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Sean Kelley VOTY 2019
2019 Vendors of the Year Interviews

Sean Kelley with CarMotivators

Dealership News’ Kelly Kleinman interviews Sean Kelly (our 2019 Man of the Year) to find out what Sean’s new Coach Cast program is all about. Unlike usual training programs, Coach cast is more like a customized, active, one on one mentorship.

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Kelly Kleinman:
Hello from Southern California. This is the DealershipNews.com podcast where we bring you the new and old school insight into the business of selling cars and service. So you have the foresight to grow your dealership and stay ahead of the competition. I’m Kelly. Kleinman. And here is our show.

Kelly Kleinman:
Today, we have an MVP in every sense of the word. He’s a master networker, sales trader, blogger and vlogger. And most of all, good friend. You could always count on if you’re a dealership or a dealership group, you want him with you, not against you. And by the way, he’s the DealershipNews Man of the Year for 2019.

Kelly Kleinman:
He’s also the CarBiz Coach of the T.M.. Those are four car motivators. Congrats, Sean Kelly..

Sean Kelley:
Thank you very much. Kelly.. I’m excited to be the DealershipNews.com Man of the year.

Kelly Kleinman:
Well you’ve been such a good friend to us, and I have to say that any way we could support Sean Kelley., we’re happy to do so. He’s one of the brightest lights in the industry. I just so you know, I won. The Hunkiest Automotive Podcaster of the Year. Of course, I control the only vote. I’m effectively the winner of the 1st inaugural Master Podcaster Award. OK. Let’s talk about 2020, 2019 was great. I was 2019 for you by the way.

Sean Kelley:
It was phenomenal. I mean massive growth, massive impact for my clients and made a lot started and invested a lot of new relationships. It couldn’t have been much better.

Kelly Kleinman:
So 2020 holds a lot of promise for you know, you’ve just released an online training program called Coach Chat. Now, anyone can access your system at their convenience and the comfort of their own workplace, home or tool shed, for that matter. Tell us a little about that.

Sean Kelley:
Well, Kelly., thanks for sharing. I’d like to really clarify that. It is coach chat is not an online training platform. It’s an online coaching platform. So as a coach, you know, it’s individualized attention. I believe that every person to to really exceed or reach their maximum potential can benefit from having their very own personal coach. And coaches, as you know, we trade time for money because as I’m coaching you, I can’t do other things. And training in our industry is has become extremely scalable. And the fact that sales trainers create video content and digital content that people can log on to and watch and maybe take a little course and then they go back about their day. But that is that’s an off the shelf, one size fits all solution. And while a lot of that’s great and I grew up on the old Joe Byrd, a VHS tapes, and that’s one of the things that inspired me to want to do this. But but at the end of the day, I think people need their very own coach. And that’s what’s helped me accomplish what I’ve accomplished. And and our coaching has made a massive impact. The thousands of of general managers, owners, sales managers, car sales people, BDC people. Doesn’t matter who you are, what you do. You need a personal performance coach to reach your potential.

Sean Kelley:
The problem is, is that as a coach, there’s only so much time in the day. I can only talk to so many people. And it broke my heart every time I would talk to a frontline employee who maybe has just started off in the business or or just by the ones that maybe there was a manager who is fully extended on on their income and they can’t afford to have their very own coach. So what I had to do was create an affordable and scalable model to give everyone one on one coaching or they want it need it most. And this isn’t some platform and they log into and they take a class. It’s a real conversation with a coach who’s tracking. Following up who’s who’s was only objective is to help them accomplish what they want most in the quickest and most enjoyable possible way. So that’s what Coach Chat is. We’ve created coach chat and literally people are signing up. I’ve already got I took my a few of my dealer groups, I put their employees in to be like our beta and it’s working. I mean, we’re producing amazing results, coaching them, right? All my coaching frameworks and processes right through the coach Chat’s making a huge impact.

Kelly Kleinman:
How long? How long has it been up now?

Sean Kelley:
Well, we just launched it about 60 days ago and we’ve already had over 90 coach chat conversations and all have led to action plans where we’re following up measuring and supporting. And we’ve had employees after one coach chat conversation doubled their sales and and we wanted it to go for those people who really don’t know what coaching is. I wanted it. I wanted them to experience coaching before they had to financially commit. So you’ve got a 14 day free trial and that’ll help them in those first 14 days. We’re going to help clarify their vision for success. Set some short term, mid range and long term goals. And that’s what will happen when you first join coach chat. And then after that, when you’re done with that, the coach will help start helping start developing an action plan to achieve those goals. It’s been really exciting to see the initial people that have signed on and how they’ve just been able to use coach out to as their own personal accountability buddy, their own support. And just having that coach in your corner is amazing.

Kelly Kleinman:
Totally understand and I think would be great for support because sales are tough. You know, it’s a battle, it’s a battle to survive. You sort of touched on it, but I’d love to hear a couple case studies. It’s just 60 days. Pretty good results.

Sean Kelley:
Yeah, absolutely. Well, a few of my favorite ones so far. There was an employee that was going to quit. He was going to quit his dealership because he’d been there for five years. He’s been the top salesperson, but he really wants to move in the management. And he was going to quit and he reached out to his coach and we were able to have a great coach shop conversation where he ended up deciding to sit down with his manager, fill in his boss and where he’s at. And as a result of that conversation, he now has a career growth plan. And over the next 90 days, he he will be learning and mastering the management role. And when he helps create the situation where he can be replaced in the showroom floor. So he’s got to transfer his skills. He’s gonna get that promotion. And it’s all been line up. So he’s excited about a bright future. And to know that I was able to save a dealership’s top employee from leaving from this coat check. The conversation was amazing. One of my other coaching, actually, one of my other coaches was having a chat conversation with someone. And this was a salesperson who was in a three month slump. They had average about 20 cars a month. And for the last three months, they were selling eight, nine cars a month or in a slump less than leads were coming in.

Sean Kelley:
And as a result of that chat conversation, they came up with some things to say and revisited their CRM. And the people that the salesperson could possibly call came up with some messages and ended up creating an E-Blast campaign. And he said the salesperson started calling and he was able to not only get back up to where he was selling 20 cars a month again, but he signed over 20 cars a month. Again, that was another exciting one. Just a couple of cases studies, but the coaching ones keep at it every day. They seem to add up more and more. So it leads. Exactly.

Kelly Kleinman:
You know, sometimes a positive coach just transfers that positive mojo and things work in mysterious ways. By the way, it’s really inexpensive. This is not a paid or sponsored advertorial here, but it’s really inexpensive. So it’s a great investment for a dealer. I don’t know if you want to go over that now, but where can we get more information about it? What’s your Web site for the service?

Sean Kelley:
Absolutely. So if it’s OK with you Kelly., I can send you the link and they can they can use that to sign up because the url. That’s kind of cool. But I can send you the link.

Sean Kelley:
You can share it with the other.

Kelly Kleinman:
It’s 700 characters long.

Sean Kelley:
I wish it on the screen. No, it’s not that.

So we know that making a plan is important for any any salesperson, any dealership. You have to have a business plan. You have to have a plan of action. And for any enterprise or individual to succeed, there needs to be a plan A in place, a plan B and a plan C alternatives as well as fallbacks. Now, you recently wrote a blog about planning that I love. Can you break it down for us right now? Feel free to elaborate. I know it’s a seven step plan, but maybe the top three or four.

Sean Kelley:
Yeah. But it boils down to when we are working with a dealership as a whole, you know, how do you measure success through coaching? You have to know. You have you have to say, what are we trying to accomplish? You have to set that objective. And, you know, there’s so many there’s so many things that a dealership could choose to focus on. And, you know, the OEM is bombarding you with metrics and saying, fix this, fix that. And sometimes, I mean, I see sales mangers or dealer principals going over 50 and 60 different stats with their team. Right. So as a result, people don’t know where to focus their efforts. And you get what what my mentor Chad Kardon, calls the rocking chair effect, where, you know, you talk about something for one week and people start doing it and then they go the next week you’re on to a new thing. So you really have got to create habits. And those habits come from people doing the right activities in the right way for a long enough time. So what we’re talking about with the planning thing is that, you know, in any initiative plan, the first thing you need is focus.

Sean Kelley:
So you have to dial and you have to choose what are you have focus on? Because if everything is important, nothing’s important. So step one to it, to a good effective plan that will drive growth is that you need that focus and that clarity. And how do you get that? You need it. You need a clear objective. As you know, I was a special operations sergeant and spent two years in combat zone deployments. I’ll tell you this. I could never accomplish a mission that I didn’t know the objective. So that’s number one. What you want to accomplish, what is the objective? And then you’ve got to get everyone dialed in on that one objective. So you have focus. Does that make sense?

Kelly Kleinman:
Yeah, absolute. What are the data sets that are involved in creating a good, solid plan to help someone succeed? 2020 is perfect. Anyway, the timing is perfect right now. We have to move it to 2020. We may as well with some some some knowledge and some initiative, by the way.

Sean Kelley:
That’s right. So, again, the data sets are going to depend entirely upon what are you going to focus on? Right. So, for instance, I’ve got dealerships. Some of them are focusing on referral generation. Some of them are focusing on the profit front end profit. Some of them are focusing on customer experience. At the end of day, you have to really dial in on what are you going to focus on, because the data sets will vary depending on what those things are. Right. And you have to have a way of measuring your growth and measuring the activities that will create that growth. There’s there’s two there’s two types of data sets when it comes to creating a plan. You have to you have to understand the the leading indicators, which are the behaviors that will impact the results. And then you have to have the results, which are the lagging indicators. And that’s what tells you if your plan is working or not. So those are the biggest mistakes we make in the industry, is we we focus so heavily on the results and we ignore the fact actions necessary. And we more the leading indicators are the behaviors. And we’re looking at the results. But by the time the results are in. It’s over. You can’t change it. So leading indicators and if you want to, let’s pick a topic. Kelly.. Yeah. Let’s say let’s say used car department for let’s say let’s say the growth plan is as focused on getting your used car department from 50 to 150 cars of the that.

So that’s the objective, right? And then the result would be one hundred and fifty cars. So that’s units delivered is a lagging indicator. Kelly, what are some of the leading indicators that the the behaviors that make. Okay. So we need more time spent purchasing cars. We’ve got to raise our inventory level. Right. So behavior will be who’s buying cars? How many are they buying? How how much time are they spending shopping. Right. Are they how many people out at auctions? How many people are on auction, genius, whatever it is looking for inventory and more behaviors to grow your used car apartment? Well, we’ve got to get them front line ready and on our lot. Right. So another behavior would be service. So do you have any unemployed labor time? Could we lower that? So that might be something to look at. Do we need to do we need to recruit technicians and people that buy cars? Because bottom line is this. So a leading indicator, you’ve got to have the staff to be a support stocking up on used cars. So a leading indicator that you might need to start tracking is this number of interviews. Right. So so let’s say I set up a used car. So we got to buy and we got to service some and work.

Sean Kelley:
So we need to start recruiting. We start purchasing. So now we’ve got to figure out how how many do we want to get by, when and who’s going to start, who’s going to who’s going to be doing these initiatives. Another big part of an effective plan is, is knowing what are your resources and who’s going to be doing these things? And when do they start another downfall to a plan when a plan doesn’t work? I often see that it’s because no one had line of sight to when that was going to be start by and no one had a line of sight to when it when they were supposed to be finished. Five. So you need goals for each of the behaviors. If that makes sense. So again, you’ve got you’ve got the leading indicators, the lagging indicators and the lagging indicators for that used car department might be overall use car department profit. It might be average shop bill average. Right. It might be days in stock because as you grow your used car department, you might say, well, we need to make sure our turn time doesn’t get too slow. So you might want to watch that as a metric. So as you can see, these these are the metrics you’re talking about are really specific to the growth plan.

Kelly Kleinman:
So what you do is you basically take a look at previous activity, behavioral analysis of how you were operating beforehand. Come up with a plan to become more sustainable with a better action plan. So there are a lot of data sets about sustainability is a huge part of that, no doubt.

Sean Kelley:
Yeah, absolutely. Because I mean, once you once you get where you want to go, how do you maintain it? Know, it’s really easy to go back in your old routine or. Oh, I hit that. I hit my objective. Now I’m done. Right. And we walk away. So. So that ongoing. What is the process for sustainability? And I’ll share I’ll share an example where working with the dealership on their full inbound phone calls that was mastering inbound phone sales and maximizing those opportunities was the growth plan. And for the first 90 days, it was every single month, growth, growth, growth. We had over twelve percent increase in phone closing percentage. Some of the leading indicators were managers listening to sales calls, conducting what I was salespeople, practicing the scripts and role role-playing after the sales meetings. No. And then the lagging indicator is obviously closing percentage appointments set percentage point and show percentage. Things like that. So this thing kept going up and up and up. We plateau up about 90, 90 days. And then the sustainment plan. They had a changing of the guard and management. One of the managers was promoted move to another store.

Sean Kelley:
And his portion of the plan, which was to ensure ongoing call, you know, call coaching was occurring, fell by the wayside. And as such, it slowly started dropping again. Right. So there’s got to be a sustainment plan and also revisiting those plans. You know, I recommend when you have a plan, just as you put a plan in place, doesn’t mean it’s getting done. You need someone responsible for the execution of that plan. And I’ve got a dealer group in New Jersey I’m working with since Junior AutoMall, and they are Route 66 Sansone AutoMall and they are phenomenal leaders. And we were able to take the owner’s son and have him take on a project management role. Now he’s following through with his plans. He’s kind of inspecting what they expect. Everyone knows what happens if you execute on your plan. And if you don’t, and and then once the plan is done, he’s helping, making sure that the sustainment occurs so that it’s just maintenance once you get it to where you want. It’s a lot easier.

Sean Kelley:
Then you can pick a new growth area to focus on.

Kelly Kleinman:
Let me ask you a question, as far as, the success of a plan, can it to some extent rely on incentives to reach certain goals to add to the sustainability?

Sean Kelley:
Great question. You know, Kelly., think about the thing about incentives as those are designed to create. Increase the want for someone to take action and follow through. Right. I think that if you’re doing an initiative and it doesn’t have a good enough positive reward financially or just any beyond finances. Right. Some growth plans are all about enjoying work more, which is pretty cool. But I think that the plan should create the results in and of itself that rewards people. So to put additional reward on something that should already produce a massive reward. I don’t. If you have to do that, the plan you may be focusing on in an area you may be trying to grow in an area that isn’t profitable enough, as I said, not to say incentives don’t make people want to do something. But I would say if if the plan if accomplishing this plan doesn’t produce financial reward for people involved, it may be the wrong plan to be counted or some other form of reward like, you know, could we sell more cars, ever make the same money and have more time off? That’s something that one of my dealerships has focused on. We focused on what we called routines for success at the management level. And it’s allowed people to unplug, spend more time away from the dealership while simultaneously selling more cars.

Kelly Kleinman:
We’re going to have the full blog on our site. It will be up here in a few minutes, actually, a DealershipNews.com shop. Thanks for joining us today. And again, I think we pick the best possible man of the year and I appreciate you coming on board and being there with us every step of the way. And have yourself a great holiday.

Sean Kelley:
You too, Kelly.. Thank you, buddy.

Kelly Kleinman:
Sean, where can you be reached, by the way? You have a telephone number. What’s your best email?

Sean Kelley:
Call us anytime at 1 8 8 8 9 2 1 0 2 2 1. Or you can e-mail me Sean@carMotivators.com.

Kelly Kleinman:
Sean Kelley., thanks again. Thank you.

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