The Automotive BDC is one of the underutilized profit centers of the car dealership.
Dealerships need F&I (Finance and Insurance) gross profit to remain profitable as a business. That means that dealerships need to sell extended warranties, financing, and other after-market products in order to stay afloat.
How does the Automotive BDC fit into that?
I’ve been reading a dealership book by Max Zanan, and I came across a point that I haven’t thought of before:
When a customer checks out a car but doesn’t buy that day, it is expected that the salesperson does follow up. That’s normal.
On the flipside, when a customer says no to an F&I product, such as an extended warranty, very little (if any) follow up is ever done.
Why is that?
There are two main reasons:
- No one wants to do the work (F&I representatives have limited time)
- No one wants to change a contract after a customer leaves
BDC Representative Aftermarket Follow Up
It would be pretty easy to set up a process for BDC representatives to follow up with sold customers on aftermarket products.
The beauty is that every single customer is a “real” customer since the representatives would be calling customers that have already bought cars.
The calls can be part of ensuring a perfect customer experience if they are handled correctly.
If a customer decides to re-consider an aftermarket product, the Automotive BDC representative can get the F&I manager involved to close the deal. The product can be sold over the phone by taking a credit card and mailing the documents (or e-signing!)
The Process to Set Up the Sales
When an F&I manager pitches the products to a customer unsuccessfully, they will know which products they were “close” on. When a customer says “no” to a list of six products, generally there is one or two that they were on the fence on.
The F&I manager could have an excel list wherein they put the deal number, customer name, the product they were close on, and the offered price.
That list would be emailed the next day to the BDC representatives to call. To give them a reason to call, the management could decide to offer a 15-30% discount on the product.
Here is the script that I would use for the voicemail:
Hi Steve! Congratulations on your purchase yesterday. I hope you are enjoying your new Audi Q5. Your finance manager, Jenny, wanted me to call and offer you a discount on a product that you were considering to add to your purchase. Please give me a call back @ 408-555-5555!
Hi Steve! Congratulations on your purchase yesterday. I hope you are enjoying your new Audi Q5. We wanted to follow up with you about the warranty you were considering adding to your purchase- we have the ability to discount that today by 20%. It’s a huge savings on this product that I think would be very valuable to you. Call me @ 408-555-5555 if you are interested!
I don’t have any illusion that the closing ratio on these offers will be above 10%. That said, I think with proper communication between the BDC and the finance department could result in a handsome extra profit every month if this strategy was instituted.
Email Template: F&I Follow Up
Here is an email template I would use:
Congratulations on your purchase! Please let us know if you have any questions about your new car.
When chatting with my finance manager about your sale, he mentioned that you were on the fence about the 10 year/100k mile warranty.
He said that it might be worth reaching out to you with an additional discount in case you wanted to add it to you contract.
While he quoted you $3299 for the warranty, he said that I could discount it to $2899 if you wanted to add it to your contract today.
We don’t have a lot of time before we send everything to the bank, so let me know today!
PS. If you have any questions make sure to reach out to us via this email address!
Short, sweet, and to the point!
The BDC selling F&I products is a fresh idea for me, as I haven’t implemented it yet at my dealer. Have you? If so, tell us about it here: