Need a bit of advice due to a touchy situation.

Robert Bader
I just joined a family run dealership that has three stores state wide. The store that I am with does the most volume and has about 12 salespeople along with an "internet manager". Though said individual handles all incoming leads he has had no formal training or prior experience in a BDC environment. He has been with the company a bit over 3 years dealing with leads with a closing percentage of roughly 5%..according to my calculations. The internet manager receives over 300 leads per month. As we all know there is no way an individual can handle this many leads. I see this as a huge waste of money and resources and as a wonderful opportunity for me to progress my career as well as the footprint of the dealership in the state. The GM is very receptive of my ideas and is aware of my experience and training in a BDC. I am putting together a business plan for a BDC to have implemented at the dealership; however, the only factor I am unsure of how to deal with is said internet manager. I respect his tenure at the dealership and am trying to figure out a way to implement him into my plan so as to have a smooth transition. He has been working autonomously with with very little to no oversight. I know he will not be happy with my ideas as he will be held to a much much higher standard with a greater deal of accountability. My goal is to gradually grow the BDC into a team of roughly 6. With my experience and processes I am confident I can form a very successful BDC which will help generate greater sales volume for the dealer. How can I approach this issue with out butting heads with said internet manager...if at all possible? I see his place at the dealership as just another BDC rep. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Dustin Lyons
This can always be a tough situation and different personalities play a big role, so it is difficult to predict how effective any advice would be because I have no idea what his personality is, or yours, or the rest of the team for that matter. With that being said I would recommend doing what you can to get his buy in of the changes that you will be making, let him know (without being cocky) that you have some ideas and experience that will help him make more money and help the store overall. Make sure to find some areas of responsibility that he can take ownership of so that he feels included, and that his "tenure" really is respected etc... In the end though don't hold yourself or the store back for fear of hurt feelings, this is a "thick skin" type of business, and if there are better results to be had then make it happen. He will get over it and roll with the changes or move on.
Robert Bader
Thanks for the input Dustin. It is very much an old school country club atmosphere. The majority of the sales reps and service advisers have been with the company 19+ years. The GM, who is the owners son, is very receptive to my ideas and is fairly progressive. He understands that the dealership needs to keep up with the times in order for it to prosper. The internet manager stays very much to himself, and though not unfriendly, isn't thrilled with my presence and the resulting ruffling of the feathers.
Dustin Lyons
No worries. I know how that goes, it seems that the car business is full of people who are very set in their ways and happy with the status quo (Of course that does't apply to anyone who is a member of Driving Sales). There are always things that can be done to improve and get better, and there are a lot of opportunities for people who want to succeed and have the right ideas. Just make sure that he and everyone else knows your main goal is to help the dealership sell more cars and make everyone there more money. Good luck and good job!
Lauren Moses
Robert, Remember to not get discouraged just because one person doesn't like your ideas and the changes that you are bringing about. Especially if it going to help the dealership in the long run. Let this internet manager see that it is not only going to lesson his work load, but bring more sales and there for boost his pay. Do you know if he gets an salary or is he paid straight commission. I know that money is usually not talked about, but if he has a set salary and doesn't get paid anything for his sales that come from the leads then he might not be as receptive since no matter what you do it won't change is paycheck. I also agree with dustin, put him into your plans with something that makes him feel like one of the team leaders. Get him in on your ideas and see if that helps. Maybe even ask his opinions on things that you may know as minor and obvious questions but that make him feel important.
mark rask
Robert you are on the RIGHT path. Remember that when you are speaking with this person

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