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The paradigm shift to accountability when is the time to start a bdcDocument Transcript
New Vision Sales Automobile Dealer Sales Training – Article Series
The Paradigm Shift to
Accountability: When is the Time
to start a BDC?
I am told that in the early 70's, finance offices were not in
every dealership. They were just beginning to pop up here and
there. Today, almost every dealership has a finance department
that is responsible for their own production separate from the
sales department. A similar thing started happening a few years
ago with Internet departments. Now many dealerships have
Internet departments separate from the traditional sales staff.
Today, business development centers (BDCs) are in the same
evolutionary realm. At what point should your dealership make
that paradigm shift? That depends on your motivation.
Several factors motivate dealers to implement a BDC. Some of
those factors include their customer base, sales lead volume,
advertising dollars spent and basic trust. Any one of these
factors by itself may be enough to drive you to invest in a BDC,
but when you combine the force of the four factors, it usually
becomes a question of why haven't you already implemented a BDC,
not a question of should you implement in a BDC.
Motivator #1–Effectively Mine Current Customer Base
It's no secret that it is easier to retain a customer than to
acquire a new one, but does your dealership have a systematic
process of staying in contact with your customer database? More
importantly, does your dealership have a set procedure for
contacting specific demographics within your customer database?
For example, if Chevrolet releases a new incentive on Tahoes, do
you have a process to facilitate contact with Tahoe owners whose
vehicles are two or more years old? How about Trailblazer owners
that might want to upgrade? Maybe even customers who have
purchased used Explorers in the last three years are ready to
If you have a BDC in place, you can contact all of these
customers to set appointments for your sales staff without any
additional advertising expense. In fact, letters expressing
potential equity in their vehicles can develop an extensive
response with appointments that show and sell.
What about customer follow up? Are you one of only a handful of
dealers who can honestly claim their sales staff does follow-up
effectively? Only about 10 percent of salespeople are
outstanding at customer follow-up, yet most dealerships relegate
customer follow-up to the sales person. A BDC can conduct the
proper follow-up to keep your dealership at the forefront of
every customer's mind, while asking for referrals. This keeps
your sales staff doing exactly what you hired them for – selling
Motivator #2–Effectively Handle Sales Lead Volume
I hear many dealers complain about lead volume. I also hear
trainers explain to dealers that it is not about the volume of
leads received, but what you do with each lead. How are your
leads handled? Is every lead handled professionally with the
intent to set an appointment? Dealer principals I speak with
would like to say that every lead gets the same attention, but
in reality, few dealers can say that truthfully. A BDC ensures
that every lead, regardless of its source, will receive the same
level of non-prejudicial professionalism.
The attention a lead receives is generally proportionate to the
need and desire of the individual handling the lead on that
A BDC ensures that every lead, regardless of its source, will
receive the same level of non-prejudicial professionalism. Each
lead is contacted with a single goal in mind: set an appointment
for the customer to come to the dealership.
Motivator #3–Effectively Spend Advertising Dollars
The more money you spend on advertising each month the more
accountability you need. Incoming call sourcing is just one
piece of ad dollar accountability. Incoming call tracking allows
you to know how you generate incoming call activity, not what
you do with that activity. A BDC makes outgoing calls on your
behalf and tracks not just the lead source, but appointments
kept and ultimately sales.
Knowing how you are generating sales from ad dollars spent and
the cost of those sales will allow you to quickly adjust your
expenditures. For example, in the chart to the left, Ad Source 2
had a very high percentage of shows to leads; however, a very
small percentage of those shows converted to sales, which makes
it the second highest in ad dollars spent per sale. With this
type of information, you can make informed decisions on where to
spend your advertising dollars.
While the above factors all are important, the main determining
factor in deciding if you need a BDC is trust in your
salespeople. Do you honestly believe that your salespeople will
call every lead and follow-up with every customer regardless of
how they feel the chances of a sale may be? A BDC does what your
sales staff won't or can't do – follow up calls, referral
seeking, owner base mining and keeping your dealership in the
forefront of every customers mind.
How many of these motivators do you need to motivate you to
increase profits? A successful BDC can grow with your
dealership. It is possible to start small with one person and
grow. What it takes is a foundation of commitment, processes and
New Vision Sales Inc.
1670 Hwy 160 West Suite 206
Fort Mill, South Carolina 29708
Toll Free: 866-532-2827