Confused about possible conflict interest

Delia Crawford

I work at a dealership where we have one BDC, its a small dealership where we sell import niche cars. My sales manager has given her a sales number so it has become impossible to maintain my level of past sales numbers due to the fact that the BDC can now sell cars. I believe it is a conflict of interest for someone who handles all incoming leads via email/phone to also sell cars. She works the leads that are the most promising and sells the cars start to finish. 

I feel as though my business will be directed by the BDC woman who controls all incoming leads. There does not seem to be the ability for much growth and business due to her control over all leads. 

Thoughts? thank you.

Troy Germain

If it is a TRUE BDC, then they shouldn't be selling cars.  They should be setting appointments.  It sound more like an Ecomm/Phone department.  Inherently floor sales people are not the best to handle in-bound sales calls, or incoming internet leads.  Some dealerships solve this with a BDC, which handles the calls and leads, and sets appointments for the sales team.  Others will create the latter department which does the "cradle-to-grave" transaction.  The downside to option #2 is that A. It's usually incredibly understaffed (and average appointment-setting BDC agent can handle 200-250 leads/month, whereas a "selling" BDC associate can effectively handle 100-150 leads/month and maintain an 'acceptable' closing % - however an understaffed team leads to cherry-picking - which you describe above).   If option #2 is the case at your store (as it sounds), then the management team needs to really assess the lead response and closing % to see if it's working.  Option #2 is typically the lesser productive of the two business models (and actually more costly due to lost opportunity).

On YOUR end, there are other sources of leads for you to supplement what you are 'losing' out on.  1. You Owner-base. My early success (back in 1998) was realized when I kept in touch with my sold customers  - almost as much as my unsold-customers.  Repeat and referral business is often missed opportunities for most sales professionals.   2. Your service drive.  The service department has more traffic on a daily basis than the floor phone and internet combined.  Engage these customers, if your store has an equity mining tool, then USE it!  Greater CSI, greater Gross Profit, and a far more casual transaction can be found just inside the 'back door.'  The key is the approach - you can't be trying to SELL the customer.  Start out by using the 'we want to buy your car' approach.  It will be a completely different approach for the customer and it is quite successful.

Hope this helps!

Troy offers some really good advice, especially with working the service drive. Not enough salespeople take advantage of it, and those that do are consistently the top sellers at the dealership.

Anyway, back to your issue at hand. Yeah, I'd say that's a major internal conflict. The BDC doesn't sell cars; they sell appointments. What it sounds like you guys have is an internet sales department. Basically a designated person--or group of sales people--is allowed to take phone-ups and web leads and sell them too. But they can't take walk-ins or any other kind of floor traffic. Make sense?

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