purchased
Credit Reporting Overview
Understanding Credit Scores and Risks
Reading Credit Reports
Prequalification Using Credit Reports
Cash Conversions
Bank Conversions
Use a Customer-Friendly, Aggressive F&I Process
Qualify Your Customer, Use The Right Words
Product Knowledge
Effective Selling Techniques
Menu Selling Leasing Skills and Techniques

Contact the Automotive Training Centre for more on Sales & F&I Management courses.

Philippe Taza is the founder and CEO of Higher Education Marketing, a leading Web marketing firm. Taza has worked in the Canadian Education market for nearly a decade, specializing in Google Analytics, Education Lead Generation, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Mobile SMS Alerts, Social Media Marketing and Pay Per Click Marketing, among other Web marketing services and tools.

Automotive Retail: What Makes a Great Employee? And How Do We Notice Them?

When you think about the automotive industry, the first thing that comes to mind are the sleazy used car salesmen, of yesterday, with their plaid blazers and the pressure they place on you to buy a car. This is NOT how the automotive industry works today. The same tactics used in the 1980s will not work with buyers today; so the automotive industry had to change. Now you have people who are specifically working in guest relations, finance, management, internet sales, call center representatives, and much more. With the growth of various automotive groups, there has been a need for accounting, human resources, product trainers, and even talent development! But how can you tell if someone is cut out for today’s automotive industry?

The automotive industry requires bright talent that can produce results (such as sales or finding more efficient ways to operate, allowing the business to save money) or support those who produce results. It is still, very much, like running your own business in most positions. You need to be able to sell your product as well as yourself. Those in the supporting roles need to make sure to keep up with the busy, daily demands that keep processes running smoothly. I have narrowed down 6 qualities that make a great automotive retail employee, both customer-facing and behind-the-scenes:

(1) Integrity. This is defined by hiring those that exhibit honesty and morals. Honesty and morals are qualities thought to be forbidden in the automotive retail world, but integrity must exist!

(2) Respect. This is the ability to appreciate others for the qualities that they exhibit. To be able to truly understand a customer, co-worker, leader, or subordinate… respect must be a quality each candidate possesses.

(3) Tenacity. Tenacity is the desire to go after a goal with the utmost intensity and desire. We need folks in the automotive world who have an “itch” to work on projects until completion. These are the folks who clock out when the job is done, not when the clock tells them to.

(4) Transparency. When you show your hand, so to speak, to your employees or your customers… you are being transparent. Not hiding things, or being deceitful, will help to build trust with others. Trust is the most important aspect of trying to build a team or a relationship.

(5) Cleverness. This isn’t the kind of cleverness to find your way around tasks. This meaning of cleverness is the ability to understand and learn quickly. To keep up with an ever-changing automotive industry, you have to be willing to learn. To build on this idea of cleverness even more, the ability to learn from your mistakes and make changes is an ability that all automotive industry personnel must have to truly be successful.

(6) Accepting. This is an important idea so employees are not trapped in the stone age. Processes change, automobiles change, management techniques change… being accepting of these changes is very important to continue developing new and better ways of working in the automotive industry.

In order to find the talent that possesses the aforementioned qualities we, as automotive industry recruiters, must find a way to vet the quality talent. This means to change the interview process a bit. Develop a ranking system, based on hypothetical and past experience questions, that focus on asking about the qualities you deem as important. You don’t just have to interview once, interview a second time to see if you get the same feeling and similar answers. Set minimum standards for the people you want to hire. This doesn’t mean that a dismal background history should exclude them from consideration, but do look to see if they have learned from their mistakes and taken action to be better. Find out if their motivators are suited for their particular position. For example, take the sales consultant who lists that they desire a $40,000 per year salary versus the sales consultant who lists that they desire a $100,000 per year salary. The $100,000 per year candidate, most likely, has a higher desire to sell cars and will outperform the candidate who is complacent with a $40,000 per year salary. The $40,000 per year candidate may be better suited for a different position.

With these tools in hand, and the ability to vet candidates before presenting them to the hiring manager, it should be easy to spot and hire the right candidate for the right position. A cliché I’ve heard floating around for a while is, “hire hard, manage easy.” I believe this cliché is the living embodiment of proper hiring to ensure a quality workforce.

The Biggest Myth in Automotive Repair

Growing up, if I wanted to spend time with my dad, my mother would often drop me off at the Ford dealership where he sold cars. Sometimes we would walk back to the service lane where he would buy me an orange soda. Other times he was busy “putting a deal together”, and during those times I would find myself wandering around meeting everyone from sales managers to technicians. One of the most exciting trips was when I just refused to believe that a 4 cylinder Mustang could be very fast compared to the 8 cylinder ones, so dad took me around the block in a new 1984 Mustang SVO, pretty much putting that myth to rest forever!

I guess that’s when my biggest misconception took root. It made perfect sense that if you wanted your car fixed right you HAD to take it to a dealership. First, they cost more money, and you get what you pay for, right? Second, these guys were trained professionals, understanding the specific systems to whatever brand you drove. Third, they only use parts made by the manufacturer, which HAS to be better for longevity. And finally, well, you just felt more loyal to the brand. I grew up in a Ford family, which meant people who drove Chevrolet’s were basically stupid (no offense to Chevy drivers – I am one myself, now!)

When I decided to get in the business, I took a 2 year course sponsored by Ford, which of course didn’t teach me any different. Then I joined ranks with my sponsoring dealer, which, of course, was Ford. I then spent the next 10 years of my life in a Ford dealer’s service department, and before it was over I was pretty much completely brainwashed. Then in 2002, I made a decision that defied all logic – I accepted a position running an aftermarket repair shop! Of course, that is a whole other story that we won’t get into right now.

Trying to “unlearn” something you pretty much believed for 30 plus years is not an easy task; but unlearn I did, so let me finish this post by debunking the top 4 myths about why you should use a dealer for repairs…

1. You get what you pay for – I do believe this on some things, but car repair is NOT one of them. The truth of the matter is, the reason they cost so much more is because of the ridiculous overhead, which includes some outrageous salaries. In a dealer of moderate size, you have a President, Vice President, General Manager, General Sales Manager, Fixed Ops Manager, Finance Manager, Service Manager and sometimes a Body Shop Manager, most of which have 6 figure incomes, and that doesn’t usually include the “C” level managers! What I discovered pretty quickly was less overhead equals savings to the customer, at least if you run a smart company. Of course, there are exceptions to both – there are some affordable dealers (somewhere… ) and there are quite a few outrageously expensive aftermarket shops. The key is finding someone you can trust. Most good business men I know are transparent about their profit margins.

2. Trained professionals – dealer techs do get a lot of specialized training, that’s no secret. But to find a true master technician means you found someone who understands the “how and why’s” of automotive systems, and that is NOT specific to brand. What you get at dealers normally is technicians with “brand knowledge” which means they know what part to swap for a particular problem for a particular car. To this day, I still remember that on a 1996 Ford Taurus with a grunting noise in far right hand turns, you replaced the power steering rack and pinion and pressure hose. Why? Because Ford said it would fix it. Anything outside of the norm drew blank stares from most techs. In a truly good shop, you have technicians, not part swappers. In actuality, all of the “problem specific” information that is available to the dealer technicians is also available to the aftermarket technicians in the form of Technical Service Bulletins, or TSB’s. The key here is once you find a shop you think you might like, take the time to find out what kind of training and experience the techs have. An ASE master tech has, in my professional opinion, surpassed the training of about 90% of the dealer techs. In my company, I like to take the time to give our customers a tour of the shop, and let them meet the guys that will be fixing their cars. Our technicians love this, because they know the quality of the work they put out, and now they know they will be given the proper credit because the customer knows them.

3. Manufacturer Made Parts – this is a huge myth. Almost every part used in a repair is made by someone OTHER than the manufacturer. All of your major brands do have Original Equipment Part manufacturers that do make the bulk of the repair parts for their specific brand, like Motorcraft for Ford and AC Delco for GM, but very few parts come directly from the manufacturer. The myth is that the dealers are the only ones that use these parts. The same, exact parts are available to every shop, not just dealerships. Even on the few parts that must be ordered from the manufacturer through the dealer, a good aftermarket shop can buy the part from the dealer and STILL sell it to you for less than what you would pay at the very dealer it was purchased from and the warranty is exactly the same!

4. Brand Loyalty – this was probably the hardest myth for me to “unlearn”. It just seemed so much like cheating to drive something other than what your dad drove. Think about that for just a minute. My dad drove Ford because his dad did. My first 10 vehicles were Ford because dad and granddad drove them. Talk about brainwashing! This is the ultimate marketing goal – to get your customers to “believe” that their product is a part of who they are as human beings! The truth is, even the dealers aren’t loyal anymore. More and more, I am seeing signs go up at dealers everywhere that say “All Brands Serviced Here”. Most dealers have a used car lot, and any salesman will tell you he gets the highest commission on used cars, so where is the loyalty there? Most aftermarket shops will work on either “domestic” or “foreign”, and some can do both successfully. The best thing to do here is find a shop who is both familiar with and comfortable working on your car.

There you have it, unquestionable evidence that sometimes the things we think we know may not be completely true. Remember, out of my 20+ years in this business, I have been on both sides, and there is no question what decision I would make should the occasion arise for someone else to take care of my car.

Saving Your Family From Being Emotionally Spent When Money’s Gone

Government jobs report of July 2010 show that the recession killed off 7.9 million jobs; some of which will not return. The report continued, “Businesses have slowed their pace of hiring to a trickle.” New job hiring is also at a trickle, adding only a few hundred thousand a month without the industries that offer salaries and benefits a family needs.

Almost a year later, at the time of launch of Atlantis, many newspapers reported the bittersweet story of the end of the space shuttle program, which, having had a victorious thirty year run, is facing the end of an era. Add to that the many automotive industry workers laid off; the housing foreclosure crisis that left many families homeless, there are millions of former gainfully employed people pondering their fate. What is a family to do?

Step One: Discuss the Changes

If your employment has been with a company or category that allowed the family to prosper, the change might be hard pill to swallow.You have to have a strategy for recovery so that the fallout from the loss does not defeat you and the family.

Plan How to Tell the Family.

Take an Assessment of the family’s “Character”. Have you ever evaluated your family’s temperament? Do you have a family philosophy regarding each other, the community in which you live, how your family relates to others; do you believe in God? Many of these factors will play a role in how you manage the current job loss/cash flow problem.

Additional Factors

Your Age

Layoffs hit harder the older you are, the longer you’ve been in the industry, the less savings, the closer the oldest is to college or marriage, and other such matters.

Age of Your Children

Younger children will not need too much detail; just enough to answer the “Why can’t I have or do that anymore” questions.

Late elementary through middle school can handle more facts and given more responsibilities.If necessary, ease them into the area of household tasks if it’s new to them.

High school students need more facts especially if they have to get a job to help the family, give up a promised vehicle or attend a career school instead of a university. Bring them into the discussion; they are more likely to be more helpful if they have participated in the process.

Family History for Candid Discussion

What has your family’s openness been up to the point of the loss of finances? Do you have times of open discussion within the family? If you are not sure, start. Make sure when you introduce the idea of gathering together that the environment is encouraging and upbeat.

Parents, try to be amicable in speech; let you and body language be hospitable.

Pick a time that suits everyone’s schedule but not in a rushed atmosphere between meetings or chores.©

Visit jbhgroup.com for other guidelines on family nurturing communication during job and financial loss.

About Contemplating a Profession in Finance

Finding out school courses and on-line course each worth time and dollars. Realizing the careers awaiting a finance fundamental proper after incomes his diploma isn’t a nasty thing.

Listed here are nicely-recognized examples of careers in finance which might be quality positions with good pay. Take notice for each place is totally different from the alternative, from the abilities required to the tasks confronted, and by no means all are entry-level positions.

Accounts Assistant. A multi-faceted entry-stage place, being an accounts assistant can provide preferred opportunities in gaining expertise and letting you resolve on what specific self-discipline to specialize in. Chances are you’ll be taught hundreds, including about automotive profession finance insurance coverage coverage rate.

Payroll. Evidently, an essential division of any company as it is chargeable for salaries and wages. Issue rises in proportion to the complexity and dimension of a company’s structure. Substantial data in funds and taxes is significant for anyone looking to work on this field.

Banking. Probably essentially the most properly-preferred choices, you could work each alongside the frontlines or within the background. This topic provides a whole lot of decisions for any prospective monetary employee. Big banking companies present more reliable job security than these in different fields.

Credit Controller. Working with accounts receivable, credit controllers mainly make sure the common periodic funds of invoices by the company. Apart from this, the function could vary in different companies.

Underwriter. Insurance coverage is a sophisticated discipline and underwriters are one of many crucial essential job positions available. They are chargeable for your premium and totally different points like automobile profession finance insurance protection rates, so being one can actually provide some fascinating opportunities.

Auditor. Each inside and exterior auditors have the equivalent basic function, nonetheless the difference is from who the employer is. Exterior auditors work for metropolis corporations whereas inside auditors work inside companies. Attributable to this reality, only some corporations are sufficiently big to justify employment of inner auditors.

Management Accountant. The reverse of an auditor, management accountants fill the position of forecasting future finances, which offers information vital for planning and strategizing.

Private Equity. Extremely superior but normally found engaged on funding enterprise begin-ups, workers working in private fairness look through portfolio of investments, siting dangers and rewards. Trade specialists and merchants depend upon personal equity to offer them data and advise on managing portfolios and investments.

Enterprise Analyst. Analyzing every tangible and intangible subject involved in a enterprise, the enterprise analyst highlights the issues and supplies the alternatives for substantial solutions. This position is essential for companies that plan to outlive the ups and downs of business.

Financial Director. As a main place in Finance, being a financial director implies that good obligation is bestowed upon. All types of cash transfer are managed by the monetary director, so confidence and expertise are important for continued operation of the company.

Occupation company finance is a profitable profession possibility that opens up a multitude of options for go-getters and aggressive workers. Capacity and wish are the simplest tools for a career in finance.