Imagine this: You own a car dealership. Most of your team have been with you for 10 years or more. You are in a small town and residents know where you are if they need a new car. So, why would you need a BDC?
I’ve run into this situation more than a few times: A small town dealer with enough business to keep him in Cadillacs and country clubs. Why rock the boat or re-invent the wheel? Here’s why – You’re slowly going out of business. If any dealer in America is not embracing the idea of a BDC, they are getting trounced by the dealers who are. Here’s how:
1) The purpose of a BDC is to drive traffic to the dealership.
The BDC doesn’t sell vehicles. The BDC doesn’t negotiate price. The BDC doesn’t land a customer on the metal. The BDC drives traffic to the dealership. What happens when the customer arrives at the dealership? OK, my initial response is quite crude – They are supposed to meet a salesman. It’s the same thing that happens when any other customer arrives at your dealership: They are supposed to meet a salesman.
Now, I’ll insert here that, ideally, they have an early manager introduction, which should take less than two minutes. But, let’s be real, that isn’t happening at most dealerships. So, assuming they don’t speak with a manager until they are walking out the door, how do we handle a BDC appointment? First, let’s follow the process. When a salesman catches an up, most Sales Managers agree the first step is a Needs Assessment. Let’s start there.
A customer comes in, whether as a fresh lot up or a BDC appointment, and our initial goal is to assess the customer’s needs. Do they need 4wd? 3 rd row? Leather? Are they towing anything? Every customer comes onto the lot with a stock number in mind. But they may not realize that we have 0% on new Silverados. They may not know that we have a 212-day old unit that we’d sell for $4,000 below invoice. They may not have software that tells them every auction vehicle within 300 miles. They may not be aware that a new vehicle can be ordered by exact specs from the factory.
Why does all of this matter? Because the BDC did their job. They brought the customer into the dealership. They did so with the expectation that the Sales Dept would do THEIR job, which is to land a customer on a vehicle that they’d buy today.
2) A BDC can recover “Lost” floor traffic
We finally got a customer to the showroom. That’s no small feat. The story is told that it costs $200 to get a single customer to visit the dealership. Then what happens? A salesman determines their viability as a customer and either writes them up or brooms them. If we are lucky, we catch a name and phone number. To be fair, the name/number only happens about 50% of the time when we happen to work figures on a deal. But, being generous, let’s say we capture 50% of our traffic. If we close 20% of those, we are leaving about 300 deals on the table as Unsold Showroom Traffic per month, in most dealerships. What happens next?
If you have a BDC, those unsold customers are called within 30 minutes of leaving the dealership and asked a very simple question: “If you could choose one thing, just one thing, that kept you from buying a vehicle today, what would that one thing be?” I guarantee, 100% of the time, it comes down to one of five things: Price, Payment, Down Payment, Trade Value, or it wasn’t the right vehicle. It’s a curious thing, if you notice, four of these five things relate to money. Now, imagine it’s the end of the month and you are three units away from your manufacturer goal. Could you find the money to make these deals work? If so, why are you waiting until the 30th ? Put the deal on the board today!
3) A BDC should CREATE car deals.
Do you have orphan owners? Do you have out-of-town buyers in your database? Have you ever sold a vehicle on lease? Do you have service customers that bought from another dealership? If so, your BDC can turn these prospects into buyers. Now, let me be clear: A BDC’s purpose is to drive traffic to the showroom. It’s the Sales Dept’s job to sell a vehicle. But, how many sales are you missing each month because you are simply not asking these customers for that opportunity?
Think of your great availability through auctions and dealer trades, Think of the reasons to buy here vs another dealership. Think of why it makes sense to do this today instead of waiting. If you can honestly make a case for buying a vehicle from you, today, then you should welcome more opportunities to plead that case. This is the purpose of a BDC: Drive traffic to the showroom with hopes that the Sales Dept can justify buying a vehicle here, today.
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At SaturdayMorningSalesMeeting.com, you can listen to podcasts, read articles, and learn more about John and Ray. We cover automotive sales/service best practices, staff training, and techniques you can apply today to sell more vehicles and write more RO’s.
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