Daimler Truck Financial is offering a comprehensive training program to its heavy- and medium-duty truck dealers on selling finance and insurance products
. The Finance & Insurance Academy is a suite of free online courses and webinars designed to help sales managers, sales staff and finance and insurance staff.

So far, the program has attracted more than 700 sales, finance and insurance people, who have logged over 1,900 hours in the courses. Over 450 people listened in on two webinars in May and June.

"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."

For those who have completed the online training and webinars, Daimler Truck Financial is providing three days of live training in Charlotte, N.C. The live training will also be offered in Fort Worth, Texas, next week. Class registration is at capacity in both cities, even though dealers have to pay out of pocket to attend.

"We have underwritten the development and launch costs of the overall program, but we are asking the dealers to help pay for the classroom training and for their travel," said James Molski, dealer training manager for Daimler Truck Financial and co-creator of the program. "While there is some cost to them, dealers know that after their people complete this training, gain a new level of confidence and close their first deal, it will pay for their investment."

"The benefit of this training for larger stores is that it eliminates the gap between the front-end sales and the back-end close," said Dave Wirth, director of finance and insurance at ATC Freightliner in Dallas. "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."

Those arriving early to the live training sessions will have the opportunity to attend a round table discussion of the industry with executives of Daimler Trucks North America and Daimler Truck Financial.

More info: www.daimler-truckfinancial.com