Kamping with the Kilways with Jarrod Kilway

October 30, 2023
🎙️ From digital lead strategies to RV living in Miami, dive into auto industry insights with Jarrod Kilway! 🚗☀️
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Join us as we navigate the automotive digital landscape with Jarrod Kilway. From the nuances of after-hours lead generation to the intricacies of automotive CRM systems, we're revving up the conversation. Plus, get a glimpse into Jarrod's unique Miami RV lifestyle and how it intertwines with dealership dynamics and customer engagement. It's like your morning coffee chat, but turbocharged with dealership operations, automotive marketing, and a sprinkle of personal tales.

Timestamped Takeaways:

  • 0:44 - Sound testing and its unexpected link to automotive sales.
  • 1:04 - Dealership operations and the disruptors making waves.
  • 1:56 - Jarrod's take on automotive branding, and why white t-shirts matter.
  • 2:58 - Miami RV life: How dealership mobility meets personal passion.
  • 6:38 - The tech tools driving today's automotive industry.
  • 13:55 - Digital lead generation: The future of auto sales?
  • 16:52 - AI in automotive: Beyond the showroom.
  • 20:49 - Konect's vision for the future of automotive CRM systems.

Gear up for a blend of industry insights, digital marketing strategies, and fun anecdotes. 🎧☕️

Jarrod Kilway is the COO of Konect.ai

Paul J Daly: 0:01

Two, two, two.

Speaker 2: 0:09

This is auto collapse. Why does it?

Paul J Daly: 0:12

do okay. Why do sound guys do that when they're testing Mike's?

Michael Cirillo: 0:16

because it's like sibilants and you know like they give it a I don't know.

Paul J Daly: 0:23

Say one, use the word.

Kyle Mountsier: 0:26

Check one, check one no two.

Paul J Daly: 0:28

I think it's because you get the high end, that and then the low.

Kyle Mountsier: 0:32

Yeah, cuz one is a very like. Two, I don't know but every time we get a mic. Now.

Paul J Daly: 0:38

That's all we do like a bunch of morons. I'm gonna look it up and so we had to drag the moron ish into the podcast this morning, you're welcome everybody. Oh my gosh, I love today's guests because we've had relationship with him back when he was on the front lines of causing massive trouble. It's Brian Kramer at the dealership in Florida.

Kyle Mountsier: 0:57

Oh, so much trouble that every time you turned around they were like Nobody's done this before, nobody does.

Paul J Daly: 1:04

That's the hard part is that I can only imagine what it was like trying to deal with those two. Is it from like an OEM level?

Jarrod Kilway: 1:12

Yeah, you're done.

Paul J Daly: 1:13

You always knew that, whatever you said to them, they were gonna show you the data to prove that you were wrong. And you're right, oh, they're good. Oh, not again.

Kyle Mountsier: 1:21

Yeah, well, not anymore. Always like a pure out-and-out data guy. He's like if the data says it, we do it.

Paul J Daly: 1:28

It is what it is, so not anymore, though Not anymore Now, he's, he's gone, he's gone.

Speaker 2: 1:31

Partner side, and he can help a lot more dealers though it's good, it's good.

Michael Cirillo: 1:38

Well, hey, listen. We hope you enjoy this, for at least listen here one or two minutes with our pal Jared Kilway on the session about a.

Jarrod Kilway: 1:55

How you doing today, doing great Kyle how about yourself? Buddy.

Kyle Mountsier: 1:59

Oh man, I'm happy I even wore a white t-shirt today. The people listening can't like whenever I'm wearing a white t-shirt. It's just kind of one of those slightly brighter days, you feel like I always like the white t-shirt is always a contrast to the outdoors. Oh right, so it's like if the white t-shirts on it's cuz the outboards are like that.

Michael Cirillo: 2:18

This is how you know he works behind a computer, cuz he's like how can I diffuse sunlight and bring it into my Exactly, exactly.

Kyle Mountsier: 2:27

Bring that into my eyes.

Michael Cirillo: 2:28

Well, I'm only like a dude who's camping.

Kyle Mountsier: 2:32

Jared? Yes, that's Jared, not me.

Paul J Daly: 2:38

Super, you're, you lamping.

Kyle Mountsier: 2:41

You're glamping now. Is that like a full-time pod for you, or did your wife make you looks? Get out on the backyard or what?

Paul J Daly: 2:48

For the people just listening. Jared is obviously not in a living room.

Michael Cirillo: 2:52

Yes, I mean, he kind of is it is, it is roomish space.

Paul J Daly: 2:57

So where you at Tell the people so yeah, so no, we're in Miami.

Jarrod Kilway: 3:01

We're in, as the kids and say, as well as the co-workers say, it's the mobile command center. So we're down here in Miami. This started actually last year after the hurricane hit Fort Myers and the. You know, for everybody who knows me knows about my kids and how passionate I am for them and their goals and their sports and Uber competitive gymnasts. So their gym got destroyed and we transitioned and invited over to a gym here in Miami. So, obviously, miami and the cost of living is very expensive. So here we are in a 36-foot RV.

Michael Cirillo: 3:42

Wow, your family has a vlog.

Paul J Daly: 3:46

No, come on vlog material.

Michael Cirillo: 3:49

Always are eating for dinner today.

Kyle Mountsier: 3:51

That is such vlog material. Chicken right chicken rice and beans.

Jarrod Kilway: 3:54

Camping with the killways.

Paul J Daly: 3:59

That's not your.

Kyle Mountsier: 4:00

YouTube channel, okay, and then the camping definitely has a kid then when you're like obviously see like the Miami right and nothing says camping like Miami you're welcome.

Michael Cirillo: 4:11

Thanks for joining us on the show today.

Kyle Mountsier: 4:18

What, what? Okay, so this is. I wanted to ask you this because I mean, I know from my wife's history as a ballerina, like that, like some of these things that a lot of us don't think about in the world, like ballet and gymnastics is a whole other level. What's the parents perspective on Having competitive Gymnasts in the house and not just one but multiple that are like getting invited to be at four he's saying four.

Paul J Daly: 4:48

Yeah, four.

Kyle Mountsier: 4:50

Wow, four. What is that? Like like what there's. There's multiple dynamics, but just give us a little taste of like how it is Parenting in that environment.

Jarrod Kilway: 5:00

Well, I mean it's, it's a challenge, and when you factor in Home schooled on top of that, I mean it's a. It's a commitment. But it's not just a commitment, as you know a parent, but it's also a commitment for them. You know they're held accountable to what they need to get done for school, learning, education, but also in terms of that work life balance, and that's what I go back to. And, yeah, we rewind the tape to our younger days of you know, ages between five and twelve, where we're just out getting stuff done, riding bikes and, you know, causing a ruckus. These kids are committed now. You know they're up at six every single morning. They're knocking out Breakfast, they're knocking out an hour and a half two hours school in the morning, go into practice nine to five hour break from lunch, come back knocking out school for another two hours afterwards. I mean it's like a full-time job, but you know, and it's it's, it's their passion, this is their goals, this is their dreams. And who are, who am I as a parent, to take away my kids dreams? We're gonna make sacrifices as a family to support them and that's what we've done now. That's included our sacrifices as well, as I'm sitting in the RV. But the reason why it's called glamping is the beauty of technology is, hey, having Starlink. We got Starlink outside. It's faster than my dad even at home. So these are things that we could. This could never have happened in my parents time frame, but with the evolution, it couldn't have even happened, like four years ago. Lee. So it's, it's a pretty cool experience, but it makes you realize how much you don't need stuff. It's simplification, see now is everyone.

Michael Cirillo: 6:56

Jared's, not Italian, because my question was gonna be like how often do you keep this whole thing in your back pocket when you get attitude Cuz? I know my parents would be like I will drive this RV? We went homeless for you.

Kyle Mountsier: 7:15

That's amazing, but it's actually. It's the second pod this week that literally parents have Sacrificed their entire living situation. I'm never let my kids listen to either of these two either of these Right to do this, and this is this is what's cool, you know, like okay, starting to connect this back to auto, because we're obviously in auto and a lot of people listen to podcast or in auto it's called auto collapse, you know, I I See this as such a there's so many parents and so many families in auto that take a path of, like their children, being diligent and intentional and Driving for success early in life Like I see all of our families doing that, and I think that there's this nature in people that get in auto that are just motivated at a different level. Then then people in some other verticals might experience and for us it starts to be normalized. It's like, oh yeah, I can't wait to move this family and put them in a camp in a camper right, steve Russell, their moves his family to Nashville first. I you know, and you start to see this like repetitive rhythm. But in auto we have this motivation level because of what we've experienced and the type of industry that it is that drives our kids and the. The thing that I'll ask you, because you're you know, because of the, the four kids and their friends, is like we keep saying this and maybe you've experienced this, but we're seeing these like next two generations, the one that are kind of like in college and just out and younger, as Some of the most driven generations of the past three generations that have entered the workforce.

Jarrod Kilway: 9:01

The word I'd like to associate is commitment and Passion, and those two things is that's what I see, not just from my girls. There's girls here that they're Jim, that are from, you know, france, that their parents are still living in France and they're here with their mom and go home once a month. I mean this is ultimate Commitments, but it's because the passion these kids have and the diligence they're working to it, it's not just, oh, it's recess, it's playtime. There's some extreme commitment for these kids to hit these goals they have which, going back to the automotive element to it, this is you know, my daughter see all the time, like dad, you're grinding, you're working. You know you know it's 10, 11 o'clock at night and you're still out on. You know, outside at the picnic table, sitting there with your laptop, just working, getting stuff done, where all of our, some of our other friends, parents, they'd be like, oh, they're hanging out, they're doing this and you're still working, still grinding. There's no clocking in and clocking out and they're seeing that passion that we have collectively. It you know, as you guys did and sacrificed all your time, you're saying you don't make the sacrifices. You guys just did it the past couple weeks at a. So do so, don't discredit yourselves there, but these are the passions that our kids are seeing and applying to their goals, to their Once and what we're gonna see from that is a whole different generation. So you think that purse these kids when they want to go buy their first card, you think they're gonna wait In a showroom for more than a half an hour To take delivery? That's not gonna happen. Their patience level because they value time as this younger generation higher than anyone else. Wow, because we've taught them time.

Kyle Mountsier: 10:56

But yeah, they value it, not because they want it all to themselves, but they see what the value of time can be if used appropriately. Correct, all right.

Paul J Daly: 11:04

Sure, and they well, they also, it sounds like, have an idea of what they want to do with their time, right, and so they were like I have productive things to be doing, and so four hours here is not productive, yeah honey, you say this like I had.

Michael Cirillo: 11:19

I was at the kitchen table the other night with my kids oldest is 14, youngest is 10. Right, and we're talking about Cash. Cash is trash. Like you got to exchange your cash for things that grow in value and work and and they're like, yeah, that's appreciation, dad, and I'm like, oh, is that what?

Jarrod Kilway: 11:36

I'm like how do you know who?

Michael Cirillo: 11:38

and I'm like what's the call when it loses money? They're like oh, that's depreciation, dad. I'm like who's teaching them this stuff?

Speaker 2: 11:46

big they are.

Michael Cirillo: 11:49

They're like dialed into some. Something in the ether is like Conditioning them, to tell you're right.

Kyle Mountsier: 11:55

You're right. Tick tock discord twitter. Yeah.

Jarrod Kilway: 11:58

I'm ready. Yeah, I mean, they are self educating now and learning things at 10, 12, shoot my five-year-old even. And it's like Wait, where are you? Yeah, do your part. Where are you picking this up? And it's because they're doing their own self discovery knowledge behind it, like my. My 12 year old wrote her own roblox game In a couple hours because she wanted to see if she could do it. And I'm like, was that a time value that you did? She goes, it was more or less. I wanted to see if I. How. How old is she? Again, 12.

Michael Cirillo: 12:30

Uh-huh, and she works for the Pentagon now.

Paul J Daly: 12:34

You didn't know they have a presence in roblox. They do, you just don't know, about it.

Jarrod Kilway: 12:39

I I welcome the free education trust me, but Sarillo what were you doing at 12 years old?

Michael Cirillo: 12:44

What was I doing at 12 years?

Speaker 2: 12:45


Michael Cirillo: 12:45

Yeah, I was recording. So windows had a voice recorder and I would record Sentences in it, then play it backwards.

Paul J Daly: 12:54

Memorize how it sounded backwards, try to save the backwards and then reverse it, yeah.

Michael Cirillo: 12:58

Yeah, I mean putting hockey cards in my bicycle. Spoke so it sound like a motorcycle.

Paul J Daly: 13:04

I was definitely doing that.

Jarrod Kilway: 13:05


Kyle Mountsier: 13:08

Oh man, sideways. So you I wanted to get. Obviously you've been now with Connect for a while, a little over a year right, it's been. it's been a year and a half now, so yeah, and you've spent time like back and forth kind of between the vendor side of the community and the dealer side of the community. Got to see both sides and this is like your first foray into kind of like a very streamlined technology, right Like you spent time with Vin, which is a little bit more broad because of the type of things, but like the streamlined technology of of Connect and like being diligent about conversations. What have you seen and learned over the last year that you've been with Connect? That maybe is like new, fresh things that maybe weren't a part of your learning as part of Vin Solutions or the dealer side of the world.

Jarrod Kilway: 13:56

It's education. I mean, it's the education not only for ourselves as companies as we grow, but it's also the education for the dealers on what they don't know and what they perceive certain instances to be. You know, biggest thing to look at is what percentage of your leads come in during after hours. Like that's not a metric that most dealers are measuring, but we measure what our contact rate is, or a set rate, or some stores. Just look at lead to close rate and, okay, if I'm at 12%, I'm good, check the box and I'm going to move on to something else. But there's so much more. Looking at, for example, most dealerships, on average we're seeing about their aggregate of sold from after hours being 15 to 20% of their total sold from internet, but about 35 to 40% of all of their lead volume is coming in during that time. So there's a huge opportunity there.

Kyle Mountsier: 14:54

So let me track that. So, as a percentage of lead volume, after hours leads are less, but as a percentage of or as a closing rate goes, it typically is higher.

Jarrod Kilway: 15:07

It's opposite. So you have 40% of your leads originate while you're closed. When you look at everything you've sold for the month from internet leads, it's only 20% of that total aggregate is happening from your after hour instances. So there's a lot of opportunity from when you're close.

Kyle Mountsier: 15:29

I got 20% gap on what the lead volume is for the close rate.

Jarrod Kilway: 15:34

But the close rate gap is 60%. So I ask dealers the question every time I'm like, oh, we don't know When's the last time you mystery shopped your store when you're closed. We do it when we're open. When did you.

Paul J Daly: 15:49

When did it? When you're closed.

Kyle Mountsier: 15:50

That's great. That's like I'm already. I'm. Just everybody that's listening to this should be writing that down like nine o'clock at night tomorrow, mystery shop, see what happens next day, do it at six in the morning.

Jarrod Kilway: 16:03

Wake up early, jump on your phone Okay.

Kyle Mountsier: 16:07

So, 40% of your leads have that experience. Because that's when they're off work and shopping.

Jarrod Kilway: 16:13

Exactly, and then those become as we call them Kyle, you've sat in store for a while. Those are the ghost customers. Those aren't, those aren't good leads. Those are those people just ghost us all the time. It's because we are prompting them to call them at nine in the morning, but yet they submitted the lead that three am and are probably working night shift and are sleeping. So now they've just put you on the block list because you just woke them up and pissed them off.

Michael Cirillo: 16:39

Interesting. You just need to respond at 3 AM, when they're tired and make not great decisions, and your close ratio will go up.

Paul J Daly: 16:48

Yeah, it's funny to have an all night person.

Kyle Mountsier: 16:52


Jarrod Kilway: 16:53

That's what we are, that's what we do, right, yeah?

Kyle Mountsier: 16:56

That's where, like having having an AI or a responder that's intelligent enough to take the conversation makes a whole lot of sense. But yeah, like that's not a data point, I mean I've I ran BDCs for eight years. I never pulled like what's my after hours lead closing ratio?

Jarrod Kilway: 17:12

Mm, hmm.

Kyle Mountsier: 17:13

I. If there's a dealer listening to this or you know a dealer right now that's doing that, someone DM me because I want to shake your hand.

Paul J Daly: 17:22

So when? When did you come up with that? Did you see somebody doing it? Did you just think like hey, this makes sense to do it?

Jarrod Kilway: 17:28

I mean, it came about, you know, with, just in conversations with dealers and just digging into the data and looking and see, okay, what is going on. We saw the lift of you know beginning half of this year, the lift of you know cost of leads, as the lead gen cost have continued to go up and we're looking at it from a marketing standpoint. You know what. How much are we spending on? Now? Go that route here. I'll pivot on that in a minute. But with these additional cost of marketing to do customer acquisition, how much of this marketing spend is during hours versus after hours and what are the ROI metrics to it? What's your Google paid search cost per click after hours versus during hours at a conversion rate? To figure out what's your? Can you know true acquisition cost on hours, off hours? I mean, shoot if you're. If it's really low during off hours, how do you know your agency is not pushing more towards times or closed to show a lower CPC number but yet a lower ROI perspective, because we don't have a said process for after hours?

Michael Cirillo: 18:38

I also. There's like a spin off here, too, where I'm like, even with that level of data, like backing it to my Google analytics, my site data, looking at user behavior, seeing what hours people are truly coming to visit, and then coming up with content and campaigns that meet them at the. It's like hey, they're night owl, you know. Like, yeah, talking to people in language. They're like what, they know me so well, you know, sort of a thing. I love that side of it too.

Jarrod Kilway: 19:05

And we've really dug into it and found a higher percentage of those instances are coming from third parties comparable to dealer website and matches the customer journey from you know the third party sites being that mid funnel level shopper compared to somebody on dealer website that is more lower level. I'm going to go shop those third parties with two in the morning, maybe submit my info to a couple of them, get some feedback to them. But then when I find the real one, that's when you see that website conversion during hours as that second instance because they've picked you as the person they want to talk to. But if you can create a leaving impact from the instance on the third parties and make them want to engage, and then hey, book of like what we do. We sit there and book a phone call appointment for them the next day, try and answer a few questions and get them connected with somebody at the right time when we know they're going to answer. The answer rate and engagement rate is just off the charts because it's less about what we want as a dealer to follow this checklist of process and more about the customer.

Paul J Daly: 20:13

Do you get tired ever?

Jarrod Kilway: 20:15

No, I have four kids. There's no such thing Not allowed. This is what I do at 11 o'clock at the picnic table at the picnic table.

Kyle Mountsier: 20:24

That's what it is.

Michael Cirillo: 20:25

Someone's something upon this. That's not an auto and they're like slowly putting on an aluminum tin foil hat.

Kyle Mountsier: 20:32

Right, yeah, exactly, I love the dead on this. I want to give you a chance just before we close up. You all just recently announced around a funding and excited to see what that happened. Tell us a little bit about that, how that came about and what you're excited for the future of connect.

Jarrod Kilway: 20:50

Yes, now the future of connect is extremely exciting, with this announcement of our seed raise funding with Silverton and raising 5.5 million to continue to grow and educate not only the dealers but other partners in the space about how AI can really help assist the next generation of customers in the next 5, 10 years.

Paul J Daly: 21:14


Jarrod Kilway: 21:16

Talk about rocket fuel.

Michael Cirillo: 21:18

Yeah, kidding, and multiple cell phones.

Jarrod Kilway: 21:23

Multiple cell phones, multiple addresses and zip codes yes, man, that's crazy.

Michael Cirillo: 21:28

I feel like we need to have a bigger conversation. But certainly you know we love hanging out with you, excited that you are glamping and getting things done regardless. Maybe that's the thing. Maybe we're talking to Jared's AI right now. I don't know. I don't know what's happening right now, but nonetheless, jared, thanks so much for joining us here. On AutoClapped, this is what Reddit says. The word two is almost perfect for testing a system because over the length of the words pronunciation you'll hit nearly the entire audio spectrum, especially if you pitch down to ooh hey, that was my guess, so is my guess.

Kyle Mountsier: 22:08

Oh, I was a terrible word for that. If you give, it a little.

Paul J Daly: 22:11

Ooh, like you give it a little up Right in the back. Ooh, ok, I think. I think we've lost all our subscribers by this point. And there goes my mom. Right, she's even got.

Kyle Mountsier: 22:30

Well, cerillo's lost his glasses after that podcast, mainly because all of us lost our glasses when, like I predicted at the beginning, jared came with the data and the. Have you ever heard a conversation in auto at any conference, clubhouse room, linkedin post, anything like that, where someone's like well, we haven't really analyzed the data of after hours contacts? Yeah, that was unbelievable.

Paul J Daly: 22:58

Oh right, when a lot of people call still before and after work.

Michael Cirillo: 23:02

Oh right, the time of day when people are home and not working.

Paul J Daly: 23:07

That makes so much sense. I mean good Lord.

Kyle Mountsier: 23:09

Speaking of everybody should be in on that.

Paul J Daly: 23:11

I still don't know what to do with the whole. Like we moved to Miami and live in a 36 foot you know motor home to be part of this gymnastics thing where people fly their children across the ocean to participate in. Like that level of commitment and performance is like it takes a rare person to be committed to that in general but then committed to that for your kids.

Michael Cirillo: 23:35

I mean, yeah, it shows his commitment level too, because you imagine sitting at a picnic table with a beautiful view by a beach somewhere, I'm guessing and having to work like Right.

Paul J Daly: 23:46

I wouldn't give anything.

Michael Cirillo: 23:48

There's got to be all sorts of mosquitoes on his.

Paul J Daly: 23:51

Yeah, he's got to hate that he still gets it done.

Michael Cirillo: 23:54

I'm picturing. You remember the movie Goofy, the Goofy movie. Oh what a good movie.

Paul J Daly: 24:01

I'm picturing.

Michael Cirillo: 24:02

he's got the RV that Goofy's friend has, where, like they like, set up shop, he pushes a button. There's like a bowling ring or a bowling lane and ice skating rink and a hot tub and all the things. That's what.

Paul J Daly: 24:14

I'm. It's a great reminder of what happens in this industry that nobody sees, and it just the type of person that excels in the auto industry, is committed and driven and they just figure out a way to make it work and they're strangely good at manipulating the world around them to still fit and to still work Right, and I think he's just par for the course when it comes to this auto industry. And every time I think I'm not going to be surprised anymore. I go ahead and get surprised.

Kyle Mountsier: 24:44

Well, we hope you were a little bit surprised, as we were on this podcast, just the cool learnings, insights and conversations we have with Jared Kilway on behalf of Paul J Daly, michael Cirillo and myself, kyle Mouts, here, thanks for joining us on our collabs.

Speaker 2: 24:58

Sign up for our free and fun to read daily email for a free shot of relevant news and automotive retail media and pop culture. You can get it now at a so to dot com. That's ASO tu dot com. If you love this podcast, please leave us a review and share it with a friend. Thanks again for listening. We'll see you next time. Welcome to auto collabs.

Paul J Daly: 25:31

We're recording.

Kyle Mountsier: 25:34

We're rolling.

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