Monday, October 10, 2011

Create The Be-Back



Picture are a sales consultant working at a dealership.  You have gone through all of the steps and you are going through the negotiation process.  After all is said and done the customer decides that it is time to leave and a deal cannot be made.  It got down to the customer not being satisfied with the trade or the deal that is being offered to them.


Does this sound familiar?  It should.  This is what we deal with the most in our business if we are not making deals.  There are many reasons why customers end up not making a deal on the spot.  In some cases, sales consultants or BDC reps end up trying to get the customer to come back.  In other cases, the customer leaves and never gets contacted again.  This all depends on how the dealership is structured with process, CRM, and management styles.  


I remember as a sales person I would have a manager sit down with me just to make sure that I am pounding the phones.  I believe that this can be extreme in some cases.  A sales person needs to be dedicated and care enough about their career as well as their livelihood.  Successful sales professionals still use the telephone and innovative methods of communication to follow up.  A few months ago, I wrote an article about the number one sales person in the country for Hyundai.  The man sells 60 units per month consistently and makes twice what his sales manager makes.  He is dedicated.


Now comes the interesting aspect of this article.  How do we follow up with these customers that did not buy?  How do we create a process to ensure 100% follow all of the time?


I recently had a dealer client ask me to create some processes for different objections for why people did not buy.  After evaluating their dealership, their product, and how their staff operates I was able to create a custom process for various objections.  It adds a few more calls per day to the BDC but will create more be-backs.  My thinking is that every action needs a reaction.  If they do heavy follow up, make a lot of calls, send properly crafted emails, engage in social media follow up, you will create a big enough buzz to get these customers to come back and make that deal. 


It is all about process, process, process, process, and you guessed it PROCESS!!!  Along with process comes the training on handling these opportunities.  Along with the process and handling these opportunities comes effective communication between sales and BDC departments in order to have effective follow up.


Now let's think about this for a second.  What do we do when we get a fresh internet lead?  We follow up with a solid phone call, email, and social media engagement process for a set amount of days, right?  If we are serious about initiating contact with the prospect, why are we not serious about getting a bigger interest out of them after we have engaged them and had a chance to build rapport face to face?  Why not create a similar type of strategy for someone who already has your attention?  Shouldn't it be easier to sell them a vehicle at this point?


It might be a great idea for dealerships to consider having a process for handling customers that did not buy with a solid, mandatory follow up plan.  Since it is a numbers game dealers will see tremendous results and a better be-back ratio.  This can be done for customers that do not buy due to trade issues or pricing issues.  If the OEM makes positive program enhancements, it might make sense to create a process to engage those prospects that left and did not buy.  Dealers and managers need to remember that persistence pays off big dividends.  Think about it.


Stan Sher is the founder and president of Dealer eTraining, a premier automotive internet sales and digital marketing consulting company. For more information, please feel free to call 732-925-8362 or email .

Sales and BDC, Not Sales vs. BDC


As I work with various dealerships all over the nation, I am still amazed at the kind of attitude that I find sales departments showing towards their BDC.  As a matter of fact, it is interesting to see how aggressive sales people embrace it while everyone else has a negative vibe towards it.  It is interesting to see the lack of appreciation that sales professionals have towards the support that is being given to them.  This is an ongoing that hurts many dealerships every single day.

                A Business Development Center (BDC) is usually setup as a call center where a coordinator is solely responsible answer internet email leads and phone ups to generate appointments.  This has become a more typical approach to maintaining an internet department over the last few years.   The benefit of it is that it allows support for the sales department to work with appointments instead of rely on the door for fresh ups.  The goal is to generate as many appointments as possible. The more appointments that come in the more cars the store will sell.  Sounds like a great idea right?  So, why do sales professionals still fight the idea of having a BDC?

The problem is that sales people are not trained in the new ways of handling customers.  They are not trained to work their customer relationship management (CRM) tool properly and ask the right questions that come along with it.  They get a customer that comes in as an appointment and start a new process instead of continuing a current process which creates a bad experience for the customer.  This happens because there is little or no communication between management and the BDC.  There is also no communication between the sales and BDC departments.  They should work together like a well oiled machine.  It is becoming evident that the focus is more on training how to handle an email lead or a phone up.  Dealerships need to start thinking about training their sales staff and management to adjust to handling their customers better and working as one solid team.

Here is what I propose.  Keep sales people on the floor but have them rotate shifts working in the BDC.  It is really very simple.  Each hour a different sales consultant comes in and helps the BDC.  Make it a requirement and sales people will start to destroy bad habits and build buy in for having a BDC.  Here are some of the benefits:

  1. They will learn the importance of why they have a BDC in the dealership. 
  2. They will be available to help with product knowledge TOs on calls. 
  3. They will help make phone calls and prospect for business.
  4. They can sometimes help a sell a car over the phone with customers that want to start the transaction process over the phone. 
  5. They can help handle over flow of leads.  If they make an appointment in that hour, it is their appointment.
  6. If they talk to a customer on the phone it is their deal.



The bottom line is that sales people need to learn what is being said and how it is being said on the phone.  They also need to understand why certain things happen the way that they do in a BDC.  A sales professional needs to look into the CRM and read the notes so that they can continue where the BDC left off.  The sales department needs to be thankful for the support staff that they have and help pitch in when they can.  Lastly, sales professionals need to learn what current technology is available to increase their own follow up and customer engagement.  These practices will show improved morale in the dealership and better results.



About the Author

Stan Sher is an Automotive Industry consultant and president of Dealer eTraining where he specializes in training automotive dealerships with their digital sales and marketing efforts.