Automotive Dealer Principals & General Managers BEWARE of Internet Sales or BDC Department!
"automotive sales" "internet sales" bdc "phone sales" "call center" "dealership department" "dealer principal" "general manager" gm manager management beware "be careful" "car sales" "auto sales" prospects leads opportunities ups
Sean V. Bradley & Robert Wiesman Training on Automotive (Internet) Sales At Dealer Synergy
I was onsite today at a Chevy Dealership in Chicago training them on Automotive Internet Sales and specifically "Phone Sales", Phone Process...
I go into detail explaining my philosophy and strategy.
If you have any questions about this video gotohttp://www.dealersynergy.com or email me. I would happy to answer any questions you may have.
Automotive Sales Training - Phone Sales - Internet Sales - Business Development - Sean V. Bradley
Discussing "Pay Plans", Commissions, Bonuses (And WHY) Inside an Automotive Internet Sales 20 Group - Sean V. Bradley
Automotive Internet Sales / Phone Sales "What to Do if There is NO Phone Number or a Bogus Number"
The hardest part of Automotive Internet Sales or Business Development is simply getting the prospect on the phone and that in part is because you might not have ANY phone number to contact them or its a wrong / bogus phone number... OR you might have a number, it could be there home or office and you can't seem to connect with them. So, what do you do? I see way too many people in our industry accepting defeat without ever trying to do something proactively to try to create a connection with a prospect.
What can you do...?
First and foremost is NOT to accept that if there is no phone number listed or if there is a wrong phone number that "That is it". You MUST seek out an alternative... Here is a GREAT website you can go to:
or my personal favorite is to call "411" and ASK for a "Reverse Look Up".
If you can not find the prospect's phone number trying those resources then maybe you should take their email address (from their internet purchase request) and drop it into:
The bottom line is TAKE A SHOT... try to find a person's contact information, or better contact information. REACH OUT TO THEM. Be "Proactive".
And remember, "You can not lose something, that you never have had before".
If you have any questions about this post or would like some free help... call me or email me-
Automotive Internet Sales - Example of How to Handle "Bought Elsewhere" / Dead Deals - Don't WASTE Opportunities!
Everyone knows that the hardest part of Automotive Internet Sales is getting someone on the phone... I get it. As a matter of fact on average you will only connect with approximately 11- 14 percent on the phone. Meaning that if you make 120 Out bound phone calls, you will connect with 14-17 people on the phone (Not a very good ROI on your efforts). But, it is what it is...
Now it gets EVEN more frustrating when you FINALLY get someone on the phone after following up with them for days or sometimes even weeks / months and hearing "Sorry, I bought elsewhere". You have to FIGHT the urge of getting mad, or even being rude. Or worse, being indifferent and just letting it slip into the "Dead Deal" folder on your CRM.
Even though you lost the opportunity to sell a vehicle, you can turn that prospect into a service opportunity. Why would you care...? Because a service customer is 7 times more likely to purchase a vehicle from where their service their vehicle from. AND... your dealership might have lost the "sales" revenue, but THEY might be able to secure "service" revenue.
Furthermore, It is a well know statistic that a prospect that buys a vehicle, someone else in THEIR HOUSEHOLD will buy another vehicle within 90 days! That means, even though you lost that initial sale you can possibly secure a strong referral for a future opportunity if you handle the situation the right way.
If you would like me to elaborate on this post or if you have any questions what so ever, please feel free to email or call me.
Sean V. Bradley is Training a HIGH LEVEL Automotive Internet Sales / BDC Director on "How to Identify LOST Opportunities" and how to EVOLVE her Employees
Ok... You saw that video. Now watch the previous video. I am SO proud of this team. They went from Not feeling comfortabel, not being able to clear the whole 10 steps to CRUSHING it.
But that is STILL Not enough... I want my team to know the phone process inside and out, forwards and backwards. They will get there!
Fire Your Internet Sales Manager
I know I am going to get a lot of heat on this article, but it has to be said. I have worked with thousands of dealerships over the years and there have been numerous reasons given for mediocrity, and even failure. In the beginning of automotive Internet sales in the late 1990s, it was a novelty and an incremental business, but most dealerships were not able to truly harness it and make it a major profit center. However, over the years and through evolution of the automotive sales industry, and the country as a whole, there has been a lot of change — change in how people are researching, shopping, making decisions and ultimately buying a vehicle. There has even been change inside our industry by dealer principals, GMs and sales consultants. It seems that dealers are getting it. They understand that Internet sales, business development, digital marketing, and social media are all important.
What I am seeing now is a scary pattern emerging. A lot of dealerships are not maximizing on opportunities right in front of them because they do not have the right person in place. The Internet sales manager or BDC director that they have in place is the wrong person for the position, and they are hurting the dealership! Here are some problems I’ve seen at dealerships:
• A computer geek in the position who is not an automotive professional. There is nothing wrong with being a geek. I have a problem if they have no idea how to sell a car, and don’t have the respect of their team and employees. They can’t motivate and drive the department to success.
• An IT professional is the head of an Internet sales department or business development center. Just because they are good at fixing computers or understanding technology does not necessarily make them the best choice to run a million-dollar sales department. “Internet sales” is still sales.
• Instead of terminating a sales consultant from the showroom floor, they are given a “second chance” running the Internet sales department. I don’t get this one at all. If someone can not be effective on the showroom floor, why would you have that person be the head of a department where 92 percent of Americans go before they ever step foot into your dealership?
• A sales consultant is promoted from the showroom to running the Internet department. Please understand just because someone can sell a car does not mean they can run a department, let alone an Internet sales or business development department. Just because they can sell cars does not mean they are capable of being a manager or a leader. There are a lot of successful sales consultants who sell 20 or 30 cars per month, but don’t work well with others. They have no concept of interdependence.
• There is no Internet sales manager/BDC director at all. That is just bad, and again, makes no sense whatsoever. When 92 percent of people are going online, there needs to be major attention to this area.
• A dealership’s manager also manages the Internet department. I have seen it all, my friends. The dealer principal or general manager takes on the Internet department as an “additional” responsibility instead of having a dedicated manager, or they dump the responsibility of the Internet department onto the GSM or sales manager. This is not a viable solution.
Remember Basic Math
The average dealership in the United States delivers fewer than 100 units per month. But the average dealership has:
• A GM or GSM
• One to two sales managers (new car/used car), or “closers”
• An F&I manager
• 10 Sales Consultants
If you want your Internet or business development department to deliver units, you are going to need the right Internet manager or BDC director.
Yes, you might need to fire your current Internet sales manager or BDC director. You might have been thinking about doing it for months now but weren’t sure. Let me make it easier for you.
Think of your current Internet sales manager or BDC director:
• Are they a family member or in a relationship with anyone else in the dealership?
• Do they have any automotive sales or management experience?
• Do they have an aversion to the phone?
• Do they have the ability to take a “TO” from their employees, sales consultants, appointment setters, etc?
• Do they have the ability or desire to proactively “TO”?
• Do they have the respect of their team (or the dealership for that matter)?
• Can they, or do they, lead by example?
• Do they train their team? Do they know how to train their team?
• Do they have “one on ones” with their team?
• Do they know how to project and forecast, and not merely guess and hope?
• Are they rude and or mean to their team or their customers?
• Do they have Standard Operating Procedures (S.O.P.s), or do they just “wing it”?
• Can they desk a deal?
If you are reading this and you are a dealer or GM, do this calculation before you open the showroom tomorrow:
Look at your electronic leads, phone leads and walk-in leads. Say your electronic and phone leads are 70 percent or greater of all leads. Now look at your manager running your Internet or business development department. Are you comfortable with them in charge of 70 percent of your opportunities? If not, make the change today. If you can’t promote that person as your nest general sales manager, you have the wrong person in place.
If you would like a free personalized analysis of your Internet Sales Manager, contact me at the email below with “ISM” as the subject line.
Sean V. Bradley is the founder and CEO of Dealer Synergy, a nationally recognized training and consulting company in the automotive industry. He can be contacted at 866.648.7400, or by e-mail at
CarWoo! is an online new-car buying service and marketplace. Buyers come to CarWoo!, state which car they are looking for and CarWoo!’s network of over 5000 dealers compete to sell the buyer the car.
Technically the product is an semi-anonymous (first name, last initial, zip code) engagement tool. The buyer’s personal contact information (address, phone number, email) are kept private until the buyer accepts an offer from the dealer they want to buy the car from. This helps the consumer avoid spam emails and unwanted phone calls that are common when people buy new cars using “Request a Quote” processes many other online sites use.
CarWoo! has two plans for car buyers. CarWoo! Basic, a $19 plan, offers buyers a search for a vehicle and guarantees 2-3 dealers will compete. CarWoo! Plus, a $49 plan, offers buyers a search for a vehicle and guarantees 5 dealers will compete, but is not capped and as many as 15 dealers have participated in many deals. Both plans offer the buyer privacy protection and CarWoo!’s 100% Happiness Guarantee.
For car dealers, CarWoo! offers the highest quality online car buyers to the dealer for no charge. Dealers are offered the opportunity to engage with car buyers in an online setting that is social and non-threatening to the car buyer. A dealer that uses CarWoo! has an online dashboard where they can engage with all car buyers near them, make them firm offers on cars they have for sale and see how their offer’s stack up competitively against dealer’s vying for the buyers business.
Q & A About Starting a BRAND New Internet Department (From Scratch)
I had a great conversation with a NEW Internet Director. She was a "rep" but this is a whole NEW venture in becoming a NEW Manager etc...
Q - Where to start:
A - You want break it down to 4 main elements, Products, People, Process & the Promotions.
- Department will be inside the showroom, deeply tinted, blinds for privacy.
- 5 workstations PLUs to for future evolution (You are going to want to make sure that you INCLUDE an ISC in the mix).
- Computers... Do you have dual monitors, head sets, What are you going to do for Digital Media? I suggest a separate computer for videos, pictures, articles etc... Maybe an external hard drive.
- ILM / CRM - Dominion... AVV Webcontrol. Mac Haik will be designing its own CRM (Microsoft CRM).
- Need Scripts, Templates, Voice Mail, Automation, Integration
- Reputation Management
- Social Media
- Video / Photos
SELL THE APPOINTMENT!
Please REMEMBER to "Sell" the appointment... Don't merely just "ask" for the appointment.
The internet sales team at Harnish Auto Family are a group of personal shoppers whose role is to provide you with a stress-free car shopping experience. To speak with a member of the internet team, call (888) 636-2381 or chat with us online at www.harnishautofamily.com.
Who should be running my internet department or bdc?
This is another question I am asked from dealers all over the country — and the dealers who don’t ask me this question really should. While I acknowledge the fact that there are many different types of dealerships, please have an open mind to what you are about to read.
First, I am sure that we are all aware that 88 to 98 percent of people go online before they ever step foot into the dealership. We also know that social media is the No. 1 form of communication in this country. The problem that I continue to see, however, is that many dealerships in this country still don’t view the Internet or business development department as a “real” department.
Too many times I walk into dealerships and you can immediately feel the tension in the air; it’s an “us vs. them” mentality. There is dissention on the floor, frustration, anger and even sabotage — not to mention disrespect. I often hear the same thing from Internet coordinators, managers, directors and BDC reps; they are neither appreciated nor respected, and are treated as the “stepchild” in the dealership, and that goes from the dealer to the GM to the GSM, all the way down the food chain.
And, as we all know, perception is reality. If the dealer feels this way — that the manager of the department isn’t a “real” manager — they aren’t going to have an idea of who the right person is for the job, or what type of a pay plan to put together. They might not give this manager authority in the dealership. They might only make this person a “manager” in title only.
They also might put in place the wrong people. They have people who aren’t working out on showroom floor, so they give them a shot in the Internet department. Or, they might hire someone computer savvy because they feel that qualifies them to run an Internet sales department. Dealers also hire young people because they feel they can relate to the prospects better. These are all wrong strategies. The Internet Department or BDC in the dealership should be a major department, on a level with the new, used, finance and fixed ops departments. We are focusing on Internet “sales” department, but it goes deeper than that (Internet sales, service, parts, body shop, finance,
aftermarket, leasing, fleet, special finance, etc.).
Here are some facts: The average dealership delivers approximately 100 units new and used a month. An average dealership has approximately 10 salespeople, a finance manager, a sales manager and either a GSM or GM. All of that goes into selling about 100 units. Now, I have dealers who tell me that they want to sell 50, 100 or 150+ units per month from their Internet department, but they don’t want to treat the department as more important than the other departments or profit centers in the dealership. Furthermore, they want to put in place the wrong type of person to manage and run the department. They don’t want to pay the Internet sales director like the other “real” managers in the dealership. They also do not allow them to have any “real” manager authority, but they will put all of the responsibility on that person’s shoulders.
So, what exactly is the right profile? Who should run an Internet sales department? First and foremost, you want to make sure you have a person who is an automotive sales manager, or at the very least have someone who is a great sales consultant and closer with the potential to be a great sales manager with the proper training and support. Let’s go deeper: If you are trying to run a department that delivers more than 100 units a month online, you should have at the bare minimum a great sales manager, or even a GSM or GSM-caliber person running that department. Answer this question: Would you ever have a non-salesperson run your entire dealership, or even be a GSM at your dealership?
You want a sales manager in that department who can drive the momentum in that room. You want someone who can put a deal together and can even desk a deal if necessary. You also want to have someone who will be respected by the other managers and the showroom sales force — not just by the Internet department.
So, how in the world do you expect to deliver that number of units without having the caliber of individual I just outlined? The argument is that dealers need someone to manage the Website, take pictures, create videos, get testimonials, handle I.T., take care of the CRM/ILM, handle online reputation management, SEO, VSEO and all other forms of digital marketing. I agree 100 percent — all of that needs to be taken care of. However, I do not think that the Internet sales director or Internet sales manager should be that person, especially when you are trying to deliver 100+ units per month from the department. You should either hire a person to do those jobs, or outsource those duties. Anything else is not going to be as productive in the long run. They are, at a minimum, two different jobs.
Don’t freak out if you are a current Internet sales or BDC director and don’t fit the profile I just mentioned. And don’t freak out if you are a GM or dealer who just hired someone who doesn’t fit the profile outlined in this article. I would say, if they were the “right” individual who you believe in, get that person training on product knowledge, I would have them get certified as a sales consultant from your OEMs and I would get them certified as a sales manager by your OEMs. If you have to invest time, money and training to get the department head at the level of any other department head in your organization, it is what it is. If you don’t, you will suffer.
The bottom line is that having the right Internet sales / BDC director is crucial to the success of the dealer’s online initiative. If you have any questions about this article or if you would like some examples or ideas of ways to ensure your department’s success, feel free to e-mail me or call me.
Sean V. Bradley is the founder and CEO of Dealer Synergy, a nationally recognized training and consulting company in the automotive industry.