View stunning SlideShares in full-screen with the new iOS app!Introducing SlideShare for AndroidExplore all your favorite topics in the SlideShare appGet the SlideShare app to Save for Later — even offline
View stunning SlideShares in full-screen with the new Android app!View stunning SlideShares in full-screen with the new iOS app!
New Vision Sales Automobile Dealer Sales Training – Article Series
Putting an Empty BDC to Use
In dealerships across the country, the doors of many business
development centers are closed due to cost cutting. In the
average dealership without a BDC or call center, the handling of
phone calls is still abominable. In reality, business
development is more important today than ever and cutting costs
in business development can have devastating effects.
In some cases, manufacturers are putting more pressure on their
dealers to focus on business development and follow-up. Suzuki,
for example, monitors dealer leads and if dealerships don’t
follow up with their leads within a certain timeframe, Suzuki
puts those leads into a category called a “jump ball,” to which
every surrounding Suzuki dealer has access. Dealers can check
the “jump ball” daily to get new Suzuki leads.
If you have an empty BDC, I strongly suggest you cross train
your salespeople to perform business development functions—call
leads, set appointments, follow up with be-backs, etc. It
doesn’t need to be full-scale training, but there has to be some
phone skills training for the people answering the phone and
making calls. This is especially important if you once had a
trained BDC performing both of those functions.
Accountability, one of the primary functions of a business
development center, often gets pushed aside when salespeople are
in charge of follow-up. That’s why there needs to be at least
one unbiased employee serving as a business development manager
(BDM) to hold the people following up and working leads
accountable. The “down time” mentality is mind-boggling. There’s
a database available for salespeople to work to generate sales
The person in the BDM role doesn’t need to be a new hire; it can
be someone within the store who is respected and has a bit of a
drill sergeant attitude. You can’t have a “five-car Charlie”
leading the troops in business development. It just won’t work.
Having a BDM will prevent salespeople from cherry picking the
leads, which only lets your dollars and potential sales fall by
One way to help hold your employees accountable is to focus on
quality control. A number of companies offer quality control
services and will mystery shop your dealership and report the
results back to you—positive and negative. I recommend utilizing
one that provides the recorded call with an expert solution
rather than just criticism. Identified concerns without viable
solutions are worthless.
One method I use to see how salespeople are performing is (if
you still have a BDC, in-house or outsourced) asking customers
to call the BDC back to rate the salesperson that greeted them
on the lot. (Stress the need to get a name or business card.)
People love to call back and either brag about or tell on
somebody. You can find out some interesting things by doing
this. For example, at one dealership, a salesperson told a woman
who rode the bus to the dealership to take a credit application
home, fill it out and then bring it back to the dealership. The
manager was not happy to hear a sales rep made a decision for
him. To encourage customers to call back, tell them the rating
and information they provide will be confidential, and you can
even provide an incentive, such as a gas card drawing.
One phenomenal dealer I’ve worked with implemented an
accountability room in his dealership, which allows managers to
monitor follow-up. An accountability room provides one
centralized location for salespeople to get off the floor,
complete their daily work plans and basically do what really is
the core of their job. That is, following up, sending e-mails
and letters, and building customer relationships. To do this,
they must have the mindset of not wanting to sell one person a
car, but wanting to sell everyone they know a car. Salespeople
with that discipline and mindset will sell more cars.
An accountability room is also like an insurance policy for the
dealer because sales staff turnover creates orphan owners with
whom there is no follow-up. I know a lot of CRM products have
orphan owner functionality to flag past customers who no longer
have a salesperson assigned to follow-up with them, but what
good is it if no one monitors and reassigns orphan owners?
Unless someone really enforces the process and system the dealer
uses to protect his or her leads, the technology is wasted.
Only a fraction of the sales force out there is willing and
capable to exceed what your competition is doing. That’s why
even a little phone skills training and accountability is
extremely important and can make a big difference. This is
especially true if your sales staff once relied on a BDC to
handle appointment setting and follow-up,had out-of-date floor
traffic or some of that magical “Be-Back Dust” as we used to
Habit is either our best friend or our WORST enemy. Aristotle
said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an
act, but a habit!”-, What do you repeatedly do to maximize the
effectiveness and profitability of your marketing efforts and
money? Habit requires a commitment. Commitment provides
accountability. Math never lies!
New Vision Sales Inc.
1670 Hwy 160 West Suite 206
Fort Mill, South Carolina 29708
Toll Free: 866-532-2827