IA American Warranty Group Develops 15-Minute F&I Product Sales Tour

LAS VEGAS — Customers hate the length of the financing and insurance process, according to Eric Melon, senior vice president of sales for iA American Warranty Group. So he challenged the staff of his F&I product and training company to reduce the F&I sales time to 15 minutes.

“They looked at me like I had three heads,” said Melon, who also leads training and development.

It took more than two years and staff put aside previous lessons and their egos, but the company developed a 15-minute F&I turnaround. Melon and other iA leaders shared parts of the process with Automotive News during the NADA Show here in March.

The process rejects old F&I product selling tactics such as scripts or customer wear and tear, although it relies on some of the same psychology and language used in the past.

“Your words need to have an impact,” said iA National Director Chad Harris.

The system is kept simple for people to use, according to vice president of sales David Grier. Melon said iA found that students were teaching a more complex system to drop or only use parts of it under pressure in their dealerships.

“Simplicity is success,” he said.

A conversation with the customer and the description of the products takes eight to 10 minutes, the rest being left for answering objections. If the customer refuses the products, the F&I manager does not spend another 15 minutes forcing the customer to close a sale.

There are concerns that too little time spent with a customer is costing sales, but customers in CSI ratings are hitting dealerships for time spent on various processes, Harris said.

“Now we find…if you match their need for time, you actually get more sales,” he said.

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