Schomp Employee Highlight
Interview With Frank Albert
At Schomp Automotive, we love working with awesome people that believe in the same philosophies that we do. Some employees have been around for over 20 years, and some, like Frank Albert, have been a part of the Schomp family for less than a year. We are proud to introduce Frank in this Schomp employee highlight.
Last fall, Frank’s wife Jennifer saw a Schomp MINI hiring ad. She suggested it to him, so Frank started to do his research. With a long history of driving in Britian, along with a love for cars, it was only fate that Frank interviewed and was hired on as a MINI motoring advisor last September. Learn about Frank Albert here, and see why he loves the MINI Cooper just as much as we do.
First of all, what does a MINI motoring advisor do?
Basically, I’m a sales rep advisor at Schomp MINI. I do automotive sales, obviously focusing on selling. We also have a lot of used cars at our disposal, so we help customers with their automotive needs. As a Schomp employee, we take our client from start to finish so then we’ll just hand them off at the financing department so they can pay.
When researching this position, what kind of advice did you get about possibly working with MINIs?
One of the mentors for me was in driving with Rocky Mountain Adventure Racing, I worked with a professional race car driver by the name of Ross Bentley who was known for his speed secrets – a real life Indy Car champion. We became friends and I called him and told him about how I wanted to work in the non-profit sector and I asked for his advice about selling MINI Coopers. He laughed so hard that he couldn’t catch his breath. When he did catch his breath, I said, “Ross, it can’t be that bad, can it?” And he said, “The reason I’m laughing so much is because I drive a MINI Cooper.” He was an Indy Car Champion, so he could have a Porsche or a Lamborghini, but he said it was the car he could drive on the public streets without endangering or harming others. I really respected Ross’ opinion about the product. I also really like the “one price, one person” philosophy – their values and their customer service. Three interviews and a psychological profile later, here I am.
Schomp just introduced Schomp Life, a community of clients mixed with staff. What is the community like to you at Schomp?
It’s definitely a family. We all strive to help each other out to make things smooth for everyone involved, so from customer to tech. Schomp Life to me is about very hard work. There’s no doubt about that and it’s about really helping our customers get an exceptional automobile purchased, so they are left with a feeling of exceeded expectations.
Frank Albert and his Cooper S
What is one of the best sales experiences you’ve had so far?
One of my customers gave me a factory order and he came in and I convinced him that it was the car he should drive – not because it’s a young car, but because it is a great performance vehicle. I let him test drive it and he left with a huge grin on his face, thinking about it. He called the next day and placed the order for the car. He wrote me an email about a month after about how happy driving the car has made him. It is about a joy in driving and bringing joy to one’s daily life. It’s an amazing vehicle for performance. I was recently asked to compare it to the Toyota Camry, but not many people know what the car’s built for. I’ve never driven the Camry because [the MINI] exceeds my performance capabilities and I’m a licensed race car driver.
Why do you think the MINI Cooper is so cool?
It is out of the ordinary, and not the standard passenger automobile. It is a fine performance machine with a heritage that dates back to the 1960s Monte Carlo rally and was a touring car for the British. People were driving that car to the race tracks on the weekends, bumming around. It already has that heritage. It is the BMW group who has brought it to that level of performance and reliability to create a machine that is truly a joy.
How do you go about helping a customer connect with the perfect car for them?
It is all about listening to my customer and finding out what they really want – just paying attention and making appropriate suggestions, and having them be so happy with their car. A number of customers end up with a MINI when they just didn’t think it was going to be possible.
Any specific stories?
I have one lady who had six months to go on a lease and was not happy with her car. [She] test drove the Countryman and really wanted to have it happen. We looked and saw if we could buy her out of her lease with no money out of her pocket, so she could walk away with that car. She was so thrilled – she didn’t think it was possible.
Where does your love of cars come from?
It came from being a teenager. Racing in Britain is more worked on and more so a presentation than it is in the United States. I became a motor head. I bought into motorcycles for a long time and had them until I had to trade them. My first vehicle as a teenager in England was a 1964 Ducati 250 motorcycle. I still have it, actually.
You grew up racing in England. Tell us about that experience.
When you learn to drive in England, the test for a British motoring license is more involved – about an hour in the car with an examiner and you have to perform all sorts of different things like three-point turns and emergency stops. You have to act a little more seriously because you have a lot more people on the roads so you have to pay attention. I was training to get my advanced driver’s license in Britain but then I came to America so I never actually took the test. I always had a thing about performance driving and have been fortunate enough to have some nice performance automobiles along the way.
You drive a MINI Cooper S. Tell us about it!
It’s Moonwalker Grey. The graphics are black and grey checker, and it matches one of my wedding rings. Employee benefits are usually at the 6th-month marker, and I had not been working there that long, but I asked to see what I can do. They asked me if I really wanted a MINI and I picked this one because it had everything I wanted for a car. The grey was my first color choice. Jennifer and I have fallen in love with the car.