The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode 512 · 1 month ago

Brett Morris: Using Data To Predict High Performers


Today's conversation with Brett Morris, Chairman at PerceptionPredict, stemmed from one of Michael's LinkedIn posts about the important need for amazing car sales professionals. Brett commented on the post with a compelling chart visualizing how high-performing employees can be predicted with data.

Is It Possible To Predict High Performing Employees?

00:58 - Michael sets the conversation stage by explaining a LinkedIn post in which he discussed the importance and need for great car sales professionals in the retail auto industry. Brett Morris left a very thought-provoking comment about how it's possible to predict high-performers, which led to today's conversation.

02:53 - Brett explains that when you look at dealer group operations, they've all got pretty good systems when it comes to managing inventory, they've got data and clarity around that. In the service department, they have systems and a workflow for technicians. There are financial systems in place for the business office. With all that said, how does a dealership fish in a broader pond of people to predict and know if they are the right candidate for the job or if perhaps you have the right individual but in the wrong job role?

10:20 - Brett and his team have created a unique way to predict job suitability by utilizing an intricate system of character trait mapping that can provide dealers much more clarity about what attributes create an employee's performance. The process includes a quick 15-minute assessment contributing to scoring over 70 data points. Each data point is combined into an overarching view of attributes that helps predict who will perform what job better.

19:36 - Gratitude is listed as an attribute on the list that typically doesn't show up on assessments often. It makes sense when contrasted against the highest-performing car sales professionals like Frank Crinite or Ali Reda (Guinness World Record Holder). They operate differently than the average car sales pro. Gratitude for their lives, customers, and opportunities is a common thread in their daily lives.

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The car business is rapidly changing and modern car dealers are meeting the demand. I'm Michael Cirillo and together we're going to explore what it takes to create a thriving dealership and life in the retail automotive industry. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with subject matter experts that are designed to help you grow. This is the dealer playbook. All right, gay, welcome to this episode of the dealer playbook podcast. Delighted to sit down with someone who I just met on Linkedin not too long ago. Brett Morris is the CO founder and chairman of perception predict. Perception is the unparalleled leader in accurately predicting how any individual will performed in any sales role. And so I post did on Linkedin not too long ago, um a post about how we don't need to get rid of sales people. We actually need more of the right type of sales people, and this is where I met our guest today. He commented with with something I'd never thought of before. And and and so with that premise, Brett Morris, thanks so much for joining me on the podcast. It's pleasure, Michael, glad to be here I want to dig into this a little bit. So this is the post I'm referencing. I wrote unpopular opinion alert. Car sales people will be needed more in the future, not less. We keep talking about replacing them. The way of the future is a full online process. Dot Dot dot. Last night, this was three weeks ago, but that that last night I heard Brian Benstock and David Long in a clubhouse room. They were sharing their opinion about how needed true car sales people are, not these weak, quote unquote, wait for the laydown kind of behaviors we've seen over the last two years, and I mentioned that. I that I agree. Now this is where you came in into the comments. As a recap, you said totally, Michael. Research shows this graphic below, which will link to in the show notes, is the right combination of DNA that studs like Jose, who sold me my truck and his high performing Um uh, can share in common across the USA retail automotive landscape. Now you share this chart, which basically outlines personality traits, character traits of the top performing people, and I said, holy smokes, we need to talk about this on the show. Can you break down for me? Can you give me a synopsis of what it is that you do and how you came up with what appears to be an algorithm on human personality traits? Yeah, I love too. So when you look at dealer group operations, and it's not just in America. I'm located in the US and so very close to the to the US market, Canadian market, North America, but we work with dealer groups globally and it's true for all of them. They've all got pretty good systems when it comes to managing inventory. They've got data and clarity around that if they in the workshop. They've got systems that allow a technician and diagnostician to plug a vehicle earn and analyze you know why it's working or not working and where some of the issues are. They've got financial systems that allow them to get a very good handle on assets and liabilities and cash. Imagine doing that using their inbox uh and and and and so and marketing systems, lead generation systems used car pricing and inventory systems. There's a system for pretty much everything in dealer groups. Yes, there could be some improvement of them, but when it comes to people, there isn't a true people intelligence now you do have systems like high bology, good system, but it's a...

...system of records, an applicant tracking system. It helps dealers with improve the efficiency of sourcing and managing their hiring process. So I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about having true intelligence about who do I hire into this particular job role, and not just sales roles but all job roles, and how do I find Um, you know, how do I fish in a broader pond of people to find the right technicians that I need going forward? And how do I find better service advices and how do I make decisions about them that aren't just, you know, the biases and myself and my team, because, if you're human, your biscers, especially the territory. We started working with dealers sometime back and this was an issue that you can't I mean globally, but front end of the house. Whatever turnover of salespeople kind of says and it keeps going up. And how come? You know, we've got a lot of smarked technology, a lot of people, a lot of good looking product, great great stores, great customers will count seem to fix this issue. And we thought we had a way of fixing that issue. And and and we believe that the answer lay in the dealers own data. Dealer hires people, some work out, some don't. Those that perform sell a certain amount of vehicles in a certain way in a certain time Um and and and if you study that data, it tells you a lot about why. And that's the really the simple proposition that became the foundation for what we do at perception, which is creating really custom performance intelligence systems for dealers allows them to tap into their own data in the way that they do whatever other part of the businesses they run, understand what it is about the people and their sales roles, service writer roles, technician roles and other roles that cause them to be good at what they do, but also identifies those people that are liabilities for those himes, because one of the things that really drives high turnover and all job roles, but particularly in sales roles. So we end up being seduced by people who are absolutely wrong for the job. Great people, they're not suited for that particular job role and sometimes they're not suited for the for our particular dealership group and store culture. So that was a little bit of a backdrop to it and as a result of that, we decided we could really get out fixing this problem for diggaler groups by developing a a a repeatable process and a tool set that it will allow a dealer group to dig into its own data and be able to repeatedly identify who's the best person I could be putting into this role and or who's the best person I should be promoting from the sales floor into a sales manager role rather than maybe just, you know, taking my top producer and potentially turning him or her into my worst manager. This is really interesting to me because I know in my journey of Entrepreneurship and building my company, there have been so many junctures where, in my mind, I've said I obviously don't have what it takes to build a team, because you know, you get to a point where you're like, man, I keep hiring and it keeps not working out, I must be a fool. There must be some some sort of an issue here. So let me ask you this. I'm looking at the screenshot that you shared with me in conjunction with a statement you made here in your comment on my Linkedin Post. That says, Um you can identify how many vehicles the sales professional or anyone else, regardless of experience, can sell before they're hired. So talk to me a little bit about that. Is this? Is...

...this a glorified, UH personality assessment? Like what does it look like to actually be able to retrieve that data and vet people properly for the right role so that you're setting people up to succeed, not fail? Yeah, and there's there's clearly a bit when you're doing this. There's clearly a bit of complexity around what we do. We hide from the from from the store, because dealership is a time po they all know that. The statement of the obvious right and and and so Um. When we help them, we've got to do it in a most quick, efficient way that gives them guidance, intelligence and a hearty. Way in which we get at that, though, is by we study a group of salespeople. For instance, we took four people on the showroom floor of Mercedes being stid Mercedes being stealerships. We we ran, we studied the job role, as we do with all job roles, even though we might have looked at it in twenty times previously. We continue to analyze the job role. Doing this globally, you find that a salesperson selling you highlined vehicles on the east coast of the of the USA is actually different to Singapore, of different to Malaysia, different to Australia, different to Canada, different in London and and that's because the job roles have a little bit of difference and sometimes a great deal of difference with them. You go to BMW in Singapore, six story building with sixty five sales consultants in the one building. Um, they are not fair leads. They have to they find their own own leads and current sequently they're expected quote per month in terms of vehicles is six per month, whereas in a highline store it might be ten or twelve or vehicles per month. So my point I'm getting to hopefully is is that in any job role, but in an automotive dealership sales role, that role places certain cognitive and emotional demands on a human in order to perform at it. What we do in our work is we use talent science and data science at scale to understand what is it about Brett, Michael or Mary or sue and their DNA, their make up, their psychological makeup that makes them good at what they do or makes them potentially a liability and therefore they're better off in another job role. So what we've been doing for probably about seven years now. We have a science team led by my partner, Co founder, also my wife, who's an Iosych, and we've developed an inventory over four hundred and fifty discrete research validated measures of things like patients and curiosity and grit and emotional intelligence and resilience and and so on, just literally hundred of them. And what we don't know for any job role, including an automotive salesperson, which, although we know a lot now, is what's the unique combination of those attributes that creates performance. And that's why will often, you'll often see me right or here, say that fifty sevent of performance in a particular job role such as automotive sales um is not being measured by dealers today, and that's the piece that we're getting at. So we we put together a process where we measure sixty to eight different traits in a in a sales team, automotive sales team or intomotive dealer sales group. We pair that measure of that and, by the way, it takes a sales person about thirty minutes to complete that process, to actually capture seventy, for example, seventy data points, and then we pair those seventy data points with the number of vehicles they've sold for the last twelve or eighteen or twenty four months. MHM, using maths. This is not news science, this is math and we're using a tech called then I'll get too technical here, but it's multiverate regression and and and that's a and it's a tech nique that's been...

...around since an I think it's the same year in which, you know, Thomas Jefferson was elected to his second term as the third president of the USA. So this has been around. This technique has been around a long time. Do we take math and we take the breakdown of the DNA of a salesperson, we put them together and we figure out which unique combination of those attributes is creating performance in a salesperson, put it together into a performance fingerprint, put it into a system and then dealerships like the Jackie Cooper group in Tulsa can get any sales consultant to take the candidate process and it takes some fifteen minutes less than fifteen minutes to do it and when they completed, based on all the analysis that's been done, it predicts how many vehicles they can sell. And because we've been at this for some time, we now know that the Delta, the difference between the actual performance that you get from the salesperson where they get on the job and the number of vehicles that were running roughly about fift between actual and predicted. So we're not looking to replace the instinct and experience and that comes with dealer management and making decisions about people. What we want to supplement it is with better intelligence that that it results in better decision right. And this is blowing me away. This is blowing me away because it's it's not seeking to replace, it's seeking to enhance. And so much of, I feel like the conversation and automotive right now is all about replace, replaced, replace something better, replaced. Replace fully online means no more sales people. Will Get rid of these these cretent individuals who you're saying no, let's enhance our ability to to set people up. I'm looking at this chart and there's there's things out of the gates here that are interesting. So I'm guessing. This is the prediction based on what's listed in this chart. Vehicles, a hundred and eighty three for the year, or an average of fifteen vehicles per months sold by a sales professional with these qualities. Or what would you call these? They're not. I mean some are kind of personality traits, some are character traits, and you can and you can't without getting two. Technically you can. You can use interchange the word you can call and characteristics or traits or actually and some of them are personalities and some of them are intelligence and some of them are kind of yeah, there's, there's, there's, but that the snapshot you're looking at actually is a summary. There's actually several more that sit below that Um that are facets of those traits. And so you've you've got about seventy traits in all and we measure that, but really we form that into a smaller number. But yeah, there's some very interesting and all of them are research validated. If you asked me about at any of them, not on this core necessarily in any any detail, but there's literally hurdles of research on every single one of them that have been done somewhere around the world on each of them. And then we've taken that research because it's pretty dense stuff. You know, reading us at nine o'clock and at night, you'd be in a comer in a heartbeat. Right, this is pretty dense, um, but it's great. But it's very valuable. Um, like if we were in high school and we talked more kids about psychology and humans and people, we might have I think it would be valuable. Probably going to happen, but it could be valuable. And we're taking that research and converting it into something practical and then tapping into a dealer group's data and saying, well, hey, based on your data and the team that you've got today and what they're producing, here's a model that you'll be able to predict how many of you, how many vehicles..., each of your candidate is gonna sell. It's simple, but it's also a lot this in complexity there, but we keep that away from this tool because they're job. Right. Yeah, correct, it's your job to to nerd out over this stuff. I do think it's interesting. I'm looking at certain things here that without this data, we we might think, oh, they need a lot of this in order to be successful. For example, I see on this particular chart cognitive agility at without this data, one might assume that you need more than forty of this in order to be able to be successful. No, the data is showing us, and at least this specimen, cognitive agility. Alternately, on the other side of this I see narcissism listed at talk to me a little bit about this. These are typically things that were like Ah, probably need more cognitive agility, probably need a little less narcissism. This is saying, Hey, no, there's a balance here and it's going to be okay. Yes, there is no such thing as a trait that is a pure virtue. They all have their good sides and dark side. Compassion has a good side and a dark side. Um Sincerity has a good side in a dark side. The key, we believe, is finding what is the right level for a person in a particular job role. So cognitive intelligence. Having studied the level of intelligence in automotive sales people around the world, what guess what? We find that more of it is not better. My Q is overrated. I mean there's an old sort of saying about hate. This business of selling vehicles is not rocket science and that's not meant to be the resory of of the role. It's really meant to say if you give people the right tools and knowledge and give them a process that they can follow and they can work, you don't have to have highly walls of intellectual energy to be to connect with people and customers and understand their needs and etcetera, and be able to help them. And and that's what and and and that doesn't come from being a super bright, you know, intellectual it comes from a combination of other traits and that's what we so yeah, it's a it's a really important point. You don't have to have high intelligence. Now, as you get into other job roles, more of it can help. But on the on the other hand, narcissism is definitely a negative and inhibited to performing well, because this is the sense of entitlement and grandiosity. And you know, I think I'm great because of WHO I am. That's what really that narcissism is and our research tho very clearly that as narcissism increases, sales performance goes down. M Hmm. You go ahead. And by the way, one of the on the interesting things about narcissism this is incredibly seductive and it is Um. One of the things that Nasis is a good at is seducing recruiters and hiring manages, because they layer on the charm and then they avoid our biases and we think, I love this person, I've got to hire them, and we do and then we find out later, well, that was a poor decision. I'm looking at this and I'm seeing, okay, I see narcissism, psychopathy. I'm thinking, my brain of me says, between the two of these we might have a Ted Bundy on our hands. But contrasting it against all of these other things, I see gratitude of very interesting. Uh. This really resonates with me that gratitude makes its way onto this list. Um. But you know what, what comes to my mind, Brett, I'm so intrigued by what you've accomplished here. I want to dissect now somehow. I want to get this, this assessment or what have you, in front of individuals such as...

Ali Rita, who made the Guinness Book of World Records Selling over vehicles in a single year. I would love to see what I would love to dissect his his data and look at it and say Ah, interesting, but then, contrasted against other individuals like Frank Crannitti and and some other top performers that we tend to look to it in industry to finally say, AH, look at what they have in common. Let's take this group of the ten most highest performing sales professionals, highest selling car sales professionals in the industry and Aha, let's let's see these, these parallels between each of them, those common pieces, though. I'm having a hard time then, reconciling that against your point about d n A. Would we see d n a similarities and that, yeah, they all tend to lean in this direction, or is it possible that they could be a complete contrast of one another and still achieve a high level of of success that they're that they're experiencing? Yes, and of course, when I talk use the word DNA, I'm talking about psychological DNA, that deep psychological makeup that you had a friend in high school and there are a certain type of person and they're introverted, extravert or whatever they had. They had a certain personality makeup and you knew them and if I ask you to describe them, you could and you still know them at and they're still the same person. Might have lost a bit of this or gained a bet of this or have gotten a little wiser. All that stuff right, but they're essentially the same person. It's those deep seated things that make that's remain stable in people through time. And so if we took the people that you know, the top form people that you talk about, maybe not ten but even fifty or a hundred, and if they wanted to put their hands up through your Um Um, you know podcasts and say I'd love to be part of that experiment, our tool set is about measuring exactly that and what we'd find. Each of one people are absolutely unique individuals. They have characteristics in their behavior style. Some are more extroverted, some are more introverted, Um, some of them are gregarious, although, interestingly, being gregarious does not correlate strongly with good automotive sales performance. In fact, the less, the less gregarious you are, the Betty your performent performances, because you end up doing all the talking and guess what, it doesn't work two years one mouth. Use them in those proportions, right. I'LD saying. So that would be a great idea. Love to it. That would be a really interesting experiment. Here's what we would expose, what we would find in those top producers. A commonality is that is that psychological makeup, those that unique and complex combination of attributes at scale that are contributing to helping. Each of them unique individuals, but there's common out commonality in those traits and attributes and characteristics, and that's a sense what we look for when we do that for a dealer, group or store. We're looking for those attributes that power succeists. But simultaneously just as important is helping dealers eliminate liabilities from consideration. They're the ones that churn out in three, six, nine months, cost us money, frustrated this ruined customers experience and costus growth. I love this. Now let me ask you this. Do you have, is part of this tool set, an analysis on what am I trying to ask here? There's a lot of emphasis on culture. Yes, is there an impact? I mean, are each of these things natural in eight character traits, or can they be developed, and is there any element of that that is predicated upon the environment by which that individual has planted? Behavior and therefore performance is always contextual. So you put person in a particular situation with a particular context,...

...a particular type of leadership, particular types of values, they're going to behave differently in that environment versus another one. Right. So, Um, that's just the way we way, way where we're built. Um. And so when you when you, when you and the way we work, when we look at trying to predict the number of vehicles someone, so we create what we call as a performance fingerprint and that's a role finger it's a a free the service writer, for a technician or for a salesperson. It's a job specific fingerprint. So then we also take that to the dealership and a group level, because that that these groups have have a culture. You know, the way we do things around here. They have a set of values and behaviors and things that they tolerate in things that they don't tolerate, and the best cultures are clear about that. You know, and and again just referencing what Chris Martin is that Jackie Cooper shared with me. You know, we've got a winning culture around here. We've gotta time people who can come in and work in the culture that we've got, because if they don't, they're not going to cut it, and if they can't cut it. We're not, they're not. It's not good for them, not good for us. So Um. So we have in parallel, uh, another way of creating what we call as a team culture fingerprint or a team performance fingerprint. So we look at the entire dealership and say what is what are those attributes, those values, and we measure them. That drive performance across the whole of the dean the dealership in every job role and then we correlate that with dealership performance and create out what we call as a dealership team performance fingerprints. So that's a different approach but using technically the same technology. MMM, I love everything about this. I'm I'm intrigued and both frightened by the thought of what mine might look like. But I think, maybe a little bit more intrigued that that might be something I have to circle back with you on and we might just have to publish that on the show notes of this and see if we can't give a given all for a view of what it might look like, for for yours truly. But I would love to get more individuals Um to be aware of this and and hopefully those listening, my beloved dpb gang, you're paying attention. Hey, forget the moneyball. We can actually see, visualize the data and help position individuals where they are most likely to succeed, and I think this is so fascinating. Brett, I'm so grateful for your time today. How can those listening get in touch with you and learn more? Thank you, Michael. Probably the easiest thing to go is to perception, predict AI, slash automotive and uh, you'll you'll see I'm backgound on us, and indeed this is money ball for Sciales, for automotive and actually for full job roles in in retail automotive. Thank you for emvited me on. Thanks so much for joining me on the tailor playbook podcast. M H, I'm Michael Cirillo and you've been listening to the dealer playbook podcast. If you haven't yet, please click the subscribe button wherever you're listening right now, leave a rating or review and share it with a colleague. Thanks for listening. m.

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