Tools, Techniques, and Training for a Successful BDC
Setting up a successful Business Development Team is critical for many reasons. We know that consumers are shopping online (95% of people use the internet to shop for cars, and they are only visiting 1.5 dealerships before purchase according to a recent Auto Trader survey). Approximately 50% of all leads go unanswered. For that reason, dealers are coming to realize that developing up a customer experience center for your dealership (aka BDC, or as we call it Business Development Team) is invaluable-- even a necessity in the world that begins first online. Relationships and experience ultimately still sell, and fostering a mixture of both online and face-to-face brings the best potential for growth and success.
In our discussion of the 8 most valuable things needed to train a successful Business Development Team, we talked about the importance of time, and the importance of the right people in place to make things work.
The next element is having the tools, techniques, and tutoring in place to make your process flow. As we all know, it is much harder to dig a 3 foot hole with a spork than it is with a shovel, and it is much harder fix a broken system with the wrong tools and approach.
Let’s only focus on one set of tools, because they are that important. They are like the giant briefcase of wrenches that my Dad always had in his car. He used them incessantly and for everything.
These tools are not sexy or magical or new. They are proven and reliable.
Scripts/ Word Tracks/ Call Guides.
If you have these in a binder on a shelf, and no one is using them, grab them and dust them off. Then evaluate them and get some current scripts in place. Scripts are not seen as progressive and shiny, but they are definitely effective. The words that come out of your mouth are important--and they need to be consistent, welcoming, and actionable. And the message needs to be the same regardless of who is saying it in your dealership.
Next, make sure that you have scripting for the main types of communication: Outbound, Inbound, and Voicemail messages.
Most dealers know it makes sense to have Outbound and Inbound scripts. You should know what you are saying before you call a customer. But what happens when they don’t answer? Are you prepared for that?
Voicemail scripts are often forgotten or pieced together quickly, but the reality is they are incredibly important.
Think about the number of outbound calls you make a day, how many customers you actually speak with, and how many voicemails you are leaving.
You will only reach about 10% of the people, while leaving voicemails for 90%.
Make sure the voice mail message is strong, to the point, and actionable. A bad voicemail will leave the customer thinking you are unprepared or unprofessional.
And they most likely will not call you back.
Voicemail scripts will also allow you to coach your teams. As you spot check your CRM, how many times do you see “LM or LVM”--not once, but several times for one customer. For all you know, they have left the exact same message of no value every time. However, if you see “Left VM #2” or “Left VM #6,” then you have a snapshot of what is being said and it will keep everyone on track. Need help getting started with this? Just ask us and we would be happy to send something over to you!
So, get those scripts in place.
Techniques are a fancy word for processes. And we know that process is key to success. Talent is an incredible asset, but talent without process is pointless.
Here are some questions to evaluate your process and see what may need some addition/adjustment:
- Are you utilizing your CRM to the best extent?
- Do you have situational processes in place?
- How soon do you contact a customer after receiving their lead, is first contact by email or phone?
- What is your follow up process? How many days do you wait in between contacts?
- How quickly do you move to the “still interested” messages?
You may already have scripting and processes in place, however without communication your team with neither know or care that either exists. The scripts and process should be reviewed at least every 6 months to make sure they are still effective and yielding the desired results.
The last aspect is what we refer to as tutoring. You need to practice, evaulate, and re-adjust to ensure you are not only doing what is expected, but doing it really well. That is what will set you apart from the rest of the pack.
Involve your team with role play on a daily basis. Work with them to memorize the scripts.There is nothing is worse that having to listen to someone read off of a paper instead of having a conversation with you.
Remember-- you will not be able to coach your team if you don’t know the material. Be the leader and not the dictator. Have your team practice with each other for a set amount of time every day until they are more than confident. They can take turns, come up with objections, and then practice overcoming them. They can listen to tone and inflection--all of these things make a difference. And that difference could be more appointments and additional services.
Now, you are most likely doing some of these things, but there is always room for addition and improvement. Review your scripts. Make sure your voicemail scripts ROCK. And get some processes in place that will reinforce your efforts.
And then review and repeat.