Phil Gill

October 3, 2023
Phil Gill and Jordan Cox sit down to chat at ASOTU CON 2023.
Listen On
Apple Podcasts IconSpotify Icon

Phil Gill is the General Sales Manager at Tom Gill Chevrolet.

Thanks to Effectv for making ASOTU CON Sessions possible!

Paul Daly: 0:02You're listening to a soda con sessions by effective live from a soda con 2023.

Jordan Cox: 0:10

Thanks for tuning to another episode of a soda con sessions presented by effective and we had a chance to catch up with Phil Gill who said Tom Gill Chevrolet. And you're the GSM out there obviously, you know, you said you were in the in the Cincinnati market. So it's kind of cool to hear that someone's from the Midwest, same area as me. I'm from Northern Indiana. Okay, great, um, spend a lot of time down like towards Lexington and Columbus, that area to Cincinnati. Like it's beautiful out there. So first off, thanks for joining us. Oh, I'm

Phillip Gill: 0:35

very happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Jordan Cox: 0:37

So like, give us a real quick, like rundown of all the transitions you've had at Tom Gill Chevrolet. And of course, like your last name is the same. So? Sure. So you're almost born into it. Right. Right. Yeah.

Phillip Gill: 0:48

literally born into it. My dad's whole side of the family is automotive focused. So sure. You know, once I made the decision to make that my career, I've I've had a few different roles. And started in the office. I'm an accounting information systems background. So started in the office then got thrown into use cars. So you do have iOS systems? I do. Yeah. And got thrown into use cars, and ran that department for about four years and then moved into the General Sales Manager position. And by title that's kind of where I've been at the past five or six years now.

Jordan Cox: 1:23

Yeah, that's cool. And one of the things that you've done recently, about a year ago is doing your, your buy center. So we'll get into that here in a second. But I'm actually curious. So growing up with that, coming into the dealership now becoming GSM. How cool is it that you've been able to be a part of that like with your family and continue on the next generation of that?

Phillip Gill: 1:43

Yeah, it's really meaningful, actually. So you know, my grandfather started the whole family in the auto space. So by family standard, I'm third generation there, it means a lot to be able to work with My Father on a daily basis and grow this dealership to heights that I don't think either of us really thought it could achieve. And my brother just came back from Denver to start in this store a little over a year ago. And so now he's getting into it. So it's, it's really becoming a special thing. And something that I'm very fortunate unfortunate to have.

Jordan Cox: 2:17

Yeah, that's cool. What would you say it is about your dealership that makes you guys different than other dealers in your market? Maybe even other dealers from around the country?

Phillip Gill: 2:24

Yeah, I mean, I think there's, there's the intangibles that are things like our culture and the people that we have there that we put a lot of effort into. But experience wise,

Jordan Cox: 2:34

interesting. So you say you invest a lot in your people. And that pays off?

Phillip Gill: 2:37

Does it does pay off? Imagine that right? Yeah. Surprise, surprise, right. And, you know, there's a lot of effort we made there. But there's a lot of structural things we've done sure to, you know, make a difference as well. One of those things is in our sales process coming right out of COVID, we decided to go to a more A to Z sales process to where I said bye to our finance managers who were headaches for for a number of years and started down this new path. So really revamp what we're doing, and it's been a really great change for us. Yeah. And

Jordan Cox: 3:13

clearly the end result is so worth it when you transition to an A to Z, and you really invest in that customer experience the entire time. Now, one of the things you said obviously that was within the last couple years, they made that transition. What was the hardest thing about going through that transition and getting rid of finance managers, or transitioning them to something else?

Phillip Gill: 3:33

Yeah, one of the, you know, honestly, making the decision to do it was probably because you're going into something you're not really comfortable moving into necessarily, right. It's like, Oh, something you want. Right? Yeah. And, you know, once we made that decision, I think we did a really good job. And my team did an excellent job of being prepared for it, to where it wasn't super painful. But there have, I am not saying there hasn't been pain. And I think some of those pain points have been getting down our process, to where it's more streamlined with the with the customers making sure our product specialists can really speak to the paperwork there having customers sign really do a good job of presenting a menu, you know, some of those hard skills that you just have to learn. But, you know, it's been it's been really great, because it's it's sped up our sales process. It's actually increased our f&i numbers, you know, all and then the customers love it. I mean, they're shocked when they don't have to go back to another office to finish their deal. Right.

Jordan Cox: 4:39

And I'm sure you've heard the stereotypical name for the finance business office, the box, a box. Yeah. And that's like a curse word around here. You know, right. It's cool that you guys have been able to transition and make it in one unique experience, like from the A to Z part of it with one person because to to a customer, it makes the world of a difference. Yeah, and

Phillip Gill: 4:57

it really does and the nice thing that we also did Just kind of a carryover was they handle the internet lead as well. So that customer is truly working with that same person from their first interaction with our store till they till basically they go to deliver we do have delivery specialists that know the car inside and out. So that frees the product specialist to go back to doing what they're great at. But that whole kind of, you know, there's there's the omni channel from the technology you're using, but we've got kind of transitioning the omni channel of the person you're working with as well. And so you talk about really knowing where the customer is at and engaging that customer in the experience, it makes it way easier because there are no questions. It's just from one medium to the other.

Jordan Cox: 5:41

Yeah. So now I got to ask you, Phil, one of the things we talked about before we started rolling was that you guys recently came with Tachyon? Do you guys use Tachyon for your CRM and your DMS? Or do you have a separation there?

Phillip Gill: 5:50

Yeah. So we're not with them on CRM just quite yet. We're drive centric for CRM, but we are with them are on our DMS. And I'll have to say the technology stack there is really impressive. Yeah. And it's really helped with this from an Information Systems. Right, yeah. It's really helped with this process. Because everything can be esign, it connects right into route one. So all the contract pulls over there. Yeah, the integrations there, you know, you can do it on almost any device. So it makes it a really streamlined process for our people, it's pretty easy to use. And then if the customer is not there, we can actually share everything with them. And they can remotely sign all but three pieces of paper because the state law for the whole deal. I mean, it blows my mind. And it definitely blows our customers minds that they can actually do that.

Jordan Cox: 6:44

Yeah, that you can do that. Yeah, whether it's techie on whether it's other technology, I think it's really important on how it looks to the customer, but also to your internal processes. So the fact that you're able to save time using the same system without having to duplicate entry. And you also have a salesperson, or I'm sorry, a product specialist, that's take care of the A to Z side of it. So even if you add up like niceties and small talk, that could be 30 minutes of that entire experience that you're able to save just because you're not having to pass them off to somebody else.

Phillip Gill: 7:12

Well, for sure. And the efficiency comes in. I mean, think you think about this, you've worked with a person for an hour. And they say, Well, let me go think about it. Right? Yeah. And they say, oh, you know what, yeah, I want to move forward with it. Great. You don't even have to come back in. Let me send you all the paperwork, we'll have somebody to deliver the car to you. And how much time is that free up for the product specialists because they don't have to waste all the all that time with the person coming back in and getting everything done. It's just, it's done behind the scenes, they can go on, and let everybody else kind of manage the rest of that process. So it makes it really nice.

Jordan Cox: 7:45

And Phil, I think of so many situations where you might not even have the buyer and the CO buyer there where you can at least remotely spend the majority of those documents to help them save time 100, whether it's a parent, whether it's a spouse, whether it's someone else that's going on the loan with you. Yeah, the time saving part is nuts. Oh, it's insane.

Phillip Gill: 8:01

And it makes it very easy to do. So it's been something that we use more and more and more. Yeah. And it kind of, you know, at some point, you're looking at it, you're like, Well, I'm not seeing a lot of these customers back in the showroom or in the showroom at all, because it just becomes that much easier to interact with them. But yeah, I think that's long term wins for us, because we're creating a convenient experience.

Jordan Cox: 8:23

Sure. How long did it take your team to dial in that experience for the remote signing? Yeah, so we we had had just like it's a new beast. Yeah, it's a new beast, different value propositions? All

Phillip Gill: 8:33

right, we were CDK, prior to Tachyon. And we were doing esign stuff with CDK. So we were kind of used to that part of the process. You knew it existed, right, the remote sign piece we caught on pretty quickly, you know, it took when we launched with Tachyon. It took about 45 to 60 days for our people to become comfortable with just the general instore flow. But after that, I mean, the the process for sending it remotely in the in store is pretty much the same other than a couple of different button clicks. Yeah. So once they had that down, well, now we just got to learn to push two more buttons more into the remote signing. So the transition to that was very easy. And now that we've got a process around that it just flows. I mean, it's it's pretty easy. Now it's

Jordan Cox: 9:14

so cool. where technology is growing, especially with you know, companies that are very forward thinking in that space. It's, it's great that they're focusing on the customer experience. So here it is a save money, I'm sorry, save time, hopefully even save money. If you're looking at all your different options and the customer wins. Your store wins. Everybody wins.

Phillip Gill: 9:35

Yeah, I think that's one of the big things that we've tried to focus on in the last couple of years is finding vendors that help align us with the customer. Yeah. And I think that just goes a long, long way to where their focus on improving customer experience so we can easily improve customer experience, because the technology is there to do so. Yeah, exactly.

Jordan Cox: 9:58

One of the things we talked about the beginning episode Audible is your buy center. Yeah, so give us like a quick recap. I know you said you started about a year ago. How's that going? What's that look like? How hard was it to do? How many vehicles you buy in a month? What's it look like? Yeah. So

Phillip Gill: 10:10

this is one of my most exciting things that we've done. Recently, just a little past. Yeah, just a little passionate about I spent four years as a used car manager, right. So like, exactly the way to acquire cars. That isn't the auction sound is awesome, right? So, you know, we actually started working with David long, about a little over a year ago. I'm David Long's biggest fan. So he's great. And he's really helped us in still a process that helps us do this. But yeah, I mean, more, you know, the real shout out is to my team of people there that shout out to your team, right, Tom Gill Chevrolet that, taken hold of it, and learn the process and put in the work and continue to put in the work to grow it and push it. So, you know, I think our first month we bought maybe 12 cars. This month, we're on track for the best month that we're going to have. And we'll buy somewhere between 70 and 75 cars.

Jordan Cox: 11:07

So how big is the team doing that?

Phillip Gill: 11:10

We've got four people on the team. So we've got two buyers, a manager, and then I've got one person who's more of a, like BDC for the buy center. So just trying to get people engaged into the communications. But I'm, I'm just really excited about that. I get till

Jordan Cox: 11:26

Yeah, so one of the things that's really important is starting any new process, any new, you know, cost center is not the right word, it's actually a profit center, because the factory will do acquire those vehicles. So when you're creating that profit center, how do you get buy in from your team to do that? Because I mean, you said that's what made it so easy, as everybody was so bought into what you were doing already? Yeah,

Phillip Gill: 11:46

well, you know, the one person that I put in charge of it right away, you know, at that point, we were exploring a couple of different things. And I called it a kind of our innovation labs, and I put a, one of our people may Mendy, in charge. And Mindy is a great process person. Sure, and a great student. And so I knew like, hey, at least we'll do the thing we're supposed to be doing. And it might be wrong, but we'll learn together. So a lot of our success was to her making sure that the process was built and instilled in the people to make them successful. Sure. And the rest of the team, you know, they kind of sit by the they sit up up the street in another building, they work it, and then everything's done down in our main store. But sure everybody else started becoming believers, when we start seeing 3040 5060. Now it's going to be 70 cars being bought a month. That's customers that turn quickly that are good cars. And the best thing is like how do you you know, we're General Motors deals. So before we started the buy center, almost 70% of our used inventory was GM products. Well, that's dropped to about 55% Because of the buy center because all this sure other product is coming in that we never had access to. Right. Yeah. At a good value for ourselves and our customers. So it's been a it's been a win all around. Yeah, man, this

Jordan Cox: 13:07

is great. So Phil, I'd love to have you on again sometime. So we can talk more about the processes that you have in place to your by center. Because I mean, there's a huge story there and even kind of learning some of the in house software that you guys have created to be able to make that easier, make it better. But thanks so much for taking a few minutes out of your day out here to sudo con and like it's so cool to collaborate with people like you connect with people like you and like grow for the future you know,

Phillip Gill: 13:29

yeah, absolutely. Thanks again for having me on. It was a it was a true pleasure, of course. Phil, thank you. Yeah, thank you.

Paul Daly: 13:36

Thank you for listening to this ASO 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 and in 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.

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.