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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Elizabeth Powers

Elizabeth Powers Account Executive

Exclusive Blog Posts

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Customer Value Ladders For Dealership Fixed Ops Departments

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Transition from the BDC to the Floor - Do you have a process?

Many dealerships have implemented a BDC in some form into their dealerships.  I have learned that all BDC are NOT created the same which is totally okay.  So regardless of how your BDC is set up do you have a process for the customer to move efficiently and seemlessly from the BDC operator to the sales person?

1.  Are you using your CRM effectively?

I think a CRM is the dealerships most important investment next to inventory.  I am always amazed at how it isn't required to be used or isn't used to its fullest potential.  Ideally any communication or actions taken with a customer are recorded in the CRM.  If this is the case the sales person will be able to get a profile of the customer that is arriving.  Writing a note isn't good enough.  The notes must be detailed with specifics of conversations between the BDC operator and the customer.  A sales person should be able to form a plan on how they will "sell" or approach the customers.  A plan regarding what inventory to show, what finance options to highlight and what their trade is.

2.  Are you ready on the floor?

Given that you have enough information are you ready for the customer to show up.  My recommendation has always been to pull up the car of interest and right next to it pull up another car that they may be interested in.  Perhaps the other car is inventory you need to get rid of or one you can generate more gross on.  Nothing is worse then when a customer comes into the dealership and realizes that no one knew they were coming.  You just gave the customer a reason to think you aren't there for them and you just don't care. 

The most common objection I hear from managers and sales people to doing this is that they only show up 60% of the time.  Well look at it this way, if you are selling 40% of the time and doing this little task can get you to 50% of the time what kind of difference would that make in your sales, not to mention your online reputation.

3. Sales people did you follow up in CRM?

Notes and information in the CRM prior to the appointment are important, but just as important are notes in the CRM after the appointment shows.  The more detailed the better.  If you don't sell the car and you have notes managers will have a better understanding as to why?  Do you need more training?  Did they evaluate trades to high?  Do they have the wrong inventory? Also the manager, you and BDC operator can design a strategy to hopefully still make the sale.

At the end of the day have a process, refine the process and use the process.  Make sure that all departments are communicating.  Measure your success by watching your grosses and close percentages.

Bart Wilson

This consistency between online to offline is HUGE, and will only become more important as we move into "digital retailing".

Derrick Woolfson

Great Article, Elizabeth! The hand-off can (in so many instances) make or break the sale. Where you offer first class service on the phones. But as soon as the customer arrives it all falls apart. Everything from the vehicle discussed not being ready, the sales consultant not knowing the details, to the manager not being aware that the appointment is even in the showroom! If the manager is not aware of the appointment, and the sales consultant blows them out they might not have even been marked in the showroom! The other thing too (which I completely agree on) is the follow-up after they leave. One of the things that works *great* and sets them apart from the rest is sending the customer a video of the vehicle after they leave - pointing out the features they went over during the initial walk-around! Great stuff! 

Derrick Woolfson

@Bart, very true! Especially when it comes to pricing! I cannot tell you how many times the customer comes in (having seen the online sales price), and the sales consultant tries to sell the pre-owned unit at the sticker price! This has a huge *negative* impact on the sales, and your online reputation! Gross is *extremely* important, BUT so is your reputation. 

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