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Ask An Expert: Steve Roessler
Ask an Expert Interviews

Steve Roessler with DriveCentric

Dealership News interviews Steve Roessler of DriveCentric (and our “Dealership News 2019 Trade-show Personality of the Year award winner) in our Ask An Expert segment. Steve discusses how using video can combat the dreaded “Carvana Effect” on your dealership.

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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 on Kelly. Kleinman. Here is our show. We have with us Mr. Steve Roessler. of Drive Centric.

Kelly Kleinman:
He’s one of my best buddies. And Steve. How you doing?

Steve Roessler:
I’m doing good, man. I’ve been under the circumstances.

Kelly Kleinman:
Yeah. Yeah. You had some shoulder surgery. You grew a beard. What’s next?

Steve Roessler:
I figured, yeah, it’s no shave November. So I figured, why not? A lot of guys have a beard here, so I figure I join the crowds or during our Christmas party nights. I got it’s the only time I’ve had a beard.

Kelly Kleinman:
Hold on.

Steve Roessler:
Oh, my God.

Kelly Kleinman:
We got it. We got. So that was my producer. We got to get to this thing. You know, folks, Steve, I’ve known Steve now for I think going on about a couple of years. And he has this the greatest personality we love working with him and seeing him at all these trade shows. You know, he has the auto industry’s most famous hair. In fact, it’s been booked to glisten as the NADA keynote speaker in February. Steve? It’s crazy, but I heard. You know, it might not be. It might not be accurate. But I heard you got sued for trademark infringement by Jimmy Neutron.

Kelly Kleinman:
Yeah. Jimmy is after me. So is Johnny Bravo. And, you know, I got to give the other hair twin that. You know, I’ve got the dry look here. But Frank Lopes has got the wet look about. Whatever. Whenever we talk hair, I always include Frank. I mean, Frank’s a buddy of mine. So we have a good time with. Sharing hair gel products.

Kelly Kleinman:
But you’re the only person who could literally become invisible by putting on a hat.

Steve Roessler:
That is probably true. That is probably true.

Kelly Kleinman:
But seriously, folks, Steve has an amazing personality. If you know him, you know this to be true. He has cutting edge insights into how business should be processed by salesmen, which is more psychological than how it should be conducted by the dealership. He’s the Live With Drive Guy. He’s the mean guy. The video marketing guy. The networking guy, making sales fun guy, the branding guy, because he’s our automotive trade show Personality of the Year.

Steve Roessler:
Hey. Live With Drive

Kelly Kleinman:
Hey, I got through that in one take. Unbelievable. I haven’t had coffee yet. But congrats Steve.

Steve Roessler:
Hey, well, thank you very much. That’s pretty cool.

Kelly Kleinman:
Well, you know, this is technically our Ask An Expert segment. So let’s get to what do you say? Let’s do it. Yeah, get this little buzz in my ear by my producer. So let’s I mean, you’re the branding guy. Everything now is video. And that’s what we do. We do this content marketing thing. We’ve had a great deal of success with it. How do I set my sales and service staff up to succeed by using video and social media as a means to brand themselves and win customers for life.

Steve Roessler:
Yeah. You do it with video. Video is just such a powerful tool. I know it video’s been talked about for years and years and automotive. Well, we did a DriveCentric as we build it within the CRM. So it became a lot easier so people could do videos using other tools. But so there’s two there’s two parts. This is, you know, when customers are buying a car, you know, and I think we know people to talk about and scared of Carvana out there. And I think if we go out there and ask ourselves why? Why are people going to Carvana? And it hit me probably about six months ago. And I kind of leverage this now and educate dealers. Carvana is the non human approach of buying a car. The fact of the matter is, is customers, given the data out there by digital retailing companies out there, you go out there, hear it, customer still want to test drive the car. A big portion. Nobody is going A to Z yet. Now, I mean, I know Carvana is sold like I think it was 40,000 units in the last quarter. So that means is a big number. But I think what video is doing is in the car by an experience, which is what Carvana it isn’t.

Steve Roessler:
And if we know that customers are telling us, hey, I still want come in and test drive the car. I think what customers are telling us indirectly is, man, we know 90 percent of customers don’t trust the dealership and the customers want to know who they’re dealing with before they come into your dealership. And video is that that bridge, it’s bridging that gap to the customers. So the customers are more like they come in and visit the dealership. So now that’s a personalized video experience that, you know, of customer sent in and internally. Let’s just introduce ourselves. Let’s walk around the vehicle. Let’s confirm an appointment video, which is, you know, we’re going to talk about some stats on some of these other video techniques and what that’s going to do for a dealership. But when you go to social media, you know the branding of social media. And again, it took me a long time to do this because, again, which DrivesCentric, it’s still a startup. And I’ve been, you know, luckily just the face of the brand of the company that they’ve installed me with. So it’s pretty cool. But video on social media, it’s always funny as I tell everybody, if you don’t know it works until somebody says something to you.

Steve Roessler:
Because you know I like it. Or, you know, you’re always like wanted somebody to share it. You don’t want Kelly.. You didn’t like my video. Oh, my God.

Steve Roessler:
You know, people get offensive. But I sit there and when I go to a trade show like NADA is coming up, or if I go visit a dealership and obvious man, I’ve seen your videos. I mean, that is what keeps me going on, doing videos on social media. So I leverage social media videos for what I’m doing is really to educate, you know, start talking about personalized video ideas right now with a personal video challenge.

Steve Roessler:
And you know, I’m on personal video challenge number eight and it is getting traction. You know, people are starting to recognize it. People are sharing it. I think general managers start and leverage it. So it becomes a different way of branding. I want to personalize myself when an opportunity is out there with a customer that is in the market looking for something. That’s one way to brand. And then your branding, what’s called upstream marketing. So you start building a personality out there in the market. I happen to be obviously solid dealers. But if I’m a salesperson doing video, I would educate the customers. And that’s that’s what I’m doing is I’m educating dealerships. On the flip side, if I’m a salesperson and I want to brand myself, I become the brand for my dealership. And that’s why, like so many guys out there in the auto industry that are doing YouTube videos. You know, people specifically look to buy cars from them because they they become that YouTube superstar. They become a celebrity. People will travel all across the country to buy cars from these guys and they’ll buy it at MSRP just because if they’re a celebrity and that’s what indirectly is really happening out there.

Kelly Kleinman:
Yeah. Do you think it works so well? Because old school techniques are too antiquated now, maybe culturally unacceptable. And then does video work for a younger demographic than an older demographic or is pretty much everybody warming up to it because they’re all tired of being sold?

Steve Roessler:
Well, yeah, well, I think it you know, again, you have to communicate on the customer’s terms. So, I mean, if a customer if I send you a video and I think this is what you’re asking for, is does would everybody want to see a video, is that kinda where you’re going? Yeah. I don’t see why you would. I mean, I think if anybody wants to go to YouTube and watch a video, I mean. I mean, I guess, you know, are older people doing it. I would have to go out there and get the studies for that. But but I think the idea is, as you know, if we can help tell the customers, I’m going to send you a video. If I’m dealing with somebody older, hey, I’ll send you a video. So maybe you want to take the time, you know, to research the car. I’ll send you the video. So it’s right there.

Steve Roessler:
If you have somebody who’s older, I want to help them, you know, provide a simpler way of buying a car from me. So you know what? I’m going to Kelly.. I’m going to sell you. I’m going to send you a video, the car so you don’t have to go online, because maybe you don’t want to go online and look around. I’m going to bring the car to you through video. So I think we have to tell the customer what we expected. I think if it’s at your deal with a younger generation, you said that they’re going to kind of know they’re they got Snapchat, they got all these video tools that people are doing. I think we’ll give it a guy to go with the data. People are watching videos. People are watching videos on the Web site. They’re looking at cars are going on YouTube researching the cars. All of a sudden now I’m communicating on most customer’s terms anyway. So you’ve got to go with the data. But I think you’re dealing with the older generation. You’re probably got direct them on why you’re going to send that video and how what’s going to help them in a research.

Kelly Kleinman:
Producer Joe.

Steve Roessler:
Producer,… was I too long there.

Steve Roessler:
Now, now he wants to know what kind of case Study that kind of numbers you could throw at us.

Steve Roessler:
You know, I could do well, you know, with. Again, there’s every opportunity to send a video. What’s what’s the producer’s name? What’s it? Joe, Ace.

Steve Roessler:
I like him. I like Joe. All right. So, Joe, you don’t with with video, because video can go a lot of different ways. One of the dealerships we receive.

Kelly Kleinman:
See, that’s actually Hudson Ford. He’s not wearing his trademark hat, though. He’s trying to be incognito. Hudson Ford. Yeah. We do a segment. We used to do a segment with him. We’ll bring it back when I actually have time to do it. I didn’t interrupt your mojo.

Steve Roessler:
Well, that’s pretty good. So, yeah. So the case study I was telling you about, though, was a dealership was tracking. That’s when there’s no really way of doing this except implement a process. So what a dealership did. Up in the northwest was for every appointment that they confirm. They sent a video to make sure that customer would show up. And you just kind of think about what’s most coveted thing in a dealership. It’s me. I’m going to schedule an appointment. Make sure they show up. So what they did was they started implementing, hey, every customer, we’re going to send a confirm appointment video, whether it’s from the desk, they go through the car sliding away. But what they did was a stripped out the bad financing customers, an 88 percent of the customers, at least in the month of August. This was a case study I did for 20 group. 88% of those customers that showed up bought the car.

Steve Roessler:
That’s a huge number. And he just kind of think that it was a video, a part of that. You know, maybe, hey, what about the car anyway? But did it help steer them that way? I’d like to think that the right actively did the right activity delivers a better result. And if more people are watching video, we got to believe that the right activity is going to help with those results and videos just happen to be a part of that.

Kelly Kleinman:
I couldn’t agree more, Steve. Thanks again for joining us on Ask an Expert. Oh, by the way, Hudson sent me a little note on my text. He texted me that Lopes will get Hair of the Year, Hair of the Year.

Steve Roessler:
There you go.

Steve Roessler:
I should be insulted by that. You know, because I mean, I should have the best hair.

Steve Roessler:
You should have the hair dry. There you go. There you dry look at that. Look right there.

Kelly Kleinman:
Thanks for joining us, guys. Steve Roessler. DriveCentric. Ah, ah, ah, man. Who’s Sean Kelly. is our Man of the Year. Oh. You’re Trade Show Personality of the Year. Yeah. It’s sort of the official here. So I’m an official here. I’ll stop. Have a great weekend, Steve. I’ll talk to you soon.

Steve Roessler:
Thank you, sir. Take care, guys. You bet. Thanks for having me.

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