Daimler Truck Financial is providing heavy- and medium-duty truck dealers with something they've never had before -- a comprehensive training program in the art of selling finance and insurance products to their qualified customers.
Daimler Truck Financial launched the industry's first ever Finance & Insurance Academy earlier this year, encouraging dealer principals to have their sales managers, sales staff and F&I staffs register for free online courses and webinars.
The results have been encouraging as more than 700 sales and F&I people working in dealerships selling Freightliners and Western Stars manufactured by Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) have logged over 1900 hours in the online course offerings. In two webinars offered in May and June, over 450 people participated in a session that had the bandwidth for 300 people.
"The single, most important goal of this initiative is to help dealers and their teams prepare for a more profitable future," said Richard Howard, Vice President of Daimler Truck Financial. "At a time when most OEMs' financial partners are taking cover and reducing investments, Daimler Truck Financial is proactively investing in training tools to help our dealers, thus increasing our value proposition."
Dave Wirth, Director of Finance & Insurance at ATC Freightliner in Dallas, serves as the F&I Dealer Council President for Daimler Truck Financial dealer customers. He has counseled Daimler Truck Financial in the development of the training on what is and what is not needed for relevant dealer training.
"The benefit of this training for larger stores is that it eliminates the gap between the front-end sales and the back-end close," Wirth said. "We need that education and training on the front end so that they are more comfortable with the turn over to the back end. For the smaller stores that do not have a specialized F&I person on site, it enables the sales staff to have the product knowledge and the financing knowledge so they can provide turn-key service start to finish."
Wirth said he led F&I training for the ATC dealerships several years ago and saw revenue generated by the F&I departments rise over 300 percent after 12 months.