Meet the Trainer: Gerry Gould
Meet the Trainer: Gerry Gould

AE met with Gerry Gould to get an in depth look at his approach to training. Learn how he got started in the business, the areas he trains on, and why Gould says he should be an agent’s go-to source for dealership training.

How did you get your start in the auto industry and how/why did you specialize as a trainer?

I had just gotten married and decided that reconditioning cars was not going to give me a bright future, so I went to the dealership my dad was running and said, “Pops, I wanna sell cars.” Thankfully, he gave me a shot and I’ve been in the business ever since. It wasn’t until quite a few years later that I was asked by the dealer principal I was working for to mentor new sales consultants. It was then that I realized I could really get a message across regarding the development of personnel. Soon, I was developing training programs for the dealer group while working as an F&I manager. I eventually took a job with a nationally known F&I training company.

What areas in F&I do you focus on with your training?

We focus on all areas of F&I development from compliance to lender relations. We place a lot of emphasis on presenting a menu/option disclosure in a manner that is telling, rather than selling, and in a manner that is direct and to the point. We leave any type of selling for the end of the menu/option disclosure. Our motivation for telling rather than selling is to keep the customers attention and make an attempt to gain a commitment to purchase when the customer feels less threatened. This way gaining a commitment becomes more conversational, rather than combative.

Why should an agent call you for a training assignment?

There are a lot of training companies and trainers trying to be different – trying to reinvent the wheel and train from a point of theory or what they think will work without having ever tried it. I can say I’ve been there and done that. We understand the business of F&I and our training is always facilitated from a point of reality with proven results. We also train from a point of opportunism, knowing some things work some of the time, but some things work most of the time; we choose the ones that work most of the time.

What are the top three messages you try to give at each of your training sessions?

1.) Knowledge is power and the more you know about our industry, your products, and your customer, the more success you will have.

2.) You need to look at things from the customer’s point of view and sell based on their criteria.

3.) Tell, don’t sell. Save the selling for when you have the customer’s attention.

What changes in the industry do you foresee impacting your training the most over the next few years?

There is a lot of talk about the Internet’s role in the total transaction. Developing a curriculum for an online transaction may be in order. Then there’s all the talk about the CFPB and their influence on the industry. So I guess that could hinder the rate hounds and we’ll be called to duty. After all, it’s product that drives PVR, not rate.

Tell us about yourself and the kind of activities, hobbies, and interests you pursue outside of training.

I am very energetic and get bored quite easily. Outside of training, I like fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, golfing and making leather wrist bands as a hobby.