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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Bryant Gibby

Bryant Gibby Used car manager

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Better BDC attendance

     We have had an eternal struggle at our dealership with getting sales guys to attend the BDC on a regular basis. I'm sure most dealers have had similar difficulties convincing their salespeople to leave the floor for an hour every day and go to the BDC. We have a few guys that see the vision and have bought in to the benefits of their efforts in the BDC. The problem is trying to get all of our salespeople to buy in so we don't feel like we are forcing them to go up.

 

    I feel like we have tried just about everything to get them to cooperate. We have tried: letting them make their own schedule, trying to show them success stories because of hard work in the BDC, reminding them constantly, negative reinforcement if they fail to go up at least 75% of the time, and positive reinforcement by spiffing them for just showing up. Nothing has seemed to work over the long term. It sucks that you have to spiff them to do their job, that doesn't seem right to me!

 

     Anyway, I know there are many dealers out there that have very successful BDC departments and I want to know what the secret is. I know how important it is to have a scheduled time dedicated to both sold and unsold follow up. Are my guys just lazy? Should I give them the boot and start with a clean slate? Let me know what you guys have done that works.

Jared Hamilton
This is a tough one and very frustrating because why would you pay someone a bonus to do their basic job, but on the other hand its kinda like asking your Controller to sell cars... many sales guys are not hard wired for it. I personally hate doing accounting stuff. I know I am a strongly right brained personality. I prefer creative tasks rather than the structure of the left brained tasks. Most sales people are hard wired the same way. THis doesnt mean that they cant do both sides, but depending on your sales people they may be hard wired avoid (because they dislike) the structure of making call after call. Just a thought. My other thought is how well do these people connect the benefit of going and sitting in a room and making some calls with success? I remember at Dealer Academy we were talking about General Manger pay plans and the best practice was thrown out that the GM shouldnt get one paycheck, but rather get 4 pay checks. One from Parts, one from Service, One from New and one from used. This was the GM would see where his income is coming from and know how to focus his energy. I guess what I am saying is you have to figure out if there is real benefit or success coming from being in the BDC or does its processes etc need to be revamped? Second, IF there is real benefit to participating, do your people make that connection. You have to connect both dots. What % of your average sales persons income is derived from the BDC on the average month?
Bart Wilson
Is this the proper use of a BDC? Maybe rather than having the salespeople leave the floor you should hire a part time staff to handle sales and service follow up. I agree that salespeople should handle the internet leads but maybe they aren't organized enough to expect to make all the calls.
Bryant Gibby
@ Jared. I agree they need to make a connect between their efforts and success. We try to highlight success stories all the time in our sales meeting in attempt to get their buy in. Our top salesguy sold 6 cars off internet leads last month and a couple more as a result of his sold follow up. To answer your question about income, it totally depends on the guy and the month. I would say that roughly 10-15% of their income is made from their efforts in the bdc. I think it is definitely enough income to make it worth their while.
Bryant Gibby
@ Bart. I think the way we do it is the proper use of the bdc. I don't really trust an hourly employee that has never sold before to handle our internet leads. That's like having Kobe Bryant on your team and benching him for Greg Ostertag just because Greg is more willing to be in the game. I also think that a salesperson should be the one doing the sold follow up since that is who dealt directly with the customer. It gives us a better chance to sell that customer another car in the future.
Arnold Tijerina
Salespeople love phone UPS, don't they? Maybe you tell them that if they don't go to the BDC for their "share" (whatever you determine that is), they can't take any incoming phone calls. That's worked at some dealers I know. As much as it's desirable to treat all your salespeople the same, the bottom line is they're all different. Some of them will embrace the BDC and internet leads while others only want to take floor ups. Have you tried making them work from an up list? I've seen that technique also but it really depends on how much floor traffic you get versus how many salespeople you have. If you have enough, when the salesperson goes to the bottom of the list (by taking and finishing with a customer) and then knows that he'll have to wait for 10 more customers to come in before he gets another one, sometimes that helps alleviate the fear that they'll miss the walk-in lay-down high gross deal - cause that's where I believe most resistance comes from - fear. Fear of the sale that could've been theirs. WE (as managers and an industry) instill the attitude of "right now" into our salespeople. We tell them what matters is the customer buying a car "right now". We have them try and get commitments from customers to buy "right now". We spiff them on sales made "today". Until we change OUR "right now" attitude, that's all the salespeople will care about - "right now" and "right now" is on the floor.

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