ASOTU CON Sessions Episode 6: Jarrod Kilway

October 8, 2022
Jarrod Kilway and Kyle Mountsier sit down to chat at ASOTU CON 2022.
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Jarrod Kilway is the VP of Strategy and Success at Konect.ai

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Paul Daly: 0:03You're listening to the ASOTU CON sessions by Effectv recorded live in Philly.Kyle Mountsier: 0:11

Welcome to ASOTU CON sessions by Effectv. This is Kyle Mountsier and I'm hanging out with my good buddy. Jarrod Kilway Jarrod, thanks for joining with me. Thank you, Brother, do you have gone through a little bit of transition recently? A little bit out of the dealer world into the dark side? How's it feel to be back? Because you you were you were with VinSolutions for a long time. And so now you're back in that that industry partner world where everybody looks at you LinkedIn like it doesn't matter, right?

Jarrod Kilway: 0:40

Not at all. You go from zero to hero real quick, right? Then you go right back to zero.

Kyle Mountsier: 0:45

Yeah. Isn't that crazy? It's like, is this your first industry event since being being outside of the dealer? It

Jarrod Kilway: 0:51

is. It is is the first time out since being in the dealer sides. Yeah,

Kyle Mountsier: 0:55

so ever. All the industry partners aren't after your badge anymore? Is

Jarrod Kilway: 0:59

that right? No, everybody you thought were your real good friends. They don't talk to them anymore. Imagine that.

Kyle Mountsier: 1:04

They're like these guys. All they wanted they killing me. They just wanted a piece of time. So So tell me this. So you've been in Philly now for about two days. Is that right? Yeah. How's your experience been? So far? Have you done any Philly things? Or have you just been like in the hotel and at the soda con stuff?

Jarrod Kilway: 1:20

We went out to dinner, we had dinner last night. But that was fun. We got to go down on the second street. So got to the old school to eat, what do you? Um, shoot? I can't even tell you guys. Good. We had some good wine and good food and good company. So that's all the matter. There

Kyle Mountsier: 1:34

you go. That's awesome. So you are now with a company called Kinect. AI. And, you know, I think the first thing like everybody on the second half of that word kind of in the auto industry. Kind of like got that little like, quick. It was like anything that says AI or automation or it's kind of this like, big buzzword that's been out there. So calm our fears a little bit. Talk to us about exactly what what AI means to you all as a company and how that's that's being utilized to serve customers. Yeah,

Jarrod Kilway: 2:07

I mean, I was the same way. I mean, I was on one of these here and Ida five years ago, talking about how AI was the worst thing ever. So I was that guy. That's the funny part about it's great. But AI really, it's not as scary as it really is. It's the unknown. Yeah, it's the fear of the unknown of okay, what's going to change for my process? What's this going to change for my staff? What is that change going to be? And really, how much work? Am I going to have to do as a dealer? You know, that's the big piece. So what do I have to do? What do I have to have my team do? Those are the unknowns. And I think that's what really distracts a lot of people from really taking a deeper look at it. But when they, when they see it, you find out they're like, oh, my gosh, this is great. This is actually just a compliment to my team. It's not to replace my BDC team or BDC. Director. So internet, people don't have to worry about it. We're not here as a replacement. We're just here as a compliment to make you better.

Kyle Mountsier: 3:03

Zoom out just a little bit, because you've had a lot of a lot of part to play in some really impressive dealership operations, bringing technology in to enhance and support as opposed to take over like I think about the work you did with Jermaine to bring in a retailing solution that didn't replace anyone. It just made them more effective. Correct? What have you effective? See how to do that in little spots? There we go. Hey, so So what what have you What have you done to in your past? What have you seen is like the best mode to move a dealership from like, oh, that technology is going to replace or harm the overall experience to that technology is actually going to enhance and engage not just our customers, but also our employees.

Jarrod Kilway: 3:53

Correct? Yeah. So that's mean, there's really three different components to it. And I think about what was the biggest time suck that we had a German it, there's what's such a manual task base that you can automate. And it comes down to really the exciting thing. Joining Kinect was the acquire component. You know, I remember the day did you remember the days sit in the BDC and you're getting 1000 Can you be Ico Lidge? Yeah, and it just as a BDC rep that takes the wind out of your sails every time you see one because you know, it's gonna go against your pay. And most likely, it's because you're used car manager would not give your salesperson a value for the trade. So your salespersons side on the trade process is go on to the website and put the customer's information in there to get a value to give the customer Yep, and other dealerships are using your tool to do the exact same thing as well. So you're trying to filter through such a volume to try and find those one or two. So

Kyle Mountsier: 4:52

that's, that's just a pain point. That's a general pain point that I think our industry experiences for so many people that get especially trade leads Yeah, large third party aggregators that are the reason why they get them because they've done such a good job at branding their overall value. And it's not just KBB. But there's others Carfax, and, and and all of those. And so for dealers, that's a pain point for their employees, whether it be the part that it's affecting their pay, or even just the way that their workload goes, and the way that the communication with the customers goes. So when when you look at when you looked at that as an inefficiency or a pain point for especially employees, how are you how are you overcoming that pain point and, and not just like plugging in tech for the heck of tech, but like really creating employee efficiency.

Jarrod Kilway: 5:39

So that is one of our focuses, we have that integration with kB. And we're working on it with active trade here and uncertain future because it doesn't matter, as you said, the platform, it's still going to be an issue no matter where you go. But in essence, our job is to get contact, we want to engage them just via SMS, to try and get that person to engage. Once the engagement happens, we follow the language of that provider, whether it's When can you come in for 15 minutes and have your final offer evaluated or vehicle evaluated or whatnot. And we'll utilize that same language to make it a real natural conversation. What we find is, the people who are engaging are the ones who are actually wanting to sell their vehicle. So you're filtering out 1000 leads, you may have 400, that are actually going to engage with the AI talk back and forth with it. And out of that we're scheduling appointments for both phone calls, as well as in person visits. And a lot of times it's a live call transfer right there on the spot, too. Wow. Though, it's

Kyle Mountsier: 6:38

so so what I'm hearing from you is like the people that actually want to sell their car, yeah, are ready to engage. We just haven't done a good job as an industry and engaging them in a human way. And now that we're moving them to a place that space, which that safe a space that's safe, look at my words, that you really get the opportunity to connect with them. And in that connection,

Jarrod Kilway: 7:02

and we don't prejudge them, you know, we don't pre judge which is the biggest piece as well as the industry is. We have this kind of OLAP guy oh,

Kyle Mountsier: 7:10

five forecasts went Oh, focus, we're never gonna buy.

Jarrod Kilway: 7:13

Great story. I'll tell you. Behind it as I look at all these conversations every day, like that's my morning routine is I jump in the platform? Okay, what happened overnight? What happened yesterday? What are the cool conversations, and there's one that sticks out and I use when I talk to stores, I used to talk to partners, you know, there was one, and it puts me back into the dealer days when I was a BDC. Rep and when you were there, it'll hit you hard. Somebody the KBB laid on a old Ford GMC Sierra 1500 with like, 100 something 1000 miles on it. KBB offered 10 grand for the valuation of the vehicle. Nope, no problem. But the customer engages and says No way. I least need 15 For this to even make it worthwhile. So take a time out there. So we're five grand swin right on a value. Every BDC rep internet person in the industry, thanks. Let us know if anything changes right there do that or they just go mark the lead lost or mark the lead bad, right? What our tool does a little different is hey, just for confirmation. We're talking about your make model vehicle. Correct. So we do the reaffirmation on the vehicle through AI. Customer said yes, that point in time, hey, sometimes people miss things when they're inputting the vehicle into systems. One's a great time to jump on a call so we can reevaluate your vehicle together. Right now perfect live call transferred on the phone. Talk to the store later on the day as i Hey, what happened with that he was oh, we went back over the evaluation, he forgot to click four wheel drive. When the four wheel drive got clicked, the value was at 610. Two from the valuation. That guy showed up the next day sold that store his truck. So like, pause for a second take a time out of how many opportunities

Kyle Mountsier: 9:01

are we just using as an industry? Because we don't ask the right questions.

Jarrod Kilway: 9:05

Correct. And we don't it's not even we don't ask the right questions. Our teams in place don't have the bandwidth and volume to keep up. Yeah. So rather than overloading them with Billy Bob at Billy bob.com or some 555 phone number. Let us take and engage them. Continue to run your process. We're there to help you get the engagements. But let us take that piece on for you. That makes your life easier.

Kyle Mountsier: 9:33

I love it. I think it's a great software industry. Well, I want to get a little bit away from that. So you've been in the industry for quite some time. You've seen ebbs and flows. You've been through technology shifts through market shifts, and you've seen the way that dealers have handled that. What's one thing that you're seeing as as you talk to dealers, the dealers are are really attacking the market right now with what are you seeing like the majority of dealers go after at this moment that you're really excited that They are doing,

Jarrod Kilway: 10:00

it's a lot of people are starting to open up their eyes. And a lot of dealers are starting to at least ask questions on try to how to figure it out. Kramer and I figured it out in German. And it was really successful. So I'm excited to see more people try and figure it out. But it's the service drive to sales process. It's a huge opportunity with everything from shortages from inventory for both new cars and use. It's an opportunity to one keep in contact with your customers while they're in for service, build that loyalty, build that reputation and make them aware of what's going on. But to have the ability to acquire inventory. Yeah. And

Kyle Mountsier: 10:36

so I'm seeing that too. And I think it's, it's a necessary part because it creates that flywheel of engagement with our customers. Absolutely.

Jarrod Kilway: 10:43

So a lot of people are thinking of it. They're talking about it You hear a lot of people actually hear that have been talking about as well, trying to figure out what does that process look like? How can we clearly define it? What are the bumpers that I need to set up before I can just try and plug people in there? Yeah. So no, it's really exciting for that because I think that's the next evolution of it.

Kyle Mountsier: 11:03

Awesome was cool. Well, Jarrod, thanks so much for hanging out with us here on ASOTU CON Sessions by Effectv and congrats on your move to connect and look forward to chatting with you again sometimes.

Unknown: 11:15

Definitely. Thank you.

Paul Daly: 11:19

Thank you for listening to this a so to concession by effective if you want more content like this, you can check out our other podcasts we have a daily show called The automotive troublemaker Monday through Friday. Here on podcasts also live streamed on YouTube, and LinkedIn and Facebook. We also have a long form podcast called Auto collabs auto collabs. And if you just want to go a little deeper into this community, you should sign up for our regular email we put our heart and soul into it. You can get it for free by going to a sotu.com We'll see you next time.