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How dealerships can maximize training dollars for F&I workers

Wheeler also said dealerships can foster a culture of education with a course catalog, such as what a college would offer, and letting staff pick classes. He described a system that he and others had established at a dealership.

All the managers were tasked with developing a course and offering it at least twice a month. For their part, employees would need to attend four classes of their choice each month. Certain days would have two different classes available — one in the morning and one in the afternoon — to accommodate split shifts. It worked well and fostered the desired culture.

This was a better system than ordering everyone to be in the conference room for a 2 p.m. class or be fined $25, Wheeler said.

“Is that a fun event?” he asked.

You could pay training companies such as Wheeler’s to handle all your education, he said. But he pointed to the Malcolm Gladwell book Outliers, which proposed that one needs 10,000 hours in a discipline to become an expert. Hiring a company to train staff would take eight hours every day for five years and cost $3 million, he said.

“Anybody got a dealer who can sign off on that? I got a card if you do, by the way,” Wheeler joked.

A culture of continuing education is a better way to go, he said.

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