|I’m told that in the early 70’s, finance offices were not in every dealership. They were just beginning to pop up here and there. Today, almost every dealership has a finance department that is responsible for their own production separate from the sales department. A similar thing started happening a few years ago with Internet departments. Now many dealerships have Internet departments separate from the traditional sales staff. Today, business development centers (BDCs) are in the same evolutionary realm. At what point should your dealership make that paradigm shift? That depends on your motivation.|
Several factors motivate dealers to implement a BDC. Some of those factors include their customer base, sales lead volume, advertising dollars spent and basic trust. Any one of these factors by itself may be enough to drive you to invest in a BDC, but when you combine the force of the four factors, it usually becomes a question of why haven’t you already implemented a BDC, not a question of should you implement in a BDC.
Motivator #1 – Effectively Mine Current Customer Base
If you have a BDC in place, you can contact all of these customers to set appointments for your sales staff without any additional advertising expense. In fact, letters expressing potential equity in their vehicles can develop an extensive response with appointments that show and sell.
What about customer follow up? Are you one of only a handful of dealers who can honestly claim their sales staff does follow-up effectively? Only about 10 percent of salespeople are outstanding at customer follow-up, yet most dealerships relegate customer follow-up to the sales person. A BDC can conduct the proper follow-up to keep your dealership at the forefront of every customer’s mind, while asking for referrals. This keeps your sales staff doing exactly what you hired them for – selling vehicles.
A BDC ensures that every lead, regardless of its source, will receive the same level of non-prejudicial professionalism. Each lead is contacted with a single goal in mind: set an appointment for the customer to come to the dealership.
Motivator #3 – Effectively Spend Advertising Dollars
Knowing how you are generating sales from ad dollars spent and the cost of those sales will allow you to quickly adjust your expenditures. For example, in the chart below, Ad Source 2 had a very high percentage of shows to leads; however, a very small percentage of those shows converted to sales, which makes it the second highest in ad dollars spent per sale. With this type of information, you can make informed decisions on where to spend your advertising dollars.
Ad Source Analysis
Ad Source Analysis
How many of these motivators do you need to motivate you to increase profits? A successful BDC can grow with your dealership. It is possible to start small with one person and grow. What it takes is a foundation of commitment, processes and skills—not scripts.
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