The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode 500 ยท 6 months ago

Brian Kramer: The First Car Sale In The Metaverse


๐ŸŽง Subscribe on Apple:

๐Ÿ”Š Subscribe on Spotify:

๐Ÿ”— All our links:

Brian Kramer is the General Manager of Germain Toyota of Naples and joins the podcast to share how his store successfully completed the first metaverse car sale. Long-time listeners of the show know that Brian is a pioneer when it comes to technology adoption within the retail auto industry. He's not afraid to try new things and certainly sees the evolution that is happening and is leaning in to be ahead of the curve.

How Brian Kramer Sold The First Vehicle In The Metaverse:

01:54 - The world is more connected today than it ever has been, and it's easier than ever to build a relationship with anybody, anywhere in the world.

02:47 - Michael and Brian discuss that the metaverse is not a new concept. Years ago the popular online world "Second Life" had over 900 million members who would all live vicariously through their avatar in second life.

05:02 - The metaverse is more explosive than most people think, or perhaps are willing to admit. According to Lloyd Ernst and Young, all at McKinsey, they all say that last year (2021) it was a $22 Billion Dollar business. By the year 2026, it is estimated to be a $765 Billion dollar a year business. Citi Group has created a whitepaper forecasting that the metaverse is a potential $13 Trillion dollar market.

09:52 - Brian shares, "I think it's that the retail part of the car business is going to get away from the transaction, price payment. It's going to become more experiential and the brand connection and what you can do with even the legacy pieces of the brand."

10:30 - There are many applications to the metaverse that go far beyond transacting a vehicle. Training, test drives, servicing, and diagnostics โ€” nothing is off the table. It can be a way to make day-to-day life more efficient.

17:37 - Many are worried about the impact of the metaverse of everyday jobs. Brian shares that while jobs that we are accustomed to may go away, the metaverse will also create thousands of new job categories.

Listen to the full episode to learn more about Brian Kramer and the first car sales transaction in the metaverse.

Like this show? Please leave us a review hereโ€” even one sentence helps! Consider including your LinkedIn or Instagram handle so we can thank you personally!

Thanks, Brian Kramer

If you enjoyed this conversation with Brian Kramer, please let them know by clicking on the links below and sending him a message.

Get Your Google vehicle adds up and running fast with flex dealercom. 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. Here he is back for the second time, my man Brand Kramer, general manager of Toyota. Germ note Jermaine Toyota of Naples. Got To make sure I get that right. You've been well. Can I call you a pioneer? The last time you're on the show we were talking about how you were the first one leading the charge to a an all paper list transaction, and now I've got you back a whole slew of questions about being the first, the first DPB gang you here in this the first one to do a car sale in the metaverse, and I mean for those of you that are watching this deal right now. You can see Brian's background is very Meta Versi I've been looking forward to this root for a while. We had a blast and the last one. So this thing's going to be full throttle, I have a feeling. Yeah, exactly. And Danielle, we hope you approve of the Audio. But let's get into this room. Dan, you know, yeah, my Daniell. So you and I were just chatting pre show here and I'm like wait, we got to stop, we got to get into this, because it just the conversation flowed so nicely into what I want to talk to you about. But to give the the listener some context, we were kind of all over the map. We're talking about how connected the world is now, how easily you can touch base and build a relationship with anybody anywhere in the world. As you were saying that and you were giving some some examples of that, you know what thought crossed my mind is, I'll have to admit, when this whole when when the Zuck brought up the metaverse, there were two things that came to my mind. First thought was here we go again, and the second thought was about second life, which is surprising that not a lot of people have ever heard of. But this, I think started second life. Was this quote on can I call it a game. It was a metaverse back in the day that came out in early two thousands and had pretty widespread adoption. I want to say like nine hundred million people, and I'm talking to a lot of people that are talking about it. I've I've I wasn't on it. I think it's because of I was going from dealership the dealers. I wasn't in the loop and it's an I don't think a lot of people work smfortable saying that they were in it. Back then it wasn't rightly acceptable. Yeah, I mean people had it literally second lives in there. They were getting married in there, they were having little babies, as you know anyways. But I remember hearing about it from a guy named Lan SAFTCO who wrote the Social Media Bible, and I mean this book is as thick as a Bible and and it was his presentation out of an automotive conference that introduced me to this concept. What I thought particularly fascinating about the whole idea is, yeah, you're an Avatar, you can be whatever you want. Your maybe a, I don't know, a custodian in real life, but in second life you're a neurosurgeon and you know you've got gazillions of dollars and a big mansion and all those sorts of things. So you're basically living vicariously through your Avatar. But what I thought was interesting leading up to this conversation is the fact that Obama's campaign got involved and there were they set up campaign offices and second life where people could go and learn about his campaign. Pizza Hut was set...

...up in there so you could your Avatar could order a pizza in in second life and thirty minutes later Pete's real pizza showing up at your doorstep. And so when Zuck came out and he was like we're going heavy into Meta verse and all of the conversations in the automotive community started happening, I was like here we go again. However, we are and I want your thoughts on this. This is the longest intro to any podcast us now. Too Much sorello talking, but it's like I want to get your thoughts on this, because it seems like we're going deeper and deeper and deeper into the world of the metaverse, or the concept of the metaverse, bigger than probably even we could anticipate through second life. What's your take. So you know, I've read a bunch of people reach out to me after after we did that transaction, and I've met some very interesting people from all different type walks of life. Right that we're doing something that just now got into the space and and it's already explosive. But if you look at the Lloyd Ernst and Young, all Mackenzie, they all say that last year, two thousand and twenty one, it was a twenty two billion dollar business the metaverse. They're saying that next year, this year, two thousand and twenty two, supposed to be third thirty eight billion. Wow. And they're saying that by two thousand twenty six it's supposed to be seven hundred and sixty five billion. And I just an article came out last week by city group, because city chase. They've all got their white papers as to what they see in terms of the potential for this. Right I'm going to be talking about that here. You know, digital dealer. Next month they city forecast of thirteen trillion dollar market cap on the Meta verse by Two Thousand and thirty how smokes. They said. It's going to make the growth. Yet the growth will be more exponential. It'll make the Internet look like a little star, you know, solar flare, compared to just being the Big Bang. Wow. So so I think about when Jeff Bezos, they said how did you know to create Amazon, and all I keep on thinking about as I was like, we know, why are you even the pestimal that time and all that energy into it? You know, when you and I talked about all the elements of the papers transaction last time, they say how are you able to do this metter verse? Well, it's all the stuff. Reason, why are you doing all that? So the prooeming it already been laid. It was actually pretty easy. I mean it was a little bit of friction on that transaction, but it is pretty easy. But when we go back to this Jeff bezos thing, is it how did you know? And he was I just knew that. Everything I said, I read said that there was going to be seven hundred percent lift and Internet growth and that's where all the growth was going. So I quit my job and I knew I had to be in that and I didn't know where it was going, but I knew it was going somewhere and that I needed to be a part of it. And I feel the same way about this, but even more so. Yeah, and and I mean here's where my brain goes. I like, is it a hard thing to wrap my head around? Know, is it for some? Yes, and what do I mean by that? I like, we're in the metaverse right now. Just because you and I are talking to each other and see the real, you know, representation of ourselves through camera and all that, that doesn't mean we're not in the Meta like we're in it right now. This podcast is happy. You said to me, why don't we do this podcast in the Metaveris? I'm not going to lie, Dude. I went into dissenter lane, or how whatever you call and I got a house there now, I got all this stuff, I created an auditorium. I was like fully prepared for us to do but then, I'm not going to lie, my brain said, but if we do this through stream yard or we do this online in some way, it's already happening in the metaverse. It's just not happening in one of those worlds, but it's happening and and so curious your take on that? Is that how you're seeing it, or is there something even deeper to the concept of the metaverse that that I'm not picking up on me. That's a lot, a lot in that question. As...

...far as the presentations are concerned, yeah, I know. I've attended some concerts, I've attended some Heineken product launches, I've attended some Samsung I was in this accurate, you know, gold puffy jacket and if t grab right recently and it was like an adrenaline rush. It was like a like back when nightclubs used to there used to be like a rave that would come, you know, years ago and it was like where is this thing? Everybody would communicate. It wasn't publicly advertised, so you felt like you were part of the inside group and you would show up there. But in some of those, I mean it's very immersive and you can do it from you know, they say omniverse, you know, like just like we're doing it now D or You put the goggles on, or what's coming shortly with, you know, augmented reality where you'll be able to see, you know, a lot more have some sort of combination of the tube. But I think that there's a couple different elements of the metaverse and and there's gaming, which some people are attracted to. Obviously you know, I, you know, played grant aft auto back when I was younger and steam stuff like that, but but now I'm in you know, more interested in the financial aspects of it, the business transactional piece, which I think are limitless. And I know that when grant Crodone told me in two thousand and one, two thousand and twelve his social media strategy and I kind of scoffed at it and I said I'm just not seeing it. You know, which I'm just going to commit to one of them. I think I'm going to create the linkedin he goes. Each one's going to be different. That might be like going to church. But then facebook is going to be the use for this, and I'm like, it sounds like a lot of noise. He was I'm telling you, I'm going to build a real estate empire with it. So that that me being dismissive of that haunts me to this day. So this feels the same way that felt. So I'm not going to put myself in that situation again. And I think that from a business aspect, it's going to allow people to connect in ways we've never imagined before. I think it's that the retail part of the car business is going to get away from transactional price payment all that sort of thing and it's going to become more experiential and the brand connection and what you can do with even the legacy pieces of the brand. You know, in Toya's case they've got Trg, they've got all these heritage pieces they get. I'm at Lincoln as well next door, and they've got a hundred year anniversary. So being able to immersively take somebody back in and talk and he and meet with Henry Ford as an Avatar and communicate with him and tell the story of Ford and how Lincoln was, you know, came about whatever for their hundredth year them and there's so many different things that you were able to do that it's not letit. You know, taking virtual test drives, because we're probably never going to see ground stock come back to the levels like it was before, right. Mean, Mike Manly from audernation just said it's never going to come back to that and those immagery levels are will never happen again. So finding other ways to accomplish a test drive with haptic gloves and augmented or virtual reality in a show room so you don't need to have all the ground stock, having technicians be able to use augmented reality glasses and have, you know, technicians by after they've been in the business twenty years, their shoulders are shot right in all and tires and doing all that stuff, that they still have so much mental knowledge that they can pass through for them to be mentors and be able to look through a technicians lens literally and walk them through and Color Code here, do this, do that, or the training that comes with building all that out is limitless. Or how about the training applications, of training dealership associates? If you could have everybody go to a centralized forum like what you're talking about, auditorium, and you don't have to have all the flights, all the travel, because that's typically the barrier of entry. We don't want to fly everybody to Atlanta or we don't fly right to Dallas. Yep, and being able to just take everybody and put them in there. And I know a lot of people, you know a lot of people say to me, well, this is the end, this isn't no more human interaction. They're going to reach Michael Sarrillo's go whereverybody's going to be wearing ipads with duct tape and that's going to be they apparel which you would do it an know, nft of that in the metaphors,...

...but even though everythy perceives that, I really believe because when my kids, if we're we were canoeing the other day with Oculus two goggles on through the you know, in Botswana during the great migration in Africa and write my my daughters can't get on their phones and check snapchat or tick Tock right, that I have their undivided attention and that can interact with them if I'm playing sports with them in there. I think it actually lends to really having somebody's undivided attention in ways that a mobile device doesn't allow and I really I think that it's actually going to enhance true dedicated communication and allow salespeople, service advisors to communicate not with goggles on but with a threedimensional, you know, image, because that's really all it is. You've been in decentral land. That's a that's like Google Front, you know, page one of seem right, and what happens with seem if everybody's going through and they're looking at billboards and decentral land is that a seem grab? Is it SEO? Is it Google analytics? For what's the events that track? You know you can't do how do you retarget through there? I mean there's so much stuff that's happening. It's it's just a great time to be alive. Yeah, I think about I can't remember who said it. I was having a conversation with Glen Lundy. You mentioned the name a futurist, one of the foremost futurists, and he basically talked about how in the next hundred years we will see two thousand years worth of innovation. So, though, yeah, which which, if you think about it, then if we're going to see a thousand years, two thousand years worth of innovation and a hundred what does that mean for the next five years? Or we're going to see a hundred years worth of innovation in the next five that's how fast things are ramping up. And to your point, I don't think people realize. Yes, it. We have this tendency to go doom and gloom. Oh, that's it, no more human interaction really, because what? What? We're just not going to exist, like we're not going to leave our houses anymore. No, I don't think so, to your point, I really do think it's going to be much more about the experience, which aligns already with you know, a lot of the data that we've been seeing from companies like auto five, chip, Perry's A to Z sayingk that this generation of car buyers, whether it's Gen z Gen zed, for all my Canadiens, millennials, they're more interested, they're going to become more loyal. Let me, let me think. How do I want to say this? There are signals that suggest they're more loyal to experience, less loyal to a brand a hundred percent. So you could be heaven bless you, amidst of Bishi dealer in North America and when on experience, Tesla's doing that now. Test. That is not the highest rank J ad power vehicle by right, a long shot. Right. People want to be associated with that brand, what it represents. It is not the most reliable. It's definitely not the easiest vehicle to drive. If you think about it, you can't. You know, everybody knows how to drive a combustion engine. Right. You don't need to have a charge point account in order to put fuel in your vehicle. You don't have to set up the APP online and all the complicated stuff that goes with it and in all the things that they are about to just take over this industry. It's all, you know, relatively simple. The other things that are going to happen, well, and think about, you know, electric ev charging stations. I would just come across alligator alley right next to swamp billy's safari for the alegator wrestling... right and they've got sixteen Testa stations either the high speech charge in the low speed charge. There's no you know, gas station attendant. It's just, you know, they're making money off the data. Now there is one right, you know, but a block over, but they're getting allowing free Wi fi. They're taking that data, they're selling it. The retargeting you adds, and they're going to hear the other day sixty percent of the jobs that are going to be around with my daughter's graduate from my daughter Ab was fifteen, my daughter morgans eleven, when they graduate from college, which won't be very long, that sixty percent of the jobs that they'll be looking at don't currently exist. Wow, and if you think you know, you're a few years under than I am. But the people that I want to high school with bunch of with got marketing degrees, and they got marketing degrees and newspaper advertising, radio, all up, magazines, periodicals, all right, stuff in card graduated when eighty six, right, a little bit after that. We know at least that Microsoft in Carta said of the World Book Britanica and all so so at right as they were doing that, four years after they just sent all the money on on their education there. Their world got flipped upside down with the Internet and they were obsolete at quickly. And it wasn't like it was somebody'd been doing it for twenty years. They didn't even get started and it was already over. And I think we'll see a lot more of that coming about. And you know with the gas station attendance, I also just drove through in this toll booths and sun passed. They don't have any people work in the toll boats anymore. Maybe one now they can say, Oh, you're eliminating jobs and getting rid of that, but how many other jobs did you create? And that's the one thing that most people don't don't talk about, is you know what new jobs are created at? You know out of that situation right and how much more the economy is bolstered rather than, to your point, focusing on the law, scarcity and what you're you know, small things. You're giving up with. I'M gonna little highly engaged and happy sitting in a toll booth when I look eat a rally for eight hours a day talking to us right. Yeah, I means to do something they do can't be passionate about. Yeah, and to your point, I love the see. What I love about this conversation and about what you're saying in particular, is you're demonstrating that you, as a leader, have an abundance mindset. You're immediately saying, but think of the new job that this will look, this will create. Things move fast, but they also kind of moved slow. Here's what I mean by that. Like, I'm pretty sure they realized they needed to get out of attending toll booths after they watch the Godfather. They're like, they're like, Dude, Wall Huh man, Sonny, Sonny would still be alive if they had easy pass right, you know. So with the so the attendant in the toll booth, for crying out loud, it took them thirty years. Thirty five years to be our forty years to be like maybe, maybe that if that guy was an engineer, he wouldn't have to be sitting in that toll booth, he wouldn't have got lit up. You know, but, but it. But things happen fast if you're not paying attention. I find that they happen at a relatively steady, much more manageable pace if you are paying attention. And and so everything that's happening to me doesn't seem frightening because that's like I've been paying attention to it. You've been paying attention to it. So the concept of the metaverse, the concept of you doing a transaction in the metaverse, yeah, cool, big deal. But but but it probably didn't seem like that much, like that big of a deal to you having, as you said earlier, already laid out the plumbing for this type of a thing to happen, because you were in the moment, you were experiencing it. This is the next logical thing to try and test and prove. Here's the analogy, as you're saying that that comes to my mind. Would Netflix have been...

...they have the infrastructure and been able to jump into streaming and be able to convert because because they could have also become blockbuster when they went away from DVD's, they had to make a choice. Do they remain, do they stick to DVD's in the mail order business model, or do they evolve? Because, if not, Disney plus paramount plus Hbo Max Knock them off the pedestal. Right, because somebody's always innovating and somebody's always come gunning. or You just you can't get too comfortable, and that's what car dealers are notoriously bad at, other touriously resilient at overcoming right but waiting too long to do it. Yeah, so what do we? What do we do? You do you? Oh Gosh, I don't want to get all doom and gloom here, but but I kind of and I'm not, I'm not like a fear Mongerer, but I think it's worth discussing, since part of this conversation is a little bit of the unknown in context to we're going to see a hundred years worth of innovation in the next five. I know that there's companies already out there, Toyota might be one of them, that's looking at how to like battery cells that just re energize themselves, like we're all sitting here going we're never going to have dmfrastructure for all EV vehicles by twenty thirty, and companies like Toyota and stuff like that. They're like, dude, you're never gonna have to plug this thing in. It like we're you're there because you're used to the gas pump concept. That's cute. We're we're like Tony Stark level here, like renewable energy that creates itself. Bought a bing, bought a boom. Also working on it, all the new jobs that were created, almost like magnetic strips under the asphalt. It'll be an inch under the ground. There's a mile test drip that a bunch of manufacturers are using to test this out, where it's charges the vehicle. Actually, they're in Norway all over the place and as the car drives over it, it's it's by whatever, not Bluetooth, is something like that. It's charging the vehicle above it to where it really doesn't need to be charged, and that technology is only going to get more and more advanced. Right. I mean they don't in Norway, they don't have their it's all ev and how did I do it right? You don't have to pay sales tax for that's a quick way, right. If they really want to make something happen in the government seems to really want to make it happen, it's probably going to happen right. But I the biggest this option is going to be who trains the sales staff on this of the city. If a customer comes in today, and most dealerships in North America they're going to walk in, they're going to ask about anyv what's the entry of Tesla and this, you know, I see model and the sales person going to try to flip them to their comfort zone rather than understanding the benefits and the you know, the cost analysis of both and trying to identify the range and how what they're trying to accomplish. But we're we're not equipped for that worlds not to quit back in the shop in order to diagnose those based on how the growth that's going to come in or the fact that you come in it. You know, you always come in every FIVEZERO, month, three oil change, but there's no't right, right so and all the other stuff. Does your card since the there's no engine, does it? or it's a different propulsion system. Is there a depreciation based on the percentage of the battery or wear and tear or how does that were in? The other interesting thing that comes out of out of all of that is and when you're thinking about depreciation, you're thinking about the average cost and and how all that looks. You know, forget about the nual they sayers and and I'm not I don't own any the I think it's premature, but it's definitely coming and not being prepared for it is that. Yeah, you're you're not just writing it off. You're saying, Hey, not yet, like Microsoft Eleven, I'm just going to stick with Mike's. I'm going to stay with windows ten for a minute, even though eleven's out. But I'm still building out landing pages. I'm building out. Okay, what's the training going to look like? What's the percentage going to be? How many people..., the higher for this? What do I need to bring that in through a separate channel? At the leads come in? Do I need to have a separate team for that? All these things that a lot of people because it's painful to think about change. And like we have we're, you know, there's only four days left in the month. We need to knock out this. You know, we'll deal with that later, and then it never happens, until there's an Om mandate and they say, Oh, by the way, Hey, if you want to receive VV vehicles, like you know, Ford has another channel and everybody else is going to have one of those here soon. In order to receive this allocation, which, by the ways, become more and more of your business, you're going to have to sell cars this way, you're going to have to do this, but this. You're going to have to figure this out, and then they're going to get blindsided and it's coming and right that wolf is coming in to blow your house down. So you need to start getting mortar bricks doing it now. Yeah, you're so, you're not. You're not in the group of Om's. Are just going to take everything in house. There's not going to be a need for dealers. No, but I was just at a Meetiu had a conversation about this and here's what they said is going it's going to look like there's currently eighteen thousand new car franchises in the United States. Right, of those eighteen thousand their own by eight thou dealers, different dealers, right. Yeah, they're saying that there's actually probably going to be more dealerships because the infrastructure is needed and it's a competitive advantage over Teslabrivian all those companies. But the amount of dealers owning them, the consolidation that's about to occur, they think the two thousand and twenty five, it's going to go down from eight thousand to six thousand five hundred owners that that share those eighteen thousand franchises because it's eedy, those that are unwilling to deal with the change or the infrastructure, and it's going to be, I think, a huge up swing for some and it's going to be overwhelming for others and there's going to be the, you know, great consolidation, if you will. Write. I need to this is I don't know that I've ever publicly said this, but at some point in time I don't care if I find a dealer who's willing to take like twenty grand a year from me just so I can buy a fraction of a percentage of a dealership and just like when I'm sixty, all on like three percent. But I just I know I need to be deeper in this business model because of exactly what you just said, whether I'm buying in for an exit strategy because a bigger groups going to consoliate, want to, you know, consolidate and and or, you know, like whatever it is like. I just know that there's a place for me and I just think it would be really cool to be like agency, Tech Company owner, podcaster, turn dealer, you know, I mean, like there's just something about that that I think would be so tremendous. But I'm like, I gotta either buy a store somehow in the sticks in Doglic Nebraska, or I need to find a real forward thinking dealer who's just willing to take some of my a year over year to like buy a little percentage, you know, like a fraction of a pride, I don't know what it looks like, or a private equity firm that are, you know, all over the place now, that are that are fueling a lot of this this growm yes, yes, yes, yes, yeah, see, I felt comfortable bringing it to you because you are kind of can we call you? Are you prepared yet to be called the industry's futurist? I'm not prepared for that that. People call me a lot of things that are not as kind, but I appreciate that one. Yeah, no, I think I think this is where we're leaning and and I think I think you should write a book. You know, I really think you should write I think it's probably time to. Probably for everybody who's on this, Calm Michael Pot me on spot, because I last time we did this out a book call Galmaniye, that was almost done and it's still it's still not but it's going to be. It's going to be coming out here shortly. So now it's on the record. Oh Man, accountability mechanism with listeners in a sixty eight countries. No pressure,... pressure. Now. This is fascinating to me. I love the way that you're thinking about this because it is not doom and gloom. It really resonates with me. Okay, yeah, maybe fewer owners but more dealerships. That's actually an interesting concept because it's so contrary to it is kind of a contrary and point of view in this concept of like Oh, but yeah, there's eighteen and dealerships, but be prepared for that to go to half. You know there's going to be some sort of a dealership slaughter going on. So I really like that refreshing take into your point, a competitive advantage against the rivans and the Teslas of the world. Also so many things that we haven't anticipated yet but that we should be leaning into. To the earlier point of if you're just paying attention, this is what happens. We get inspired and that moves US forward. You know, I think you could say, and maybe correct me if I'm wrong, but you were inspired somehow to say, Hey, I really like that idea. What can I do with this? And the next thing you know you've got a paper was transaction, and then you go, Oh, this is really interesting. Maybe maybe my wife's right and I am a bigger nerd than I thought I was. And next thing you know you're selling cars in the metaverse. I'll tell you the funny story about how that metaverse thing happened. So when Mark Zuckerberg comes down, he's talking about the metaverse. I was using it more as a punch line because it was it was great click baitings and right in, you know, social media posts. So we are on a shopping spree with the Germaine. Rich Remaine was took us up and took us to a mall outside of it's a thing he does every year, which is amazing for the top performers. So we're having cocktails, we're feeling no pain, going from store to store. All the top sales people, top managers, get x amount of money and they got to spend it for the they get back on the bus at the end of the evening. So we're going to best buy and Lindsay downs, one of our top sales people's with us and she said I you know, I could figure out what else I should bias and I would get that oculus too. She was what does that go? There there be are goggles. She's what does it do? I said it takes you into the metaphors, and I'm like chuckling as I'm saying it, and she goes, what know. Why don't you get that? Will figure out how to sell cars in there. So then she and richer man and I took a picture and we said by your next car in the metaverse, and it was more of a joke just because we were, you know, drinking. Right, we're killing ourselves about it. So then afterward, you know a few few of the managers like Hey, what, what is that? Or is that what we're doing next and I said, well, I don't know. What would it look like? And it was in a manager's meeting. You know, Wendell Hardy, Gusm, he's like pulled because he is very good at keeping us on the rails, because I can take the staff off the rails real quick. He was hold on a second here, you know, get thelter, are in the room. I got to keep everybody on track. And I said, well, know, well, why if we're already doing this, what's the difference between a CTA that's on a website? What's doing? Trying to set as in a Dr Tool and it's Ceta that's in the metaverse. And then all of a sudden, you know all my managers that are fifteen years younger than me and you know crypto tuned in and they the ones that taught me all this stuff and they said, wait, what is this now? And I go, so tell me what, like, how like? What should it look like? Why can't we do this? And they said okay, because there's their brains are stretched out from that pay pless experience. Yeah, and they go, you know what we that we probably we might be able to figger this out. You know, so it was it has to be an after hours project or can interfere with work hours, you know, because that's right, very easy for that to hijack and take over the core reason why we're here. Right. Every wanted to do as voluntary wasn't mandatory, and we drew it out and mapped it out. Jared kill was like this is how you would connect it, this is this, and what phases will we do? You know, next we're going to be doing,... know, a dealership in row blocks, which is where my dadd spends a lot of time in the KNUCKSBURG. So everyday can stay tuned for that. And why are we doing that? I don't know. I want to this. It's like Brian Benstock says about return on learning versus return on investment. Are Return on learning from the paper list I can I can tell you was a seven figure number now because of the cost savings and error reduction with chargebacks, with paper, with just all the different things that go along with it, because that's actually a very similar to blockchain or smart contract with now I look back in retrospect, right, but it also allowed us just to plug it into the metaverse and as we plug it into the sandbox, decentral land, spatial dot ioh and all the other stuff, and you know, Meta hero and and ever Dome, Dot Ioh, all the stuff that hasn't even really the people are thinking about the exponential thirteen trillion dollars worth of ideas that haven't yet been released and how it's all going to run on crypto and built with nft's and all this. I mean super cool artificial intelligence taken over all the redundant tasks and nobody wants to do anyway, and allow us to focus on that's why there's gonna be some like clensets, which innovation, because Ai will take care of all the task based, boring stuff that's repetitive and allow us to really innovate and have fun and be engaged and make it not about the money, make it about the experience. This is why it's not such a foreign concept to me. Like, if you have employees, then you already understand the concept of automation right, like the fact that I have a team who can do their job, and they can they can do it well and they're focused means ultimately that me, as a founder, having had to do all of their jobs at one point, they apt because of their focus. They actually become more effective at their jobs than I ever could. Be Right, because they're focused. And then I don't have to do it anymore. I can focus my brain, my attention, talent abilities on bigger stuff, right, and and different stuff. And so that's automn it isn't that automation? Just yes, and everybody, for instance, when I talked to other dealers, their biggest fear is, what, you're trying to replace my job with a robot. Or right, you know, use this software to appraise a car. Oh, so you can just eliminate my job and it's it's quite the opposite, and it's just harnessing technologies, like what happened at Disney with those magic bands. And Oh, you're just trying to get eliminate humans. No, we just want you to delight more customers, which ice. It's nine from automn mode of news, or formerly a bottom mode of news. Just said a couple days ago. It's something I was at. He said, you know, there's a huge fear around Ev's and the technology and how it's coming about, or whatever he said. But what's the real difference between ev because everybody's overwhelmed with all you got to do this and do that. He's at all it is is a different propulsion method to move a vehicle. It's a he'said. Everybody's losing their minds over this. And instead of putting gasolene in it, you're charging it. Or when I'd say to people all the time about the metaburs, it's not to your point, it's not that big of a deal. Now it's a lot to it and we could go deep into the weeds on it, but at the end of the day it's just a different C ta. And I always say it's like irrigation system. I put a bed in the back of my backyard in order to make sure that it all, you know, the heat and floorid it doesn't die. I run one plumbing line, PBC pipe, with three sprinkler heads back there that just spray back there and the it's not like I had to reinstall my whole irrigation system. I just have to tap into it right because I've already done all the heavy lifting that needed to be done. And but everybody resisting paperless transaction or digital retail. Is it going to stick? That's the price of a mission and if you don't have that that stuff done, then all this other stuff is overwhelming and it's hard to wrap your mind around. So, yeah, that heavy lifting needs to be completed. Yeah, I mean, Gosh, anybody who's been following them me on Linkedin the I mean I've gotten messages where people are like, I thought you love the car business. I'm like, I'm I do. This is why I'm...

...posting the things that I'm posting. To your point about price of admission, if I have to sit on hold for twenty nine minutes and people go why would you ever do that? And I said say, well, because I needed something very specific from this store that only they could provide. Oh yeah, so. So, if you're still not inspecting today processes, I'd be worried, but if you're focused on those, they imagine what a twenty nine minute hold time would look like in the metaverse, Dude, you'R it would just be like somebody's avatar walking up to another avatar and be like hey, can you help me, and then that Avatar just look at like this dead Advotar, just staring back at them for twenty nine minutes, which actually brings us closer to an in store experience, because if you would never leave somebody hanging for twenty nine minutes in this verse. I read that post that you're talking about. Yeah, and I that was my store three years ago and I know what what you're saying and what used to happen right, because I had an issue like with cancelations. I'll just use that as an analogy. I know it's not exactly the same. Sure, right, people would call up and I would, but I didn't have the technology to be able to identify people. The number one call initially three years ago my dealership was is might my tent tags about to expire? What do I do? Had A horrible process. Now we register the vehicle digitally, we plate the car now it was a little bit more work and he's like, oh, how much more stuff you're going to put on me? But those, all those calls stopped. Then the next one was cancelations. I just want to cancel my warrant. It's not a lot. But then when, when the finance managers are all into customers, we have flipped to their voicemail. They don't check it and because customers more important, we were routing it to the wrong thing. All we had to do on both of them is put in our website. Frequently ask questions. My temptas it's about to expire. What do I do when they call us? It's because we didn't have the information on the website. We didn't educate in. A lot of dealers, I used to be one of them, don't want to put all that stuff on there because they go ahead. That give you another opportunities on the car if they call me. But eliminating the friction set promotes brand loyalty and retention, which is what needs focus. Yes, yes, and this is this. Oh my gosh, we just walked into a perfect use case for the dealer who, for those listening who are, like I, still don't understand mat averse automation. You're trying to get rid of my job. Would you just say you just said as the leader. Oh, what do you guys trying to do? You're trying to put more, more work on us. No, we're actually trying to streamline. Imagine if you could streamline all of that and get people to what they needed as quickly as possible, with as much accessibility as possible, so that you, to your point earlier, can focus on the work that actually is worth your time. So people go well, but what you know, for me it wasn't attempt tag. I was selling my Hunday palisade and I posted it on market place. I had no clue what the response was going to be like. Yes, okay, Boh, but s really, I thought you knew the industry on precedent of times. Yeah, but you don't expect forty eight people to say I will give you above your asking price right now. Wow. So why did I call the dealership? While I called the dealership that I bought the vehicle from? Because, you know, in a shuffle I lost my bill of sale and I just so they answer the phone promptly. You know, second ring kind of a thing. That's great. Hey, you don't happen to get me a copy of my original bill of sale, or just a copy of my bill of sale? Oh yeah, we could do that for you. Just got to pass you through to your point. Brian, Brian to the finance manager. Twenty nine minutes later, Ding, keep ding, thinking, thinking, thing. Think I need it because I've got three people showing up to my house to... the vehicle. Like you know, I need this thing. I mean they're going to need it. So that's why I stay on hold twenty nine minutes later. Sorry, you were holding for no, No, I said twenty nine minutes ago. You put me on hold because I need the bill of sale. I'm so sorry. are this is not an excuse, but our finance managers are busy assistant customers. I said there is one. I said, I'm going to pause you right there. I'm a customer. I gave y'll sixtyzero dollars here whatever. The car sixty five thous you know, already had preaching to the choir, but you know that there's somebody who's not busy at that location at that moment, that's equipped to be able to provide that information and that reception is is not empowered to, not a power sision. And it's the same way when somebody comes in at seven o'clock in the morning. Hey, I just bought a car two days ago. I got a service contract and I got this. We Oh that I'm supposed to get this Xyz, the second key or whatever. Will hold on. We get away till a finance comes and where they come at nine o'clock, but I've got this thing signed off on right here yet. But we have to verify it in the system, that the money set up, the deal and all of those things that happen with that. Or the fifty four hundred calls that I get every month currently that I want to know if the status update on my vehicle wall. It's in for service. Yep, and so as we're building that pizza tracker. But all of those things, I don't think a finance manager is the most of is the bright person to handle that equation. Now, could that be one of these other positions that gets freed up by taking AI and automating all this monotony, that you could have more people delighting clients like that? Absolutely, and that's where it gets going, is people that can give people immediate response instead of putting them into the you know, the call q hell. Yep, a hundred percent. That's that's the job. It's going to reply pace, because that job didn't need to exist to begin with. That's that's what I'm getting from. That's what I'm picking up from what you're putting down. Man, this has been so much fun. We can talk about I want to talk about this forever. I'M gonna have to come and visit in your store and we're going to have to, we're going to just have to set up cameras and will invite other people. Maybe it's had, maybe it's that digital dealer, who knows, and we'll just like say, all right, Snow holds barred, let's do something, let's talk about this and go go super deep. And you know, and I'm glad we went in the direction we did, because undoubtedly, if the mass issue right now is we can't answer the phone properly, then they don't want to know the lines of code that had to be written for you to facilitate. You know what I mean. I do because it's super nerdy and I will I sit and code for fun because I'm just that guy. But but you know the concept. Really the big takeaways for me, Brian, is you've been laying a foundation consistently over time with two steps forward, maybe one step back, maybe five steps back, but three steps forward and your you've continued to lean into streamlining, improving, making more efficient, questioning every aspect. But does it have to work that way? And that's really what I wanted to get to the heart of with you, because you are you are. You heard it here first, the automotive futurist, and so I'm excited that you're on the show. How can those listening get in touch with you and follow you? I'm on the Link Inn under Brian Kramer, Youtube, Brian Kramer, instagram, Cramer, Brian Facebook, Tick Tock, which last time I was on. We were joking about that Tick Tock, and that's the way that I was laughing about being on tick tock the last time, and now it's not weird, is the way that will probably do another one of these in the future some point there in the metavers won't seem weird either. Yeah, exactly, and and I'll I will be. My avatar will be wearing a zebra cost don't yeah, exactly. I'm going with to Dragon...

...flicking storsky much. Yeah, there you go from awesome and thank still watch for joining me on the podcast. 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.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (529)