The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode · 8 years ago

Joe Cala: How to Transform Your Employee Training


Our Guest:

In session 31 of The Dealer Playbook Podcast, we sat down with Joe Cala. Joe is currently the General Manager of Dealer Synergy, and is one of the most inspirational, motivating individuals within the car business.

We invited Joe Cala to be on the show to explain how you can transform your car sales training by taking massive action. The automotive industry has no shortage of training resources. From conferences and summits to in-store consulting and webinars. But with all of the training resources out there, the missing ingredient to enjoying a more successful career within the automotive industry (and every other industry) is the action that you take.

Preview of this Session:

  • How you can take your career to the next level
  • How to get more from your dealership training
  • The common mistakes that dealers make that limit their success
  • Tips to being successful and transform your career

Links and Resources:


About Joe Cala:

Joe has a total of 14 years in the automotive industry, holding positions from Sales Person to Used Car Manager, New Car Manager to Internet Sales Manager, and eventually Internet Director. During his time as Internet Director, he was influential in increasing business from 7 units to 80 units at Nelson Mazda in Tulsa, OK and from growing Gateway Toyota in Toms River, NJ (Penske Automotive Group Dealership) from 40 units to 150 units. After his time in the dealership, he spent a year as an Advertising Consultant in the New York/New Jersey Metro Area for Auto Trader. Joe is currently the General Manager for Dealer Synergy and has been a featured Internet Sales 20 Group Speaker, NADA convention speaker, author and contributor to multiple nationally recognized personal & professional development magazines.

... is Mr Joe Kella. Here we go. You're dialed into the dealer playbook podcast, where it's all about winning auto dealer strategies that deliver proven results. And now your hosts, Robert Weissman and Michael Cirillo. Hey there, how's it going? My name is Michael Cirillo and this is the dealer playbook podcast. I'm so happy you're here for episode thirty one. Every single week, the dealer playbook podcast is bringing you actionable insights that you can bring back to your dealership to grow profits, sell more vehicles and enhance the culture at your dealership. That's right, every Thursday new episodes of the dealer playbook podcast. Go ahead and subscribe if you haven't, itunes, stitcher radio, now on soundcloud and, of course, triplew dot the dealer playbook dot com. This week we are sitting down with Mr Joe Kella, who's the general manager over at dealer synergy. This guy's been in the auto business for quite some time now, so knowledgeable and so motivational. In fact, just a few weeks ago at the Internet sales twenty group in Boston. I and Robert had the privilege of listening to Joe Speak and it was so inspirational, so made motivational, so encouraging, and so we thought it would be such a great idea to have him on the show today. You're going to hear him talk about how to get the most out of training. Now we talk a lot about training in the industry. It's so important. Grant Card owns episode talks about how training has to be in the right sequence. We just heard the Alpha Dog, Jim Ziggler, talking about the right training for F and I you're going to hear Joe Kella today talk about really what you can do to get the most out of training so that you can transform your career and your life. So, without giving away too much, I know out of excitement I tend to give away a little bit too much information. So so for the sake of not doing that, let's just jump right into Joe Kella. And we are here sitting down now with one of the most motivating and inspiring individuals that I think I've ever seen in person inside of the automotive business, Mr Joe Cali from dealer synergy how you doing a man, I'm great, Michael. How you doing, man? Fantastic. We're so excited to have you on the show today and you know, as we've been discussing what you know, we wanted to talk about with you. You know, this is a topic that I'm so passionate about, Roberts so passionate about, and so we want to be able to give you some time here to drop some power bombs for those listening in how they can get the most out of their daytoday routine. You know, there's there's in the industry. There are so many events, conferences, workshops, webinars. I mean this podcast where, you know, lots of information is given, tons of insights and strategies and techniques and all that sort of stuff. But I wanted to turn it over to you and just ask you, you know, with with the abundance of information that we have in the automotive space, what are you seeing as you work with dealerships, that one of the most common, I guess, obstacles is for them kind of getting to the next level of success? Well, well, first of all, again, thank you so much for having me on with with you guys. You guys are a huge inspiration to the to the automotive industry with with the dealer playbooks. So thank you again, Robert and Michael. You guys. I'm happy that to have developed our relationship over the last year or so and doing the different things in the industry together. So thank you again, so much. Thank you letting me have you're welcome and for let me have this opportunity to share with your audience. So, but in...

...the question that you had just stated, the biggest thing that I see as the biggest struggle is not the fact that the dealers, many of the dealers have the tools, they have the resources, they have the education and they have the training. They just don't implement, they don't apply and they don't execute, and because of that, that is what I see as being the number one thing that causes failure or that causes, you know, decline in their dealerships or their departments or whatever, specifically that they're doing. So, like you said, I mean this automotive industry that we are in is flooded with resources, man between websites, podcast forums, blogs, twenty groups, newsletters, seminars, conferences, summits, exposed on demand virtual training platforms, on site training, platforms, phone, trainings. I mean, you have so much. We have so much at our fingertips at all times, so we definitely are not lacking when it comes to that stuff. The thing that I think is the hardest part of this whole situation is the application. And I've used this term before and you guys have heard me speak about this and you know I talk about the difference between information and transformation and many times, you know, I use a formula that that I like to call you know, it's like a it's like a map that we can use to get us to where we need to be, and that it goes like this. It's education plus training without or application equals only good information. You know, you've ever been a you know a workshop, or you've listened to somebody and you're like, man, that is really good information, that is great information, but if you never take that and apply it and execute it and implement it, then that's all it's going to ever be, is good information. The difference in between good information and transformation is the application. And again, the application is what makes the difference. You know, if you want to have transformed results, you need to transform your routines every day and apply different things in different steps and different routines in order to get different results. Right. Yeah, absolutely so. And what you're saying here, I mean this is so valid. It reminds me of a couple conversations we've had in previous episodes. Like you know, I'm thinking a card down, where he's talking about having the right sequence of training and and I guess part of that is knowing how to apply the knowledge so that you can get something out of it. Now, let me ask you, Joe, when it comes to application, I mean still count we're still kind of approaching this from the top level. How do you suppose that maybe the struggle when it comes to application is just not knowing that first step to take? Yeah, I think that that could be it, but I think it's I think it's not that solely because I think many times we can even have the steps to take. I mean, look, you know you can have the map, you can have the list, and if I was just, let's just say I wanted to come to your office, Michael, and I decided to go head into my car and put in the final destination, whatever that addresses, into my gps, I plug it in and it generates and calculates to me every single turn that I need to take to get there. I know how to get there, I know the steps to take. The only way I'm going to ever be able to experience your presence and be there at your office is if I actually press turn the car on, step on the pedal and start driving right. So, so many times it's it's just a matter of beginning to start to go through the emotions. And I know, Robert, you've talked about this many times about drilling, rehearsing, role playing, taking action. I mean when...

...we look at, let's just say, for example, sports, when you look at baseball, and I don't work tail in the baseball now and in the season that that this episode is being recorded, and we're in the football season also, we have two sports here that are very, very big and attractive to a large, large audiences. But let's just say from baseball, if a professional ball player wants to improve their swing, they're not going to just watch a video, they're not going to just look at the tape and listen to the coach on how to do it. They're going to actually go out and buying the batting cage exactly. They're gonna take the ball, they're going to they're going to have the the the arm, they electric arm, throw the ball and they're going to start swinging, they're going to lift their elbow, they're going to get into their stands, they're going to hold into positions that they need to to get better. It's the same thing we when we talk about football. You know, you have the Seattle Seahawks, that one. They won the championship last year and then they came back this year and Russell Wilson picked up the football in practice, in training camp and started throwing it again. What's wrong with you, Russell, your professional quarterback? Why would you try to? Why would you have to? Don't you know how to throw a ball? Yeah, of course he does, but he's going through the emotions, he's drilling, he's rehearsing, he's role playing, he's training. And again, we've always and I said this, practice never makes perfect. Practice makes permanent. Practice makes permanent. If you practice wrong, then you're going to have permanently wrong ways of doing things, but if you practice perfectly then you'll have perfect right so it's not just about practice makes perfect. It's about practicing the right way and applying yourself to go through the emotions and it's always going to be harder at first and then gets easier as you go go through it, and I think that's sometimes is the obstacle, because it's not we many times judge ourselves where we are now against somebody where they are fifteen years later, in other words somebody who's an expert in a position that is flowing. Naturally, they're free flowing, they're very good at what they do and they've practice and they put in the time and all the effort and energy to be as excellent as they are and as in to deliver as smoothly as they do. And then we start and we stumble, we we're not as good and we trip up and we make mistakes and so therefore we get frustrated. I think that could be a barrier. That is is going to what you said, Michael, about why sometimes people don't go to that next level and they don't take that first step. Yep, yeah, let me ask you this, Joe. What do you think? How much does and I think we touched on this and a conversation we had the other day and like me, like I am like a sucker for buying just like you know training and you know, you know books from from so many different people. Man Like I'm always buying courses online and stuff. And where do you think that? How much does overwhelm, quote unquote, you could say have to do with not taking the action or not, you know, implementing, executing, applying. Well, I think that's a great point, because overwhelming is also something we live one day at a time, right HMM. So we can get overwhelmed with the length of something when we start looking at, oh my goodness, how far we have. Look how much I have to do, look how much I have to take on. Look at along the road is, look how long the road is exactly. And again it's, you know, driving from where I am to where you are, Michael, and where you are, Robert. Yeah, it may look like a long road, but I just have to focus on the first step. When I need to get to the second step, then I can focus on the second step. And I think many times that's that's what happens, is is we just look at the long road and we get overwhelmed and instead, by by not just looking at the long road, we need to start looking at the step we need to take right now. And then then when we get... the next step, then we can take that next step. We start worrying about all the steps that have to be taken after the first step and we never took the first step, your first standing. Yeah, I love this. Your first goal should be the closest to your achievement. Right. I love that. It's a great, great statement. It reminds me of you know, in this, I mean I guess this this just has to do with people. I was reading an article about how people actually I think it's like January eighteen is kind of the Meridian Cutoff for when majority of people give up on their new year resolutions because they they say, man, I'm going to lose thirty pounds. No, Dude, you're gonna YOU'RE gonna book a pass to the gym, you're going to start eating healthy and come up with a meal plan. And I think part of this too, I mean where does, where does willingness fit into this mix? Is that? I mean you have to have the willingness right to I mean, aside from learning and acquiring the knowledge, there's got to be a certain level of willingness, I'd imagine, to want to take the steps right. You definitely. You have to you have to have a willingness to be able to push your flesh to do things that doesn't want to do. You know what I mean, to push your body. I mean look, I why do we get up and go to jobs and drive, you know, ungodly hours in the morning and do certain things, to go certain places, to do what we do many times when our bodies would rather be sleeping in bed? Yeah, because there's there's a willingness to go and do that. I mean, you know, it's the willingness and you know, I heard, I heard a statement that says, you know, if you're willing and obedient, yeah, you're going to eat the fat and the good of the land. You know what I mean? So you're going to you're going to get to experience the good stuff with willingness and action. So it's the too coming together, not and again. It's always going to work hand in hand. But what I wanted to go back to real quick was what we were talking about just before this was about knowledge, because we talked about how many times people may have the knowledge and they think that just because they have knowledge, they have power. Okay, and knowledge is power. I've heard that saying, and I know you've heard that saying, but that's only half true, because knowledge is power, but it's it's really potential power, because the potential for that power of the knowledge that you have is there to be released, but it's never going to be released until it's acted upon. And one of the things I like to use as an analogy is electricity. You know, I'm going to ruin right now or all the lights are on. I got my laptop, my IPAD, I got I got everything working right here. You know, it's all, it's all based off of electricity. And so what happened is when I came in to this room and the lights were off, there was potential power that was stored within the walls that once I turned the switch on, I got to see the results of that power. And so it's really until I take action to turn that switch on that the power, it's that's potent, that that potential that's in there is released to show off what it's supposed to do. Love it. Knowledge isn't power until you a know what to do with it and be take action. Absolutely love it. Oh right. So that being said, then, like let's talk about you know, what are the steps then to taking the action, to making it just like breathing, to make like it's you know, to avoid the overwhelm, to avoid, you know, the unwillingness and to just, you know, take what you learn and dive in. Can I can? I may be started to cut you off. Can I maybe expand on that question to Robert and say, yeah, you know, you can, we maybe can. I can. Let's let's look at I mean, because what you do is you you help dealership specifically, you know, expand a knowledge edge and be show them... to execute. Can we take, you know, a real life example a department, a department within the dealership, and say hey, we see a lot of dealership struggling with, whether it's phones or or sales process or BDC or appointment setting or whatever, and just kind of walk us through some actions that a dealership could take, like right now today, to start see results? Okay, yeah, okay, definitely. So the first thing is whenever we do our trainings and whatever we do, are, you know, consulting. We always, we always make sure that we that we go ahead and tell them listen. When you hear what you hear, think to yourself, how can I take what I'm hearing right now and apply it to help me in my role, my position, in my daily routine. Now we ask them to do that, many times they won't even do that. So that's why we have to come up with how to apply as well. So we want them to figure it out first, because at the end of the day, you know I can help you do it. But what's going to happen is eventually is you're going to find ways that will will be more natural for you and then you'll start to, you know, change it up and make it more personalized, right, and more comfortable for you and what you're doing in your daily role. But again, I'll go ahead and I'll create for example, we have for our process and how we set it up, and we expect our phone core ordinators to make a hundred and twenty calls a day, and so that could be overwhelming when we start looking at, you know, one day and you're saying, wow, one day, how, how in the world am I going to be able to do a hundred and twenty calls and one day, and then when you start thinking of the month and again it's like we talked about the long road, right, you start looking at the overwhelming stuff and then you just you can get discouraged and then you can just, you know, not do anything and then just you have that call reluctance and you just you don't pick the phone up and you're just afraid and all that stuff. But when you start looking at let's just say it's a twenty one work day month and you have now to not just make a hundred twenty calls a day, that equates a two thousive hundred and twenty calls for the entire month and you're going, was this going to happen? Right? All right. So what we do then is, for for example, for our process, is we have coordinators that their goal is to dial a hundred and twenty calls per day, and that can be very overwhelming at first, especially to people who are in that position in who are new to the auto industry, who are new to having to, you know, figure out this process and go through the whole entire you know, you know, orientation of a new job, the new culture, new atmosphere, New People, it's all overwhelming. It can be. So we created, in order for them to be able to do this, an outbound call tracking sheet, and so that tracking sheet shows an eight hour shift that has fifteen calls per hour and at eight hour shift, to break it down to the smallest, bite sized pieces. So and again, this is one thing that we always want to make sure that that you know, if you're wanting to learn how to apply something, you want to figure out, okay, I want to take this, how can I apply this and how can I cut this down to the smallest pieces so that I can learn how to get to my ultimate goal, one step at a time? Okay, because we always have the end result in mind. So we begin with the end in mind and now we got to figure out, okay, now, how do I get there? Well, and I like. What I like about that too, is I think that it's showing them, you know, every hour they're knocking out a goal, like they're accomplishing a goal, you know, and like that. Feel it, you know, and everybody, you know, you can't sit there and tell me that when you know, hitting a goal, accomplishing a goal. I mean that's that's motivating it to do more. Exactly. It reintroduces hope back into the this overwhelming equation. It's like, Hey, stop focusing on the length of the road and start patting yourself on the back for being on the road in the first place. A hundred percent. And the other thing that we've done with this, to my doing this, is it's helped for them not only to be able to go through the the little...

...steps of the goals of you know, okay, I did fifteen, and it also shows them that it's not as hard as I thought. And you know what this this can be done because you know, we understand that the connection ratios are between eleven and fourteen percent on average. So you know, added these calls, you're not connecting with every single person. So you're wondering in your mind at first how it makes sense and then you start realizing, wow, moving a lot of messages. So we've even showed them that. Okay, look, whenever you leave a message, you just put a slash across that number. When you go ahead and set an appointment, you circle that number when you actually, you know, talk to them. And let's just say you know you made a connection but you didn't set the appointment. You just put a square around it. So now each one of those those symbols symbolizes what's going on. And then when the manager gets these sheets, they can see wow, from, you know, the third and fourth hour. That's when our most connections are taken place. Maybe we should make sure we're saturated, saturating the phones in that area. That makes sense. Yeah, love it, and you're going to you're going to get us a link so that we can link to this, this template in our show notes. Right. Absolutely love it. You know what? What I'm really enjoying about this too, is, I mean now we're seeing the breakdown of how to achieve you know, like you said, in small, bite size chunks. I mean, we've talked about a or number one, having a willingness to even execute. Then you got to have a plan and a goal set up. Then, right, then the strategy, which is this, this template that you're talking was about, pertaining to the outbound call concept. And then the last part is do it, do it, and that's it, I mean because, listen, we all get to do it part. You know, we are in the car industry and you know, basically the main, the majority of what we're used to is this just go just get up, just get on the phone, just get them in, you know, just go ahead and just just our calm, you know, just pick up the phone, is start dialing right. I mean so, so we're always hearing what to do, but what about the steps, like not just okay and ultimately, yeah, I got to pick the phone up, but you know, how do I get there? How do I stay organized in the process? So it's just not a big mess and and we don't really know how to be able to track it and we don't really know how to pull the right information, you know, strategically from this so we can get better, because that's the ultimate goal, is all. This is about getting better. It's all about improving and sharpening becoming more exceptional in our skill set and in what we do. Love it, love it. So the thing that I think is important is to understand this is that information, it's like treasure. It is only going to do you good and you're only going to benefit benefit from it when you use it. If it's buried, it's valuable, still the treasure still valuable. If it's if it's hidden, if it's under you know, wraps, yeah, it's still valuable, but you're not you're never going to benefit from it until you, like you just said, do it and use it. It's the same thing. You touch it up, you got to dig it up, man, and sometimes it takes you got to dig through a lot of dirt to get to the gold and get to the treasure. This has been so powerful in that you know you're breaking it down. I love where we're going with this. How can those listening in right now get ahold of you, to get more information about how to execute so the you can hit me up on facebook and you can look me up on facebook, Rev Joe Calla A, Rev Joe Calla, and then also you can email me or call me. I can give you my email in my phone number on my cell phone. Yeah, go for it. It's Joe at dealer synergycom. And then my phone number is eight five six nine five two one seven eighty six, eight five, six, nine five two hundred and seventy eighty six. Love it. Thank you so much, Joe, for being with us today. This is such valuable information that you listening in can take right now to see massive things happen for yourself. And that's really the objective of the dealer playbook is each week we're getting, you know,...

...powerhouse figures inside of the automotive business, like Rev Joe Calla who who are dropping these nuggets, these power bombs, so that you can be as successful as possible. Joe, once again, thank you so much for being on the show today. Thank you, guys, it was my honor. Yep, thanks, Joey. Will see you soon. Man, and just like that, that's right, I'm stealing Roberts line. That was Joe Calli, general manager at dealer synergy. Wasn't that inspiring? Wasn't that motivating to know that you can take good information, great information and, with application, have or achieve transformation? And that's the whole point. That's why it's so, you know, such a cool topic for us to talk about on the show, because that's what we're really all about. That's what we should be pursuing consistently, transformation. You can have everything that you want in your own career, in your personal life. The difference, the thing that will set you apart, like you heard Joe talk about, is whether or not you apply the things that you learn and the level of willingness that you have. So check it out. Do me a favor right now. Visit Triple Wot, the dealer playbookcom forward, slash thirty one, where you will get access to some of the free materials that Joe's offering that are going to help you apply what you need to to transform your career again. Triplew dot the dealer playbookcom forward thirty one and again, don't forget to subscribe on Itunes, stitcher radio and now on soundcloud. We would also love your feedback. Don't hesitate to give us your feedback or if you have any topic or guest suggestions, we are open to it all. Until next time, we'll talk to you soon.

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