Kenny Jakel, General Sales Manager, Lee Johnson Kia
July 2013 Autobytel Dealer of the Month
We'd like to congratulate Kenny Jakel, General Sales Manager of Lee Johnson Kia in Kirkland, Washington, for being named Autobytel's Dealer of the Month for July 2013!
The Autobytel Dealer Awards Program honors exceptional dealers from a competitive field of thousands of automotive retailers who employ the highest standards in customer service, Internet automotive retail sales and lead management processes.
Kenny sat down with us recently to discuss Lee Johnson Kia and the way his team has successfully woven the family-owned business principals of service, respect and value into their Internet management processes.
Tell us about yourself and your store? What's your official title, what brands do you sell and what are your primary markets?
I am the General Sales Manager for Lee Johnson Kia. We are a Chevy, Mazda, and Kia store that has been in business for 80 years here in Kirkland as a "Family Owned Business."
How long have you been an Autobytel dealer and what do you think are the primary benefits of being on the Autobytel program?
We've been an Autobytel Dealer for Kia since 2006. The leads we get from Autobytel are higher quality leads that provide good results for sales.
What do you think makes you so successful at meeting the needs of today's Internet consumers (please share a few of your best practices in terms of managing Internet leads)?
At Lee Johnson Kia, we have found that the key to our success is never straying from our core principles of service, respect, and providing value to the consumer. A rapid response, consistent message, and commitment to providing information of real value to the online consumer, are all key elements of our success.
What are your thoughts about being named an Autobytel Dealer of the Month?
We are absolutely thrilled to receive this accolade, and I want to personally thank Autobytel for the recognition.
What are some tips or advice you could give other retailers when it comes to effectively managing Internet customers?
The best tip I can give, for all aspects of business, is to always have an effective plan of action, stick to it, and employ people who can best implement the strategy. If you have the right practices, a consistent message, and the right people like Don Kingsley and our sales staff, you will be successful in your market.
What are your general thoughts about the auto industry right now? How are sales? Any interesting things happening at Lee Johnson Kia or with the brand that you'd like to share?
My general thoughts are that in the auto industry, like most businesses, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Because access to the internet has made the consumer more informed than ever before, there is nowhere for an auto dealer to hide. If you don't make an effort to treat your customers like gold, and make the process transparent, it will come back around to bite you in one form or another. Old fashioned tactics like building value in the dealership, sales experience, and product, will always pay off in the end.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself...what you like to do in your free time? Any hobbies or interests of note?
I am recently married and have an 11 week old baby girl named Samantha. I am very fortunate to work in the career that I also consider my hobby. The auto business is always challenging but fun which keeps my mind going constantly.
Each month, Autobytel's sales and dealer operations teams evaluate prospective candidates from a competitive field of thousands of automotive retailers in the Autobytel network, with a monthly finalist selected based on key online automotive best practices, including conversion rates, lead management processes, customer service principles, customer and brand retention analytics and Internet department practices, among others.