I am proud to announce January's Dealer of the Month award winner, Chris Sondesky. Chris is the Internet/BDC/Marketing Director of the Cherry Hill Triplex in Cherry Hill, NJ. Chris has learned every aspect of the trade, having been in the automotive industry for 15 years. He has had multiple positions over the years including technician, manager of sales department operations as a GSM and GM, to later building one of the biggest single point Internet Departments/BDC’s on the east coast for huge franchised new automobile dealerships.
Chris has come a long way since his early days in the industry. Over the past 5 years he has focused on the digital aspect of selling cars, with his 7 franchises, Kia, Mitsubishi, Dodge,Chrysler, Jeep, Ram and Fiat. With the help of his General Manager they developed in depth marketing strategies to master the online consumer. As this process continued his staff began to receive 3,000 internet leads monthly!
As of 2014, Chris took his skills to an entirely new level, selling 400+ units per month and achieving $1 million in gross. Chris has become a master of internet sales for dealerships. Recently, Chris stated, “On average, our BDC/Internet Team, a very talented group of Customer Service Reps and Internet Managers, generates approximately 50% of our showroom traffic, all by appointment, leading to 55% of our sold units. Since 2010, Internet deals have closed at a higher percentage than the other half of our traffic, and for higher gross profit. We've continued this trend, now on our 5th year of double digit growth.”
In an interview conducted by CEO of Dealer Synergy, Sean V. Bradley, CSP Chris shares his thoughts on CRM, Managers, Internet Directors, Leads, Phone ups and more. Chris was able to gain all this success because he feels people are the most important factor. He notes that personality is everything and he has never hired an employee based off of skill. It is all about being fit for a team. He believes anyone can do the job with a strong training process in place.
Chris is here to tell you that you CAN make money off of internet customers. Internet deals close at a higher closing ratio and a higher gross profit than 40-50% of the rest of his business. He believes your response time should be “right now”. Answering “right now” actually is not even fast enough. Chris believes that timeliness and having a proper process in place for your team can make a huge difference in your internet selling process. It is easier to bridge the gap between showroom sales and internet sales than you might think.
Chris recommended that if you have a customer coming in make sure you have the vehicle ready, enough gas for a test drive and wait until they get into the store to assess which sales person would work well with them.
Bottom line, the key to success and a solid close is to let the customer know that their time is valuable to you. Whether you are in the showroom or handling Internet sales, you are the same team.
Watch the interviews provided to learn more tips to Chris’ success. Like Chris, you too can become one of the biggest single point Internet Departments/Business Development new automobile dealerships. Congratulations again Chris! Your future is looking bright.