Kirk Preiser

October 3, 2023
Kirk Preiser and Michael Cirillo sit down to chat at ASOTU CON 2023.
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Kirk Preiser is the Founder of E-Volv Solutions.

Thanks to Effectv for making ASOTU CON Sessions possible!

Paul Daly: 0:00If you're listening to his soda concessions by effective live from a soda con 2023

Michael Cirillo: 0:10

Hey, welcome to this episode of a soda concessions by effective I'm sitting down with my new pal Kurt priser. Thanks so much for joining me here today. Yeah, what's up? Hey. So you, we were just chatting here pre show a little bit you have experienced that not a lot of people get to have working at the OEM level through Audi, I want to just quickly pick your brain on that and say, Okay, from the vantage point you had working from the OEM level, what were some of the things that you were picking up on that that could just scale across the dealer body?

Kirk Preiser: 0:44

Yeah, I mean, really, we're in a situation now, like we've never been before in the industry, where there's new players in town that are selling manufacture direct, okay, the Evie companies are coming in, they're selling directly to the consumer. And what we're hearing, by and large, is that it's not necessarily the product and a lot of cases, they've got some really good product out there that the customers are vibing with or really enjoying. But in a lot of cases, it's the sales experience that has really turned them on to this new way of purchasing a vehicle. And so we've got this threat coming in, that we've got to attack, right. And what we've done in the industry consistently is we've looked at this 30 day cycle, or all we're focused on is the new car sales objective, in most cases, right. And we really can't find time to really work on our processes and change the business, but we have to start thinking about it. So we're at a situation now where I see across the country, a lot of dealers are kind of in flux, where they're not really sure what direction to go. But we've got to, we've got to double down and take this opportunity to really look at the things that consumers don't enjoy about the traditional sales process and figure out a way to fix them, the technology is there for us to improve the experience. In fact, what I like to tell dealers is that we can deliver a much better experience than what Tesla does, we've got an opportunity, okay, because of the integrations and the technology companies that are out there today and the way their integration integrated with the tech stacks and dealers, we can do more online and in store to connect the consumer experience than what these OEM directs are offering. But now what do

Michael Cirillo: 2:15

you think the what do you think the barrier to entry on that is?

Kirk Preiser: 2:18

I think really, what it comes down to in a lot of cases is the fact that you got to take two or you know, one or two steps back sometimes before you can move forward, right? And in the industry has always been one where we can't afford to take a step back, right? All these products are coming to market manufacturers hit sales targets, dealers have sales targets, and everybody's kind of hesitant to say, Well, yeah, no, I get it. I think I need to change the industry is changing, the consumer mindset is changing. But if I do this, you know, I might miss my sales objective next month or the following month, etc. And I think it's that hesitancy and it's it's not, they're not sure they don't have the confidence that heading in that direction. And investing the time and energy to changing is really going to pay off in the long run. I think that's the biggest barrier to entry that we have right now.

Michael Cirillo: 3:06

You know what it makes me think of recently, nothing makes you want to get healthy, like a fatty liver test results on your blood, you know, exactly, exactly. And when I'm listening because of TMI. But anyways, point being is, what do I do I hire a trainer trainer says you're gonna eat five meals a day, right? Which seems counterintuitive to me, it seems like a backtrack. Because I'm like, I don't eat five meals a day. Are you intermittent and fast? You know, and do all this kind of crap? No, you're gonna eat five meals a day, you're going to do these calories, you're going to do these macros. And boy, to your point did I feel like I'm like I said to my wife, I'm gonna take it a step back, I'm actually going to gain weight. Maybe so worried I had to actually trust the process, which you talked about earlier. And so that's the way I'm thinking about it here. You know what may be? You might dip the first month Exactly. But it really makes me think of this Kirk like that. What's that quote? If not now, when? You're there anyways, you're at the store anyways. Yeah,

Kirk Preiser: 4:13

I think there's a couple of things that you just hit on. One is you got to recognize your fat before a diet works. Okay, yeah. So so so there's still some people out there in the industry that don't recognize that it's broken. Okay. And figure that the way we've been doing business for the last 100 years works just fine. I'm hitting my sales targets. I'm making lots of money, everything if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Yeah, right. You're you've got individuals and I've met them that said, You know what, I hear you I understand the industry is moving slow. I don't have to worry about this. The next guy who replaces me is going to have to worry about this. So I'm going to continue doing what's gotten me to this point and I'll and I'll let them focus on right. So I've heard that as well. But you Yes, sometimes you do have to take a step back before you move forward, but you got it, you got to have that long term mindset that you're on the right path, right. And it's the, it's the right thing for you to do. Because if you're going to change the major sales processes, so if you're going to adopt digital retailing in store, okay, which is, which is one of the biggest things that I'm pushing to dealers today is that you shouldn't have two different technologies that you're using with the consumer. If you're using a digital retailing tool on your website, like say, a roadster or Darwin or Karna, or whatever. And then they come in to the dealership or they engage with you, and you're using your CRM desking tool to put the deal together, right, you've got two completely different technologies, it's a disjointed experience, many of the DR tools can be used in store to put the deals together for the customer. But that's a huge process change, you got to get people it takes training, it takes weeks of training and follow up, etc. And that takes time, then not a lot of people are willing to invest, because they could go backwards before they go forward.

Michael Cirillo: 6:07

Right. And then I think of what to your point, this, this idea of playing the infinite game, which is what hopefully we're doing, requires, to your point, what you're making me think of requires that you actually finally sit down and document a process with a thesis, like if we do this, here is the intended outcome that we believe will result in I think, Sophia, not just in this industry, every business, I mean, families would benefit from a thesis statement and desired outcomes, you know, from your experience, looking at the playing field, what is that starting place? You say, Let's build process. You've talked about experience, but where do we start? What what's the first thing I could look at and say, that's where I'm going to start? That's what I'm going to tweak?

Kirk Preiser: 6:58

Yeah, it really goes back to recognizing that you need to start. Okay, so seriously, that's the big part. Right. And, you know, I mentioned yesterday in our talk that you don't replace your roof when it's raining outside. Right. Okay. And when the Eevee market, or the Evie vehicles that are being built in the industry right now start flooding into dealerships, okay. And the pressure starts mounting to sell those cars. Okay, that's when the rain starts. And so now is the time to recognize that we do need to change. So So that's the first step. The second step is that you need to over communicate with all of your employees that you need to change. And why. Because you have to plant that seed ahead of time before you just throw the change on them, they have to be bought into it, they have to understand why you're going to be going through this, they have to understand the long game, they have to understand that things might be difficult initially, it's going to be different from what they're usually doing, right if you expect them to buy in and be successful. So that's the next step. The third step, I would say, in most cases, is get yourself a personal trainer. Okay, I know there's a lot of discussion out there in the industry with respect to consultants, and whether or not they're helpful. And I think there's a lot of consultants out there that are that are really trying to push some of the old practices in the industry. Yeah. So you got to find yourself somebody that is progressive enough to be thinking forward, and then get yourself some help. Because some of this stuff is really hard. And you've got to run a business on a daily basis, okay, you've got employee problems, you have service issues that pop up, you've got all kinds of things going on, you got to worry about facility and Hail Damage cars, and all that other kind of stuff. And so get yourself some help to move through the process. Find somebody that you trust that understands it, that has worked with enough dealers to really have some, you know, best practices that they can share with you. And then kind of start there. I mean, I could go on but I mean, that's right, you get the point of kind of where to go, but it's it's finding that personal trainer, that's going to write you a diet plan

Michael Cirillo: 8:54

and they're there as an accountability partner as well to make sure you're sticking to it. Yeah, absolutely right that I find that something that we do all too often our human nature says oh yeah, I'm super ambitious about this. This sounds great. And then seven days go by and we're like this is no this didn't work you're like really you gave it seven days you're a loser. Well that

Kirk Preiser: 9:12

but but that goes back to the industry as a whole never wants to miss right right. We never want to miss we never want to go back it's

Michael Cirillo: 9:24

kind of oxymoronic though. Because in the in the process of not wanting to miss you're missing.

Kirk Preiser: 9:29

Yeah. Yeah, I had so I had a general manager at a dealership that I used to be responsible for. That flipped his whole entire dealership over to single point of contact. Right okay. And he did not use any outside help. super painful. Took him about a year to perfect the process. He'll tell everybody to this day. I almost lost my job over it. Okay, but looking back now they are so much more profitable, more successful. They have a higher loyalty. They don't have any turnover. And he'll tell me today I would never go back. back to the way that we were doing business before. But he had to go backwards for a long period of time to the point of where his job was in jeopardy. He was able to deflect that pressure get his ownership to buy into the long term vision. They were able to make it through it and they are and they've been one of the most successful dealerships since then.

Michael Cirillo: 10:18

Yeah, you know, just the closing thought here for me is if you haven't noticed times are changing Get with the program or Off you go right that's what's gonna happen you know, so many people in Oh 809 were like oh to want to be the other one of the ones that had to shut down it's like well then do something about it. Yeah, change. I love it. Kurt priser Thanks so much for joining me here on asoto concessions How can those listening or watching learn more about you and get in touch with you?

Kirk Preiser: 10:45

Yeah, just follow me on LinkedIn, Kirk priser KIRKP rei ser on LinkedIn connect with me there, follow me there. We'd love to talk to you love to help in any way. I just want to help the industry move forward. That's that's really my passion, just changing the industry one dealer at a

Michael Cirillo: 11:01

time. Appreciate your time.

Paul Daly: 11:06

Thank you for listening to this. 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 collapse, auto collapse. 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 We'll see you next time.

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