After more than 30 years in the automotive industry, Protective Asset Protection’s Rich Moore has reached the upper echelon of F&I trainers. He maintains a full training schedule while contributing articles to industry publications and speaking at events such as Industry Summit, Agent Summit and, most recently, Compliance Summit in his native Texas. AE caught up with Moore to learn how he broke into the industry and what the future holds.
How did you get your start in the auto industry and how did you become a trainer?
I got started in the industry in 1984 at Rod East Volkswagen in San Antonio, Texas, which really had nothing to do with my background and education in professional photography. I had a brother-in-law who was a wholesaler, and he suggested that car sales would be a good place for me. I was reasonably fresh out of the Navy, and it seemed like a good challenge.
I found I was a good salesperson but a better sales manager. I really liked teaching and seeing my team succeed with the techniques on which they had been trained. Moving into training was a natural step for me since my last duty station in the Navy had been as a senior trainer in the Navy Leadership and Development Program.
What areas in F&I do you focus on with your training?
Our courses pretty much run the gamut from why F&I is important to the dealership to how to build a great relationship with sales and, most importantly, the F&I sales process. In fact, we created an accelerated course based on input from the field that is nothing but two-and-a-half days of interview, menu, objection handling and closing.
Why should an agent call you for a training assignment?
Our team trainers are still active in the dealerships they service and will sub for vacationing F&I managers. That means they are current on what is really happening in dealerships across the nation. So when we train for an agent or dealership, they get real-world tools and techniques, not theories.
What are the top three messages you try to give at each of your training sessions?
First and foremost for me is to practice, drill and rehearse! F&I managers and salespeople in general tend to practice on their customers. That’s too late. Imagine if any major sports team waited until the game started to practice! It would be a disaster.
Second, learn to tell great stories — real ones — about the value of your products and how your customers have benefited in the past. People can relate to real-world situations that have happened to others, and people buy on emotions and justify with logic.
Third, don’t be greedy. Listen to your customers. If you present what will benefit them, you’ll have a much better chance of selling at least one product with every deal. Over the long run, when added to the sales from the folks who buy everything, that extra product per deal produces more sales than you would think. It’s a much better way to make your numbers than being greedy and trying to force a home run from every customer.
What changes in the industry do you foresee that will impact your training the most over the next few years?
Not so much changes in the industry as changes in how our customers will interact with our industry. Millennials and the generation after them, now being tagged “iGen,” won’t take time or have the tolerance for our traditional sales processes. They want it now and on their devices. That means that, as trainers, we need to stay on top of customers’ habits so we can train F&I managers to be responsive rather than reactive.
The other change I see on the horizon is the need for F&I managers to move away from relying on making money on rate and instead learning how to build irresistible value in their products. If our customers see great value first, price becomes less of an objection.
Tell us about yourself and the kind of activities, hobbies, interests you pursue outside of training.
As I mentioned earlier, photography has always been and still is a passion. Internet marketing — specifically, using live, interactive webcasting — is a major interest now. I think it’s the future of online marketing. And we can’t forget getting on the Harley with my wife and taking a long weekend ride somewhere.