Watch this great video of our Founder and CEO, Jason Brian, speaking at the State of Recovery conference at the Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, FL. Jason was a featured speaker on July 22nd, 2016 and talked about how he went from a high school graduate to successful entrepreneur while figuring out how to generate calls and track sales.
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT FOLLOWS
Create Controls, what does that mean. Is this levers? Create Levers?
Let me give you the Cliff Notes version of my background. Pre leads. My parents decide they are going to move to a small town in Cordele, GA which if you don’t know where that is… I grew up in Palm Beach County Florida.
So you go from being surrounded by friends, surrounded by people to the self-proclaimed watermelon capital of the world. They decide they are moving to Cordele, GA this is late 2004 early 2005. It’s, “Jason you’re either moving to Cordele, GA or you got to figure out how to make money.”
COMING FROM A MIDDLE CLASS BACKGROUND
My background, my kind of middle-income family, they’re certainly not going to support me. They would if they could but they couldn’t, you get the idea, regular family. Moving to Georgia, mom’s an accountant, dad’s a graphic artist, they’re opening a movie theater in the watermelon capital. So, doesn’t make sense to me either, don’t worry if it didn’t connect, it didn’t connect then either.
But they’re moving. I’m staying in south Florida, that’s the decision I made. So being the 2.2 GPA high school student that I was, I wish I was lying about that but I’m not. I did what I thought all adults do, I picked up a newspaper and I’m like I got to get a job. I opened up the paper and I should’ve known, it’s a color ad in the employment section. And I was like, this looks interesting, it says I can make $5,000 your first month guaranteed.
I’m like, no one is going to pay me 5k to do whatever this job is. And I’m reading on and it says no experience necessary, will train the right people, you don’t even have to go to school. It should have just said you can have a 2.2 GPA and we’ll accept you. I was like, that’s me, that’s me.
Come to find out it was a job selling cars. It’s a job selling cars at a local Ford dealership in south Florida. And so I’m like I’ll just sit there if I have to if they are going to guarantee me 5k, it’s either that or go run projectors. Which isn’t bad either, to put it out there, but it isn’t what I wanted to do with my life.
So I started this car job and real quickly figured out it’s about relationships and what not. I made $17,000 that first month. I’m fast forwarding through this part because it’s not really relevant. And they said “Hey”, this is what I believe happened, I’m just going to put it out there because I wasn’t in that meeting.
FROM SALESMAN TO MANAGER
I believe they said “Most of our sales guys don’t make $17k per month so we have to figure out how to not pay this kid that much money.” So they come over, they called me kid because I was literally just 18 years old at that moment. “Kid, we want to make you manager.” And I was like yeah boy, I’m gonna be a manager at this car lot!
But really what they were doing was saying “We want to pay you a salary”, which is fine. So I take this manager position and I have about 2 weeks before I start this manager position in transition. The direction I was given by the General Manager at the store was “I want you to have something profound to share with us on your first day as a manager next month.”
I was like I’ve got this. So I went around to the other managers at the store and I’m like guys, how do we sell cars, how do we do this. And they were like “What do you mean?” I’m like, where do we advertise? And they were like, “Well here and there” ,they were like “Kid just stop, just stop.” So I went to the next manager.
Nobody really knew, I mean they knew we did some Auto Trader ads and we did some newspaper ads, but nobody knew how much we were spending. Nobody knew, “all we know is we spend $200,000 and we sold 200 cars.” So being the academic scholar that I was, I was like when was the last time I was really good at school and figuring stuff out?
SCIENCE FAIR PROJECT
4th grade, and so I go to my 4th grade science fair project moment and I’m like, I’m thinking, okay 4th grade science project I’m going to figure this out. They call me kid anyway so I literally made a presentation board science fair style. I walk into my first managers meeting. Let me backtrack.
Before I made the science fair project I Googled how to sell cars, right, I was really, really advanced. I Googled it and found out I could buy leads for $20. I was like huh, leads for $20, what does that mean? So I’m looking at it leads for $20 people interested in cars that sounds interesting.
So I go to my first managers meeting, my most profound, this moment changed my life, no bs, this is a life changing moment for me. I opened my science fair project. The only thing on this board is the word CONTROL, we can buy leads for $20. The managers meeting was probably about 2 of these tables, about 6 or 8 folks.
They’re all kind of looking at me, then they kind of look at the general manager and they’re like, “Really, this is the kid that you guys brought here?” And the general manager is an interesting guy he’s sitting there he’s like “Go on.”
So I’m like I asked every manager in this room how we generate leads, how do we sell cars and all they could tell me is dollars. “We spend this and we get this.” But get this, we can buy leads for $20. And he just asked me to keep going with it. Long story short we changed the marketing strategy at this store from we couldn’t measure it or if it generated a lead that cost more than $20.
CALL GENERATION SUPERSTAR
I’m at a Ford store on the preface of the worst domestic car economy in US history and we take a 200 car a month store and 3 months later do 400 cars. Why? Because we could track it. Because we had something to compare it to, there was a control. All of a sudden we knew we should be generating $20 calls. And that was like mind blowing. So the stuff that was generating $100 calls we did away with. The stuff that was generating calls we couldn’t track we did away with.
So you take this store when everybody else was plummeting and you double their sales in 3 months. For me what ended up happening just to fast forward it for you, Ford takes note on a corporate level. They’re like “Uh, a little store in south Florida just doubled up when everyone else is not doing great, they must be doing something wrong. They must be doing something shady.”
So they come down and our office is in like, we called it the fish bowl, you can kind of picture it, glass offices and kind of an open bullpen. They walk into the general manager “Uh, so you guys sold 400 cars last month?” And he goes “Uh huh” and they go “Well, we seem to have an issue.” And the GM said “Well the kid came in with the science fair project board we don’t know.”
Long story short they asked me that day if I would do the same thing all over south Florida, all over the south east. So that’s kind of the start of my story you know, that everything in my career when I tell you that my career has literally been based on that moment.
The idea of having something to compare it to makes all the difference. I can tell you, you can buy calls from any of the providers in this space. Our calls $50-$60 bucks, this isn’t me pitching you, this is me saying use that as your control even if you don’t buy calls from me.
If what you’re doing today is generating calls that cost you more than that, the other side of that the obvious question is there’s a conversion rate too right, so 1% to 2%. If you’re not generating calls for $50-$60 that are converting at 1% to 2% you’re missing something. You should be doing something different, there are other opportunities out there. This is a very basic 4th grade idea that makes all the difference in the world.
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