What is the optimal BDC dealership workflow? How can you optimize your time working in the BDC at the dealership to set the most appointments and sell the most cars?

This article is for the BDC rep that wants to improve. If you are a BDC manager looking to improve, check out my article Automotive BDC Tips and Tricks. If you are instead looking for a guide for how to sell extended warranties through the BDC, check out this article.

There is a method to the madness. I understand how many types of customers you need to serve. Many times the workers in the BDC dealership are handling not only inbound web leads but also incoming phone calls, routine sales floor follow-up, and more.

What can an overworked BDC rep do?

We all make mistakes, but with proper training, you can avoid them!

To improve, you are going to need to take your job seriously and ask yourself what you can do better.

In this article, I’ll break down the optimal BDC dealership workflow that I’ve honed over the last year. Following this will save you time and keep your follow-up on a good schedule.

BDC Dealership Workflow Optimization

I’m going to do my best to give you a fully decked out follow-up plan.

Here is my break down of the first seven days of email/phone/text cadence that is optimal for your BDC dealership workflow:

Day 1:
2 Emails (1st is autoresponder, 2nd is personalized)
3 Phone Calls (1 Voicemail max)
1 Text Message Opt-In

Day 2:
1 Email
2 Phone Calls (1 Voicemail)
1 Text Message Opt-In

Day 3:
1 Email
1 Phone Call

Day 4-7:
1 Email/day
1 Phone Call/day

Day 8 (Take-Away Day:
1 Email
1 VM

At that point, you’ve done your due diligence. After eight days of no response, the lead can be automated to receive a check-in email every three days.

Now that the macro-level overview is out of the way, we can answer the “why” for this article after explaining the “why,” we can delve into more detail and example templates.

Why This Article

This article is inspired by “Sarah,” who wrote in with this note:

… I started out in sales but now I’m in BDC. The info you had is helpful. ūüôā Especially email templates. I was writing them completely different and I can see how the layout you posted is probably more effective. It’s simple! I have been looking everywhere on the internet for help doing my job better because I don’t exactly know how to do this job…besides making tons of phone calls.

When I asked her what her most desired post would be about, this is what she sent over:

…A BDC follow up schedule would be awesome! How many times to call and/or email the first day, second day, and so on.

I loved this idea, and the fact I got some fan mail was a real treat. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

Day 1 Plan: Lead Received

As soon the store receives the lead, your CRM system¬†should send out an automated first response. The first response should be personalized to the dealership’s unique qualities and set their expectations of the follow-up cadence. When a customer receives this, they know that there is someone at the helm and that they have a good chance of being taken care of (efficiently!).

First Response Automated Email Example:

Here is a decent example from Fuccillo Volkswagen:

Dear Steve,
My name is Veronica Hall and I will be your Customer Relations Agent here at Fuccillo Volkswagen of Schenectady. First, I’d like to thank you for considering us for your next vehicle! I will do everything possible to make your shopping experience fast, informative and hassle-free!

I see that you’re interested in the Atlas, awesome choice!

The online prices are firm. If you are looking to negotiate that requires your presence in our showroom. We are open Monday-Saturday 9am-9pm and Sunday 11am-8pm. What time works best for you to come in?

Sincerely,
Veronica Hall

Not great, but this will get the job done. The good part of this first response was that:

  1. It was immediate
  2. It set the expectations of who would be reaching out
  3. Reinforced the pricing expectations
  4. Gave pertinent information (the hours of the business)

BDC Dealership First Response Voicemail Example

As soon as the first responder (Veronica Hall in this example) is available, she should try to make phone contact. This phone contact will generally end up being a voicemail. Here is the actual voicemail that she left me (transcribed by Google Voice):

Good afternoon, this message is for Steve. My name is Veronica calling from Fucillo Volkswagen. I am reaching out in regards to your inquiry on a 2018 Outlets. If you could please give me a call back at your earliest convenience. My number is 518-374-9161, and my extension is 22070. I will also send you a text update. If or reply. Yes, we can start communicating that way. Thank you and have a great day.

I love this voicemail, as I think it is efficient and to the point. She explains who she is, why she is reaching out, and how to call back. She also sets the stage for the text opt-in! Great stuff all around.

First Response Voicemail Template

Good time of day, this message is for¬†name.¬†My name is BDC REP calling from¬†dealer name.¬†I am reaching out in regards to your interest in the¬†make model.¬†We have a special on this car ending tomorrow and I’d love to chat about it. My number is¬†phone number.¬†I also sent a text opt-in if you prefer that – just reply by typing back “yes”. Looking forward to sharing with you some information later today. Again, my name is¬†name¬†from¬†dealer name.

The only thing different from the real world example from “Fucillo Volkswagen” is that I like to incentivize your call to action.

First Response Text: Texting Schedule Explained

All first-response texts are going to look the same since you must get the customer to do an opt-in before starting the conversation.

Fuccillo Volkswagen of Schenectady is confirming request to send a message, reply YES to allow. Reply HELP for help. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply STOP 2 cancel

In this specific case, it’s not the content that matters (since it’s standardized), but the timing. You get three shots at getting an opt-in from a customer. Below is the schedule I use:

1st Opt-In Request: Send the first opt-in text to coincide with first outbound call and email after receiving the lead. In the first response email and phone call, make sure to mention the incoming text¬†message and encourage the customer to “opt-in.”

2nd Opt-In Request: Send the second opt-in text on day two, after leaving your first voicemail of the day. Mention the text opt-in while leaving your voicemail.

3rd Opt-In Request: I discourage sending the third request from the BDC dealership. I encourage the third and final opt-in only when the customer is in store.

BDC Dealership Side Note: The Final Text Opt-In Strategy

Once you have exhausted the first two tries at getting the text opt-in, do not send another unsolicited request. Instead, wait for communication with the customer via phone and email (and the eventual appointment). Here is an example:

TODO: APPOINTMENT
DATE: 4/16/19 @ 4:30PM
NOTES: Customer coming in for Q5 (#23451) test drive. Please have them do Text Opt-In upon arrival at the store.

This strategy ensures that in all but the most challenging cases, the store will get a text opt-in. When the salesperson asks the customer to opt-in to the text, they will have greater success.

Day 2: BDC Dealership Follow-Up Plan

On the second day, the BDC dealership apparatus should be continuing to attempt contact with the customer.

Day Two Email Response Template

Below is an email template that I’ve seen before that can be quite effective when sent to customers. The title of this email is “Time for a Quote,” which I think is decent.

We understand the reasons people shop online. Pricing is often one of the main reasons. We understand that competitive pricing, combined with strong inventory and stellar customer service is key.

In order to get you the best price we need two keys pieces of information from you:

1. Share with us your best approximation of the car you are looking for. The more detail the better!

2. Share with us how soon you can reasonably make a purchase. Pricing estimates are more accurate (and aggressive) the sooner you are buying because we know what incentives we can offer and what sales goals YOU can help us achieve!

Please also peruse our Yelp reviews- they will help you feel confident in my salesmanship (remember that people are much more likely to write a negative review than a positive one!):

Thanks!

The email is short enough and explains what information you need from the customer.

Day Two Voicemail Example

Similar set up to day one, with a few tweaks. Shorter and more direct.

Hi¬†customer name! This is¬†BDC rep name calling from dealer.¬†My number is¬†phone number.¬†Just sent you quick email about pricing here at the dealer. Let’s get you in, give me a call back at¬†phone number.

Easy!

Day Two Text Example

Gotcha! The text opt-in is going to be the same.

Day 3: BDC Dealership Follow-Up Plan

And so it continues!

Day Three Email Response Template

On Day 3, send this email template (or one of your creation!). The subject line could be something catchy like “RE: thinking about you.” I love fun subject lines.

Hi Yi,

My name is BDC Rep Name, and I was hoping to get in touch today.

Let’s make an appointment to work on moving forward with the vehicle you are interested in. I have some time available at 515pm.

When would you be able to come in today? If not today- let’s plan for sometime this week. What time works best for you?

Thanks,

This email is even shorter, but the subject line and suggested time might catch a bite from the customer. That’s what you need!

Day Three Voicemail Example

At this point, you assume they have listened to at least one of your voicemails and read one of your emails. As such, the voicemail can be short and sweet:

Hi customer name, BDC rep name from dealer name. Just wanted to see if you had some time to chat regarding the car. Call me at number

Day 4-7: BDC Dealership Follow-Up Plan

The first crucial 72 hours have passed and no response? Time to let up a little. You will still call and email every day, but no voicemails.

Here are some of my favorites:

Subject Line: “RE: I shouldn’t have?”

Hi Customer Name,

I hope I haven’t been a bother. I’m dedicated to taking great care of you and I want you to know that I am here to assist. I hope I haven’t been reaching out too often!

Call me at 408-709-6455 to discuss your new car interest. I’ve got some interesting¬†hook/special running through the end of the week.

Sincerely,

The catchy subject line, hook/special that expires, and short. That’s the key. Here is another:

Subject Line: “consequences.”

Hi Customer Name,

I hope that my follow-up isn’t causing you to avoid calling in! I’m trying my best to assist you. Let me know the best way to chat.

Call me at 408-709-6455 to discuss your new car interest. I’ve got some interesting¬†hook/special running through the end of the week.

Sincerely,

Subject Line: “HR”

Hi Customer Name,

I recently got called into HR because I spend too much time on the computer at work. I had to explain that it was just because I’ve been trying to get in touch with my hard to reach customers!

Call me at 408-709-6455 to discuss your new car interest. I’ve got some interesting¬†hook/special running through the end of the week.

Sincerely,

This kind of stuff is gimmick-ey, I agree, but it can work. By the time your customer sees these emails, they have ignored 5+ other attempts. These set you apart.

Day 8: Time To Take Away

There comes a time when you need to show value by showing scarcity. Your attention is not infinite; the customer needs to know you will be discontinuing active follow-up. By telling them that you will be “taking away” attention, you provide a different message.

at your bdc dealership you need people to think the ship is sailing

this ship has sailed (almost!)

Subject Line: “reaching the end of the line.”

Dear Customer Name,

It’s been 8 days since you’ve put in a lead and I still haven’t heard from you. I’ll be removing you from active follow-up today if I don’t hear from you- which is a bummer because we have some¬†specials/finance program/etc coming this week that I would have loved to tell you about.

If you want to hear more- shoot me a line.

Thanks,

Easy and clean.

Review: BDC Dealership Workflow Optimization

So there you have it! A fully optimized 8-day plan to handle unresponsive web leads. I believe this cadence is optimal. It totals 12 phone calls, nine emails, and two text messages.

Let me know your thoughts below in the comments!