Rasean Comeaux is a Sales Manager at Len Stoler Lexus.
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Kyle Mountsier: 0:00This is In The Dirt with ASOTU.Paul Daly: 0:05
All right, hanging out with my new friend Rasean sales manager at
Rasean Comeaux: 0:08
Lexus of Lexus of glimmer.
Paul Daly: 0:11
Nice. Yeah, I got you.
Rasean Comeaux: 0:14
You didn't give me our store with Len Stoller Lexus is the store. Okay. And it is in Owings Mills Maryland, you know, I'm proud from Glen Burnie, I guess,
Paul Daly: 0:24
a shout out to Glenn Burnie. Alright, so we're here at the NAMAD convention. Sure. What is how many NAMAD's have you been to?
Rasean Comeaux: 0:31
So straight up? This
Paul Daly: 0:33
is my first NAMAD. It's amazing. So we got a great so we get fresh perspective. Yeah, super excited to be here. He'll be in here and kind of seeing that. I mean, obviously, Toyota and Lexus cleaned up. Oh, yeah. Award sections are being a part of that team. But but what's your overall kind of like, take from the vibe here? What's happening here? What you see is the future this organization? Sure.
So first, shout out to Damon Lester. He was the first person I kind of like found when I came into the automotive industry looking on LinkedIn. And I said, what's his NAMAD things? So the National Association of minority auto dealers was that two and a half, almost three years ago now. Okay. So I signed up as a sales rep, I signed up for NAMAD. And I think it's a great organization. I think this whole conference has fantastic energy. And I think it's important for people to know like about organizations like this, but specifically, if you're a minority, that includes a person of color, also a woman, these organizations are here to kind of promote and foster your ideals, your ideas and your growth in the automotive industry. Right. So it's not something where you got to feel like, you know, is it okay if I join that because it says dealers, you know, it takes it takes a while to like, you know, kind of cultivate yourself through the automotive industry. And always say this, because I didn't come from traditional automotive, I came from a corporate retail, right? And so there was a manual for everything, in automotive, there's no manuals. So how do you navigate yourself? You got to get connected with organizations like NAMAD. And I just want to thank them for everything that they do for the minority dealer.
Paul Daly: 2:11
Tell me about your path to automotive. Great. Your manager now? Yes. And a Lexus store, obviously, you said your path didn't start in automotive. So tell me a little bit about that professional journey and how you learned.
Rasean Comeaux: 2:23
So after college, I managed for best of breed brands for about 20 years. Everyone from Starbucks to lazy boy furniture, galleries, running stores, for them, make it a fraction of the money that's made in automotive I know, running the entire business, right. And I always had this passion for automotive. And soon as I saw my opportunity, I leapt it, I leapt in, like I just I just ran at it. And I remember I walked in and I was interviewing companies. I wasn't I didn't feel like I was being interviewed. And I was looking for where I wanted to work next and what I wanted to do an automotive. So I walked into a store and I said, Hey guys, I'm going to be a manager. I'm interviewing for manager position. They say, you can't be a manager in automotive, you have to like start selling cars first. So I said, alright, well give me a desk and a phone. And let's see what I can do. 28 months later on this story so much already, yeah, 28 months later, 600 cars sold and was promoted to management. And really, you know, I brought skill sets with me, you know, cultivated over the years, and was able to find immediate success in automotive, got promoted to sales manager, and have been continuing to cultivate that path. So started to aspiration. Dealer, my aspiration is to be a dealer. And that's why I ended up here at NAMAD. And I think it's important to, you know, to note that when I sat down with them, they after they laughed and said no way. I said, alright, well, 60 months to General Manager, and guess what we're at now. So we're at four years. Okay. And I'm a sales manager. So guys, if you have goals, yeah, I got 24 months, GM. Well, I have I still have some work. If you cut me short, I got 14 months, I think 14 years. Well, 60 months will be five years. Right? And so I've completed I'm gonna complete my fourth year in December. Okay. Okay. Well, I didn't know that. I should have been a little bit more clear. Whoa,
Paul Daly: 4:11
I got 14 months.
Rasean Comeaux: 4:12
Yeah, yeah, I got 14, I might need those two months.
Paul Daly: 4:15
Tell me this. What similarities do you see? Or what opportunities because you came in with a retail mindset? Sure. We've had this big conversation about dealers and actually repositioning and thinking more like retailers. So what opportunities do you see? And what do you try to implement amongst your team and in your process to be more like a retailer? Sure.
Rasean Comeaux: 4:33
I think one thing to know, just to backtrack, I will be a dealer one day, not trying to be will be and you have to go set and you have to have that that definitive point to where you want to be right and so you know, visualizing the end and then working the plan backwards, right. You reverse engineer the plan, and then you start at one and you don't leave to go to two until you've completed one gotcha And then you get to two, you complete two and then get to three. So that's one thing that that I that I learned in traditional corporate retail, that I think that I brought with me, that has been very instrumental.
Paul Daly: 5:11
It's like the automotive industry doesn't go that way naturally, because of the velocity of it,
Rasean Comeaux: 5:16
I think because it's less structured. Right? Yeah, it's more month to month, it's month to month is also, you know, you're a great operator come in here and do some great things, as opposed to what processes do you know what processes have you learned over the years that you feel that can be effective here,
Paul Daly: 5:33
right, that we can duplicate replicate, you know, set it up for success? No matter who's kind of in the seat? Absolutely. That's the I guess that really is one of the success models of retail. Yeah, process. Yeah. Right. The same thing every time. Right? And that then that's what creates great retail.
Rasean Comeaux: 5:47
So you know, two major pillars people first process second, yep. Right, and then profit third. So I think that's what we got to start getting in there mindset of people first, get the right people in place, treat your people right, not just get the right people in place, treat your people right that a lot this okay, processes, you have to implement processes, right? The best closers in the world closed at what 40% 50% The best closers in the world. So you got to imagine somebody that's sitting in that seat. They're looking at seven nos, right before they can get three yeses. But if you skip steps along that way, see now you're looking at eight nos and nine nos before you can get one or two yeses. And that's why our processes are so important. Right? And, honestly, how can you track KPIs without processes, right? Because the process is back up the KPIs these are, these are the results but how'd you get to those results? Okay, so I think it's important for us to think about that. People First process and second, profit is third. And that's a switch from the to the traditional automotive mindset. Right.
Paul Daly: 6:53
Okay, so that's good to see it more adopted. It is awesome to see fresh blood in automotive over the last few years coming from retail, it's something at a soda we talk about all the time as being a critical component to the success of the future retail automotive. Rasean, thank you for spending a few minutes with us today.
Rasean Comeaux: 7:09
I really want to say that the Automotive State of the Union asotu is a fantastic podcast, fantastic content all the time. And I appreciate you guys giving me an opportunity to speak real quick. I do believe in motivation. But more importantly, motivation. I believe in influence, right? And so I don't look at myself as a motivator. When I'm talking to my team. I look at myself as an influence broker. I want to influence them to take actionable steps, right. So influence you to take actionable steps. So what that goes back to, we're back to the people and the processes. Before we talk about
Paul Daly: 7:44
that you're not a motivated you're an influencer and every day. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Well, thank you so much. Thank you. Nice to meet you in person.
Appreciate it. Thank you very much. I was a little nervous, but I'm glad I need to get on the podcast. Thank you very much, Paul and Kyle. Appreciate you guys. Thank you.
Kyle Mountsier: 7:59
Thank you for listening to In The Dirt with ASOTU. We love the automotive industry and the people who make it run day in and day out. We would love to connect with you more through our daily dose of fun, a free email that you can sign up for at asotu.com That's a s o t u.com. We put our heart and soul into it every day. Thanks again for listening. Join us next time for more Conversations In The Dirt with ASOTU