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Integrating the internet sales department and business development center

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  • 1. New Vision Sales Automobile Dealer Sales Training – Article Series Integrating the Internet Sales Department and the Business Development Center Page 1 www.NewVisionSales.com Info@NewVisonSales.com
  • 2. For some reason, when the word ―Internet‖ is put in front of the word ―sales,‖ it becomes something different than car sales. But it shouldn’t; it’s still selling cars. By integrating the Internet sales department and business development center, Internet sales should become more efficient. Why would you have the two departments separate, or why would you have one without the other? I suggest configuring the two together, so all leads are properly handled in a consistent manner. There are two methods of integration—process integration and physical integration. Process integration is a must, and physical integration is recommended. With process integration, you ensure all leads are going through the same processes and systems and are being followed up with consistently. Physical integration is literally merging the departments into one war room and one department. Your Internet sales process – obviously there are different variations – may dictate whether you physically integrate the departments. Regardless of which method you choose, everybody in the Internet department needs to be cross-trained to learn BDC and follow-up processes, along with training and coaching on communication and persuasion skills. Your Internet salespeople must be able to own the phone! One dealer I work with makes all new employees begin in an entry-level business development role and work their way up from there. His philosophy is if a person is not capable of developing business and mastering follow-up, they shouldn’t be out front waiting on ups and dealing with customers, and his sales force is stronger for it. The most successful Internet sales and business development process is to convert an e-mail into a phone conversation as soon as possible. Too often, the Internet sales process is typing e-mails, which is very soft selling. I believe in calling an Internet lead the first day and calling them every day until you reach them. Your goal should be to convert e-mails into phone calls in 24 hours or less. Consider how most people shop online for a product. They go to multiple sites to compare products and pricing. You need to convert e-mail inquiries to phone conversations quickly because the person who submitted a lead on your site probably submitted leads to several other dealerships. You are missing the boat if you’re not trying to turn that e-mail into a phone call, because there could be 10 other dealers e-mailing the customer, all trying to build rapport. You have to build rapport with them first, and that opportunity to build rapport is over the phone. Page 2 www.NewVisionSales.com Info@NewVisonSales.com
  • 3. E-mail is easy to track, but if you rely solely on e-mails, you’re severely limiting your communication with customers. Consider how communication is transmitted—63 percent of communication is transmitted through body language, 30 percent is through tonality and only seven percent is made up of the actual words you use. With e-mail, you limit yourself to seven percent of communication transmission. You need more than that to build rapport and set your dealership apart from the others. Sure, there are ways of emphasizing words in an e-mail with italics or underline, and there are a lot of neat tricks with video virtual walk-around or product presentation. However, if you consider that most customers are totally freaked out by the car buying experience, it’s going to take more than e-mail to build rapport and differentiate your dealership. You must instill trust, confidence and comfort in prospective customers, and you must do it before your competitors. Another common mistake made in Internet departments is that people attempt to sell the car over the phone. What you’re really selling while on the phone is the appointment. That’s why Internet sales representatives need the same skill set as business development representatives. Now is the time to bridge the gap between the two departments. You don’t have a sales team that handles only customers who come in from your radio ads and another sales team that handles only customers who come in from TV commercials. When an Internet lead comes in, dealerships that operate with a BDC and a separate Internet department always run into the question, ―Whose lead is it?‖ Well, it’s the dealership’s lead. That’s whose lead it is, and it should be handled the same way as other leads—with the same process and same system. It all comes down to what’s best for the dealership, and having an integrated department (or at least two departments that are cohesive) is going to lead to more appointments and ultimately more sales. Who is paying to generate the leads, and who is making decisions on how to handle them? How many deals are missed because the word ―Internet‖ changed the landscape of true salesmanship? Page 3 www.NewVisionSales.com Info@NewVisonSales.com
  • 4. www.NewVisionSales.com Twitter: www.twitter.com/NewVisionSales Facebook: www.facebook.com/NewVisionSales YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/NewVisionSales LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/grodean New Vision Sales Inc. 1670 Hwy 160 West Suite 206 Fort Mill, South Carolina 29708 803-802-2124 Toll Free: 866-532-2827 Info@NewVisionSales.com Page 4 www.NewVisionSales.com Info@NewVisonSales.com

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