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Larry Bruce

Larry Bruce Founder / President / CEO

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BDC, Call Center…BS…Call It What It IS!


I just got through reading “Is the dealership sales call center obsolete?” on I got the article from Andy Warner on twitter. This article highlights dealers that have built, dismantled and maintain BDC’s and discusses the various pro’s and con’s of each but fails to get the real point.  

That said I am going to try and land the plane on this topic and let’s discuss where you think I’m missing it or what we can do to make it better. The reality is that we have a real problem here that needs to be addressed for the retail auto industry as a whole.

I have beaten the lead conversion drum for years to the point many think I am obsessed with it.

The fact is that I am but over the last 2 years I have come to realize that… “Lead Conversion isn’t enough”, we are going to have to get beyond lead conversion to the visit to excel and therein lies our problem.

When we get a lead or a call there are a few inherent things we know we have to do.

  1. Answer the question
  2. Give the price
  3. Sell the appointment

But if you’ve answered the prospects questions and you’ve given them the price…why do they need you? When you get a prospect on the phone how do you get their contact information and make sure it is accurate, and then convince them to visit the store? These challenges are not new to the industry; they aren’t even unique to the automotive industry. The fact is all business working to generate leads face these same challenges.  

The answer… VALUE!

To get something from someone, a lead, contact information, a visit you have to give them something of value in return.

Value Drivers

  1. Time – this is the number one reason the prospect is on the net to begin with, it would stand to reason if you can save them time in the shopping & buying process you will have an advantage (think Here I suggest a 90 min test drive and purchase guarantee.
  2. Information – the primary reason a prospect contacts the dealership is for information, about the car, about their trade, about financing and of course the price Joe Webb talks about these various types of appointments in a very good blog post “The Four Appointments Car Dealers Should Set” but what is the VALUE the customer gets for setting the appointment? This is where most sales people miss it and is your opportunity to place yourself above the competition with an online brochure about the car they are buying with information on why they should buy from your dealership and a video introduction from you with a walk around of the car. You see the dealership and the YOU are the only things they can’t get somewhere else. This is the reason we developed infoMagnet our online brochure tied to our incentive based behavioral marketing app. When you offer this value 98% of the time you will get good contact information from a phone call to your dealership and over 60% of these customers will show up at your store with a 80% plus closing ratio.
  3. Convenience – we all pay more for convenience, we do business everyday based on what is most convenient for us. Make it more convenient for your prospect to buy from you. Deliver the car to their place of business let them drive it while you take their car and get the appraisal. I was doing this back in the 80’s and ironically I would sell at least 2 other cars to people in that office with in as many months after I did this for a prospect. My closing ratio…100%, I never lost a customer I delivered the car to.

Whether you are in the BDC or you are a salesperson on the floor you have to be able to communicate the value to the customer for giving their contact information, showing up at the store and buying from you. So you see it doesn’t matter if you have a BDC Department or Your sales staff handles the leads as they come in, they will all have to communicate value to get the customer.

The question is who do you want to train? That’s all.

So tell me, where am I missing this, if at all? What can we improve or add to TIME, INFORMATION & CONVENIENCE?  

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