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I do hope this posting finds you all closing out a great October and you are ready to move into November. After all it is the first of the month right?
I consider myself a student of the process in this business and crave new knowledge daily to become better at what I do in which I can then help others become better as well. At the end of each month, I like to take a mental snapshot of each department and look at what made them successful or what may have hindered their success and think of ways I can apply it to my department or leave out if need be.
Looking at our sales department over the past eleven months and how the BDC / Internet department has become a cornerstone to the success as whole, I enjoy seeing how the two departments keep the two-way communication going on a daily basis.
It begins every morning in the managers meeting as we discuss the previous days appointments and outcome plus the current days appointments and what the game plan is for each. This is key as now you have everyone on the same page and if you are a dealer that is having trouble getting the sales managers on your side, this will begin to change their thought process and will look towards the BDC / Internet department as a key to their success. It’s a relationship that needs to be developed but don’t waste time doing it because it has a huge impression on the client once they arrive for their appointment set by the BDC / Internet department.
By now I hope that dealerships with a BDC / Internet department have a good understanding of what is going on behind the scenes. This staff spends a majority of their time of generating and cultivating the leads received online or by telephone and eventually turning them into an appointment. Sometimes it happens the same day and other times it could play out over a series of weeks or months. Nevertheless it takes time and effort to get the client standing in your showroom. The first thing I would like to say is all managers should be aware of this client arriving before they get there as I discussed earlier about the morning managers meeting. If the appointment is made after the fact, let’s get the correct sales manager up to speed prior to their arrival. Now my question is: What type of reception does the client receive upon arrival?
Once the client arrives, MAKE IT A BIG DEAL. Why wouldn’t you? I consider it an honor to be of service to anyone that chooses to stand in our showroom and is considering doing business with us. It shows you played a great game the first half and now its time to keep it going through the second half and win the game or what we know as selling a vehicle. Now your BDC / Internet member should be notified on the arrival of the appointment immediately. We have a BDC in one area of all of our showrooms with an appointment board so a staff member is always available right away. Whether it’s myself or another staff member, we always greet the client with a big smile and thank them for coming in. At that point, offer them something to drink, sit them down and go get the sales manager that will be involved.
Now at this point we have the client, the BDC / Internet member and the sales manager that knows exactly what the client is looking for. I like at this point for the sales manager to reset the stage with the client giving them the assurance that we are all on their side. This can also be a time to take a few minutes to answer any urgent questions the client may have. Now these few minutes that just went by upon the client arriving and what they encountered with the staff shows hands down that this dealership they are at is totally committed to their positive experience and understand what they are looking to accomplish.
Finally, right before the customer is paired with a sales consultant, the sales manager should make it known that they will be the one working all the details once the client finds the vehicle they like and have driven it. It can be summed up in one little word track that can be similar to this:
“Mrs. Anderson, I want to first thank you for visiting us today and let you know that I will be the manager involved working out all the details on the vehicle you select. Do me a favor, once you find the vehicle you like and drive it, I will be happy to get you all the special pricing, payments, interest rates and if you have a trade I will get you figures on that as well. We don’t pressure anyone to buy and you will certainly see why we don’t have any competition. Fair enough?”
How many other dealers out there have similar processes as the one I have discussed? Would like to hear your best practices on what you see working or doesn’t. Here is to a HUGE November 2011 everyone.