Q&A: #1 CSI Dealer Gives Top Advice

Authntk Sits Down With Chris Beaton

Chris Beaton is the Sales Manager at Steele Chevrolet, the largest volume dealer in the eastern region of Canada. They have 26 rooftops on the coast and Chris personally manages about 20 salesmen. Steele has been an Authntk user for over two years, and because of the growth they’ve experienced, we wanted to know more about their use of video and how it played a part in their success.

Authntk Operations Manager, John Colban, sat down with Chris to really pick his brain, specifically on creating a culture and expectation surrounding video. Check out the full live interview at the bottom of this post, or keep reading for the cliff notes version below… 


Video Culture

You guys were one of the early adapters to video, especially in your area. Did you see the trend coming? Timestamp 4:21

It’s ease of use for the information people are consuming. If you look at the stats of how many hours people are spending on YouTube, and how many people watch videos before they make a purchase decision… from that data it was a no-brainer. The industry is changing at such a rapid rate and you have to be an early adapter if you want to succeed.  

We’ve sold cars in other people’s area and they've come in and told us the only reason they're buying this car is because they thought the video was the coolest thing. When they actually get a video of the car they're looking at right to their phone, people’s minds are totally blown. It’s just a no brainer. If you have an iPhone, you can do it in a matter of minutes. I’d say it takes less time to send a video with Authntk than it does to compose a proper email. 

We watch the videos in our sales meetings every single week. It almost becomes a competition between sales guys. You have the sales competition, but now you have the video competition. It’s remarkable to see what some of these guys are doing from their phones. 

Walk me through the different areas where your team is using video… Timestamp 7:54

We’re using it absolutely everywhere we can and we’re constantly looking for new ways.  There are so many uses, the opportunities are endless... 

  • Internet Leads
  • CSI
  • Sales Call Follow-Up’s
  • Garner Reviews for Google & Facebook
  • Social Media
  • Manufacturer Website

You mentioned CSI, I know we just got that set up for you guys. How important is that to the dealership and individual salesmen? Timestamp 9:13

It’s really neat, we have a couple power users but everybody is using it. It's mandated by the store to use it. After seeing what our power users were doing with their CSI follow up’s and the gains they were seeing, we decided to implement it. And its working. 

We’re the #1 CSI dealer for General Motors in Eastern Canada. 

You mentioned you guys are growing and looking to expand your sales team, what’s the expectation for them coming in regarding video? Timestamp 13:11

Most of our new hires have automotive experience and just showing them what we're doing with video, they immediately buy in. We’ll get them into the sales meeting and they’re seeing how fired up everyone is getting watching these videos. They’re seeing what their coworkers are doing and we’re going around the room talking about success people have had with video this week, and that's all the buy in they need. While there is an expectation there, this is the culture of our dealership and people are going to buy in on their own. 

One of my favorite tools of the app is the Performance Reports that we generate because we all can see why video sells cars. We separate reports into the different campaigns we have set up with Authntk, like follow ups, CSI, lead response, etc… If “Salesman A” doesn’t haven’t any appointments for the next day, we’ll look at his performance reports and see that he doesn’t have any video activity for the day. Well maybe those two go hand in hand. That's when we have a conversation, let's get some videos out. I guarantee they’re going to have some appointments set up. 

And you do have to have a culture. If you're not talking about it and you're not pushing it and you're not showing people how important it is, it won't come to fruition. 

Video is how people consume data and want to consume data now, so we figured we would dive right into it. It’s a no brainer if you look at how much time people are spending on YouTube.

Since you’ve adopted video over the last two years, what kind of results has the store seen? Timestamp 17:40 

I attribute our success in the past two years to our use of video, my general manager would attribute it to our success and that's why we keep on using it and finding new reasons to use it. We’ve seen double digit growth, our trajectory has been upward, upward, upward. It’s been a fantastic couple years. 

What’s your #1 piece of advice for a dealership that wants to create a video culture… Timestamp 19:18

Talk about it. You have got to start first. You have to crawl before you walk, walk before you run, and run before you sprint. It all starts with the decision to do it and adopt it. There will always be leaders and followers, it’s recognizing who the leaders are and let them lead by example. Once people start seeing those dollars and cents, and return on their time investment, others will follow. For some people it may be uncomfortable out of the box. The #1 thing we do is talk about it in our meetings and play the videos. People get more and more comfortable over time. 

If you liked this post, check out another senior management interview: “Q&A: Senior Manager Talks Video with Authntk”