Successful BDC Representative | Four Questions

Successful BDC Representative | Four Questions

If you want to grow as a successful BDC representative, you need to be asking yourself the right questions. Even the top representatives have room to improve, and this article’s questions should unlock your potential!

If you’ve already read The Automotive BDC Manifesto, you are well on your way to being a top representative at your store. Choosing to follow a path of self-improvement is critical in every career path. Never forget the fundamental tenet of my book: BDC representatives are salespeople, not receptionists!

There is no guarantee that your managers or your coworkers will go out of your way to help you set more appointments. It’s time to take things into your own hands.

After you read this article, consider reading about my optimal BDC workflow.

Four Questions to Ask Yourself

Self-questioning is an essential part of improving your performance at work. You need to be able to ask yourself the hard questions, and be honest in your answers!

Successful BDC Representative Question #1: Do I Know My Product?

Salespeople need to be excellent at building relationships, over-delivering on value, and knowing their product. If you are expecting to be a top representative, convincing your clients to come in for appointments, you need to make sure you understand what you are selling.

Every manufacturer provides training for the sales representatives that work with customers on the floor. The manufacturer creates video training and will keep it updated with the new product launches. 

Do you follow that training? Do you have a log in so that you can learn the answers to the questions that your customers are going to have?

Think about it this way: you are the front line dealing with the customers. We know that customers actively shop around at multiple dealerships. Do you think that we are putting our best foot forward by not knowing the answers to their questions?

If you don’t want to spend a few minutes a day watching the training videos, consider just walking the showroom with a salesperson, asking for information. Tell the sales representatives on the showroom floor that you will be better at setting appointments for them that sell if you have all the product information!

Small Steps to Product Mastery

I quoted my mentor Frank Garcia in The Automotive BDC Manifesto:

“I think it’s just little tweaks you need to put into action if you want to be more polished. It
will take a decision to start and a dedication to follow through. Polish is not about some
grand action; it’s a collection of little steps—little steps that you care about.”

Take the small steps every day to perfect your product knowledge.

Not only will you be more successful with the customers, but you will also be setting creating personal value that will protect during market downturns.

Things you can do to learn about the product every day include:

  • Asking the managers about new products that have arrived 
  • Sitting in all the showroom cars for a few minutes every week to try out new features
  • Asking for a demo car for a day (perhaps from loaner fleet?) to drive and get the feel of
  • Read online publications that discuss the product, such as Car and Driver or Road and Track

These are the little steps that will push you to the next level.

With the knowledge from these small steps, you will be prepared; the customer asks you questions such as:

  • Does all the Audi Q5’s come with parking sensors?
  • When does the new Allroad come out?
  • Is there any difference in the new Audi Q7 compared to last year?

When you can answer these questions with confidence, you prove your dealership’s value to the customer. Every time you say, “Uh… let me check” you are losing rapport.

Successful BDC Representative Question #2: Do I Know My Salespeople?

When working the automotive BDC, you are a piece of a much larger machine. There is a funnel of customers that flows through your desk that ends up sitting with the salespeople. Both your customers and your salespeople have peculiarities. 

The oddities of your customers will be made clear quickly as you work in the BDC. Although most of your customers will love getting updated on the status of their incoming cars, some will yell at you merely for calling. Some customers will only text, refusing to ever jump on the phone. There will be customers that never respond to a single follow-up touch, but then come in and buy on a random weekday afternoon with no warning.

Your customers are going to fall on a spectrum, from gentle to mean, from wealthy to not.

Guess what?

Your salespeople do too!

Learning about your Partners

Your salespeople that you assign appointments for when working in the automotive BDC are your partners. Never forget how much you all rely on each other! Think of the problems that arise when communication and relationships are lacking:

  • Salespeople can forget to log appointments, costing BDC reps money 
  • BDC reps can forget salespeople’s days off, costing salespeople half deals
  • Salespeople can not update the notes in the CRM, causing more work for the BDC
  • BDC reps can forget to update salespeople on their customer’s plans, costing the salespeople some of their rapport

It’s a transparent back-and-forth. 

So, put some Mariah Carey on and get to learn about each other! This is your responsibility if you want to be a successful BDC representative!

Here are some ways that you can get to know the sales staff better:

  • Attend the weekly sales meetings
  • Ask the salespeople what the BDC is doing well and what it could do better
  • Ask the salespeople if there are any problems that they’ve noticed that they haven’t addressed
  • Ask the sales manager to host team night for everyone to meet up outside of work

When the BDC and the sales floor work with each other, the result will be more successful appointments, better CRM usage, and more sales.

It’s worth it! Get to know your extended team!

Successful BDC Representative Question #3: What Percentage Do I Close?

Do you know the answer to this question:

What percentage of inbound leads do you set appointments for? What percentage of those appointments sell?

If you don’t know the answer to this question, then how will ever know if your performance improves?

Careful tracking of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) is the only way to track your relative performance at work. 

Why do I say that? 

Think about it this way. If you set 50 appointments every month for three months, and then you set 30 appointments in the fourth month, were you less effective in the fourth month? The fact is, unless we know the amount of opportunity you had in the fourth month compared to the previous months, we can’t identify your actual performance.

What if in the first three months you had 100 opportunities and in the fourth month you only had 60? In that case, your relative effectiveness went up in the fourth month, from 30% appointment setting to 50%! 

Example KPI for Successful BDC Representatives

Here is a list of the fundamental Key Performance Indicators that I recommend you track as a BDC representative:

  • The ratio of Appointments Set (Appointments Set divided by Number of Leads)
  • The ratio of Appointments Shown (Appointments Shown Divided by Number of Appointments Set)
  • The ratio of Appointments Sold (Appointments Sold divided by Number of Appointments)
  • Sales Person Effectiveness Ratio (Appointments Sold divided by Appointments Shown)

With these four metrics, you can have a gauge of your relative effectiveness. If you wish to improve, track these four ratios!

In The Automotive BDC Manifesto, Anthony Rinaldi shared with us (in his bonus chapter) his ratios of success that he looks for:

Outbound: For every 80 outbound phone calls, expect 20 conversations, which leads to 10
appointments, of which 5 will show, and 2 will buy.

Inbound: For every 100 inbound phone calls, expect 50 appointments, 25 shows, and 12 sales.

If your numbers are vastly different from these ratios, shoot me an email, and we can delve into what is going on!

Successful BDC Representative Question #3: Do I Know My Market?

In How to Sell Cars on the Internet, I delve into the importance of market research:

When you are selling cars on the internet, you need to know your market.

Your market is defined by the group of surrounding dealerships. In a thriving market, there will be plenty of
sellers and plenty of buyers. Dealers can differentiate themselves in three arenas: pricing,
customer service, and inventory.

Pricing includes the price you sell your cars for and the financing you offer. The pricing
you should provide (to be competitive) will be investigated in this chapter.

Customer service is a broader category, including timeliness, transparency, unique perks
(such as free servicing or details), pick up/drop off services, and general demeanor when
working with the customer.

Inventory, the final differentiator, is about volume. When a customer goes on your
website or visits your dealer, they want to have options on colors and features. The more cars
you have, the more options they have.

I know a significant number of BDC reps are asking themselves the same question right now:

“Wait… isn’t this the responsibility of my managers?”

If you think that market research “isn’t your job,” you are technically correct. That said, technically, most representatives never move up to manage an entire BDC. Most representatives act like Ziggy instead of Zag.

Your desire to succeed can be held back by your belief in the limitations of your role at the dealership. If you are willing to take on additional challenges, such as market research, you will stand out and make a name for yourself. 

Review

This article should be one step in your path to becoming a top tier automotive BDC representative. If you have questions, shoot me a message here. If you want to join the community, check out our Facebook group, Ethical Internet Managers, Sales Managers, and BDC.

Automotive BDC: 7 Day Unqualified Follow-Up

Automotive BDC: 7 Day Unqualified Follow-Up

After releasing The Automotive BDC Manifesto, I began receiving tons of great emails from new BDC representatives. One-on-one coaching has quickly become my favorite part of working in this field. The best part about coaching reps is that I learn the common questions that plague everyone when they are starting.

One of these common questions is “how much follow-up is too much?”

We can all understand the worry behind this question. New BDC representatives are bound to be worried about “over-calling,” since the customers could conceivably get frustrated and complain.

The prospect of being annoying, and the consequences associated with that, can be daunting to anyone starting a role in an Automotive BDC.

Representatives always want to be undeniably likable, which is a great strategy, but they shouldn’t be scared of doing the follow-up.

I’m here to alleviate that worry. The following schedule is one that I have used, with almost no complaints, for years. It is comprehensive and effective, as it focuses on customers that remain unqualified during the first seven days after putting in a lead.

Note– this process is only for those customers that remain unqualified. If a customer picks up a call or returns an email, then turn off these templates and follow-up according to their wishes (and schedule).

The following process is effective at qualifying a large percentage of your inbound web leads.

The schedule assumes lead arrives in the morning.

Everything in Red Italics is meant to be replaced with the correct information based on the lead and your dealership. For example, where my email offers my “5% pledge” your dealership might offer a “free year of detail.

Overview of daily schedule:

Day 1: 3 Calls, 2 Emails, 1 Text

Day 2: 2 Calls, 2 Email, 1 Text

Day 3: 1 Call, 1 Email

Day 4: 1 Call, 1 Email

Day 5: 1 Call, 1 Email

Day 6: 1 Call, 1 Email

Day 7: 1 Call, 1 Email

Day 1 (The Day The Lead Arrives to the Automotive BDC)

Email #1 (Send as soon as you receive the lead):

Subject: Andrei @ Audi Stevens Creek regarding the Audi A4 for Steve

Hi Steve,

The Audi A4 you clicked on (stock #42112) is available and in stock at my dealer.

I saw you requested an “e-price” for this vehicle, so I wanted to get you this information as soon as possible.

I do have time today at 5 pm to show you the car (after work) if you would like to come by.

MSRP: $51,995+ tax/fees

TrueCar Estimate: $49,150+ tax/fees

Our 72 Hour Selling Price: $48,995+ tax/fees

I’ve attached the window sticker of the vehicle you are interested in, and you can click here for the professional photos of the car.

This vehicle’s beige interior is unique in the market right now and another salesperson has an appointment to show the car this weekend.

Here at my dealer, we do offer five years of free servicing with your vehicle purchase and we have a free pickup service if you are coming to the dealer to buy the car by yourself.

I am looking forward to chatting more about this vehicle’s specifications and pricing. Let me know if you have time to come by today!

Sincerely, Andrei Smith

408-555-5555

P.S. This sale would be included in my 5% pledge – 5% of my commission from this sale will go to the Fistula Foundation to help pay for surgeries for women in need!

Email #2 (Send a few hours after the first email):

Subject: The Voicemail

I left you a voicemail earlier today at 415-222-2222. I am reaching out in regards to your interest in the Audi A4. I’d love to chat- here at Audi Stevens Creek we pride ourselves on being the absolute cheapest place to buy an Audi!

I’ll be calling again to try and reach you a little later. If you prefer to chat via email just respond to this email!

Sincerely, Andrei Smith -> Text or Call me @ 408-555-5555

Call #1 (Leave immediately after receiving the lead):

My name is Andrei Smith and I am calling from Audi Stevens Creek for Steve, in regards to your interest in the Audi A4 that you clicked on. Call me back at 408-555-5555. If I don’t hear back from you I’ll go ahead and give you a call around 5pm.

Call #2 (Lunchtime call):

DO NOT LEAVE A VOICEMAIL (three voicemails on the first day is enough to make any customer uneasy)

Call #3 (Leave around 5 pm):

My name is Andrei Smith. Guess I missed ya! I’ll just give you a call tomorrow if I don’t hear from you!

Send one opt-in text message alongside one of these three first day calls. The opt-in text will generally be a generic one required to be sent by your CRM system.

 

Day 2

Email #1 (send in the morning):

Subject: Grabbing Your Attention on the Audi (48 hours left)

Hi Steve,

The Audi A4 you clicked on (stock #42112) is available and in stock at my dealer.

I do have time today at 5 pm to show you the car (after work) if you would like to come by.

MSRP: $51,995+ tax/fees

TrueCar Estimate: $49,150+ tax/fees

Our 48 Hour Selling Price: $48,995+ tax/fees

Here at my dealer, we do offer five years of free servicing with your vehicle purchase and we have a free pickup service if you are coming to the dealer to buy the car by yourself.

Sincerely, Andrei Smith @ 408-555-5555

Email #2 (Send around 5 pm):

Subject: RE: the new car

Hi Steve,

I left you a voicemail at 415-222-2222.

I am reaching out in regards to your interest in the Audi A4.

I’ll be calling again to try and reach you a little later. If you prefer to chat via email just respond to this email!

Sincerely, Andrei Smith -> Text or Call me @ 408-555-5555

Call #1 (Call in the morning):

My name is Andrei Smith and I am calling from Audi Stevens Creek for Steve, in regards to your interest in the Audi A4 that you clicked on. Call me back at 408-555-5555. If I don’t hear back from you I’ll go ahead and give you a call around 5pm.

Call #2 (Call @ 5pm):

Andrei from Audi. Call me back at 408-555-5555. Need to tell you about a deal we have running!

Send 1 Opt-In text message alongside one of these two 2nd day calls.

 

Day 3

Email (send in the morning):

Subject: 24 Hours and 0 Minutes

Hi Steve,

The Audi A4 you clicked on (stock #42112) is available and in stock at my dealer.

Our 24 Hour Selling Price: $48,995+ tax/fees

Did you want us to bring you the car/send an Uber for you to pick you up/pay for your Taxi?

Sincerely, Andrei Smith 408-555-5555

Day 3 Call (Call @ 5pm):

Andrei from Audi Stevens Creek. Call me back at 408-555-5555.

 

Day 4

Email (send in the morning):

Subject: a poem for you…

Hi Steve,

Roses are Red,

Violets are Blue,

We can’t sell you a car,

If we never talk to you…

Sincerely, Andrei Smith @ 408-555-5555

Call (Call @ 5pm):

Need to get in touch about the car… call me at 408-555-5555

 

Day 5

Email (send around noon):

Subject: sorry

Hi Steve,

I wanted to say sorry.

I’ve been following up with you a bunch and I hope that isn’t pushing you away from responding.
It’s my job to get in contact with you to make sure we take perfect care of you.

Check out our reviews @ this link.

Sincerely, Andrei Smith @ 408-555-5555

Call (Call @ 5pm):

Andrei from Audi. Call me back at 408-555-5555.

 

Day 6

Email (send in the morning):

Subject: HR

Hi Steve,

We have some awesome specials running right now on the car you are interested in.

HR is getting mad that I’m sitting on my computer all day emailing customers that don’t respond! Should I stop reaching out?

If you are still interested in the Audi– reply to this email. I hope to talk soon!

Check out our reviews @ this link.

Sincerely, Andrei Smith @ 408-555-5555

Call

I hope today is the day I hear from you! Andrei from Audi. Call me back at 408-555-5555.

 

Day 7

Email (send in the evening):

Subject: Termination of Active Follow Up

Hi Steve,

Since I haven’t been able to reach you, I’ll be removing you from active follow up. If you are still interested, please take the time to send me an email.

Sincerely, Andrei Smith @ 408-555-5555

Call

I’ll be removing you from active follow up if I don’t hear from you today. This is Andrei from Audi. Call me back at 408-555-5555.

Automotive BDC Follow-Up

The mantra “buy or die” is a bit crude, but there is a grain of truth to it. Your job in the Automotive BDC is to get customers into the dealership. You can’t do that if they stay unqualified.

That said, follow-up won’t always be successful. One of the best processes you can put in place is always to do a failure analysis when an opportunity doesn’t go your way. You may find that my follow-up process needs to be tweaked for your local community!

If you are looking for more content like this, check out my two books, The Automotive BDC Manifesto and How to Sell Cars on the Internet.

Also consider joining our Facebook Group!

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts

What you are about to read is a preview chapter from my upcoming second book, “How to Sell Cars on the Internet”

If you are interested in the first book in the series click on this link: The Automotive BDC Manifesto

In the Automotive BDC Manifesto, I spent a significant amount of time reviewing effective internet sales follow up. In that book, I offered a number of email templates that readers all over the world have started to use to great success.

So, what are the components of a great email template? What makes a great phone call script? How about some examples? Let’s get started.

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts: Process and “Making Your Own Luck”

If your emails are ending up in spam, your phone calls will save you. If you can get your customer enticed on the phone, you can have them find your emails in order to retrieve information. This allows you to work around the problems of spam filtering since the customer will actively find your emails in the spam filters and bring them back to life. This act will also help your email reputation since Google is always watching!

So what do you say on the phone?

Here are some basics for every outbound phone call:

  1. You must identify yourself and your dealership
  2. You need to speak slowly (the older the customer, the slower you talk!)
  3. You need to stay calm (regardless of their attitude)
  4. You need to remember the mission (get the appointment!)

In my mind, phone calls are about information gathering, deal sharing, and serendipity. Your calls are the best way to get an immediate update on the customer’s status. If a customer picks up, they will generally answer at least a question or two before wanting to go. The phone call also reinforces your dealer name and your name, so when the customer is ready to come in, they will think of you first.

At the start of the call, make sure to identify yourself and your dealership, every time.

“Hi! This is Andrei Smith from Audi North Michigan”

That’s a great start to ping the customer’s brain. Hopefully, they will remember an email that they’ve seen from you recently. As soon as you say that, they will respond, and from this response, you will know how much of their time you have. If they say:

            “Uh… ok, yes?” 

Then you probably don’t have much of their time. Get to the point right away:

“Thanks for jumping on the phone! I had seen your inquiry on stock #4123 and I wanted to let you know that this specific vehicle is still available and has a discounted e-price right now. Did you have a minute to review?”

As I mentioned in the Automotive BDC Manifesto (Chapter 4: Inbound Phone Calls), it’s critical to create a back and forth of information as quickly as possible on the phone. You need the customer to be hooked and to desire the information that you have. If you give your customer all of the information right away, without having them participate in the call, you have lost your value. Your information is what you trade for their time and attention. By mentioning an “e-price” and then immediately asking if they have a “minute to review” you have set up a conversational trade. I give you information if you opt into our conversation.

At the end of the day, the point of the call is to set the appointment. Deals happen, in almost all cases, in person at the dealer (exceptions include out of state deals and some corporate deals). Buying a car is halfway between buying a house and buying a TV- it’s a balance between practicality, finances, and emotions. Generally, practicality and finances win on the phone, emotions win in person.

The most exciting part of calling customers (and follow up in general) is what I call the “discovery of serendipity”. Serendipity is defined as “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.” Over my career so far, there have been countless times where customers tell me this when I get them on the phone:

“Wow that’s funny you called…”

At that point, the customer will say that they are “just about to go visit dealers” or that they “were just talking about new cars.” These are the best moments!

When I say that car purchasing is partly emotional, I’m not referring to color preference. I’m more speaking to the fact that, when a customer feels like everything is coming together serendipitously, they tend to close deals. If you’re constantly doing high value, professional follow up, you are giving yourself more opportunities to be in the right place at the right time. You are actively “creating your own luck.”

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts

I’ll restate what I’ve said elsewhere, I think that phone scripts are just for when you are starting out. They can inspire you to have more dynamic conversations, with better value propositions, but they should not be used as a long term crutch. Try to get yourself (and the rest of the people that sell cars on the internet) to a point where phone calls are natural, without the use of any script. As you progress you will develop scripts that you can call from at any point, lodged deep in your brain by repetition.

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts: Standard Outbound Call with Price Offer:

Dealer Representative: “Hi! This is REP from DEALER”

Customer: RESPONSE

REP: Thanks for jumping on the phone! I had seen your inquiry on stock #X and I wanted to let you know that this specific vehicle is still available and has a discounted e-price right now. Did you have a minute to review?

OPTION 1 – IF CUS SAYS: No, I don’t have time to talk right now

THEN REP SAYS: No problem, I’ll send you over an email with the pricing. Is [email protected] your correct email address?

OPTION 2 – IF CUS SAYS: Yes, I have a few minutes, what was the pricing?

THEN REP SAYS: Great! I’ll be sending this quote via email as well, can I confirm that [email protected] is your correct email?

CUS: Yes/No

EITHER WAY REP SAYS: Ok, sounds great. So for this stock #X, with an MSRP of $XXk, we are having our SPECIAL REASON sale right now, that reduces the price down by $Xk. This offer can be combined with extra incentives that you might also qualify for.

CUS: Oh ok, what are the incentives?

REP: We have incentives for customers that currently have QUALIFIER 1 and QUALIFIER 2. This sale price will be running until the end of this weekend- did you have time tomorrow at 11am to swing by and check it out?

 

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts: Vehicle Availability Confirmation:

Dealer Representative: “Hi! This is REP from DEALER”

Customer: RESPONSE

REP: Thanks for jumping on the phone! I had seen your inquiry on stock #X, the COLOR MODEL at DEALER. Did you have a minute to review?

OPTION 1 – IF CUS SAYS: No, I don’t have time to talk right now

THEN REP SAYS: No problem, I’ll send you over an email. Is [email protected] your correct email address?

OPTION 2 – IF CUS SAYS: Yes, I have a few minutes.

THEN REP SAYS: Great! I’ll be sending this information via email as well, can I confirm that [email protected] is your correct email?

CUS: Yes/No

EITHER WAY REP SAYS: Ok, sounds great. Stock #X is currently available at our dealership. As you can imagine, because of UNIQUE THING ABOUT CAR, I doubt that this specific vehicle will last on the lot a long time. Was this Stock #X the exact fit you were looking for?

OPTION 1 – IF CUS SAYS: No, I just clicked on a car on your site at random (etc)

THEN REP SAYS: Oh no problem! We have X number of MODELS in stock. We have some specials running on some cars right now, what were the specifics you were looking for?

OPTION 2 – IF CUS SAYS: Yes, that is the exact car.

THEN REP SAYS (Excited!): Wow! Generally, the customer has to make a ton of compromises when buying a new car, that is so serendipitous/great/fantastic that we have the exact car you are looking for! Let’s not miss this chance, did you have time to come by tonight to come check it out? I have some time around XXXpm.

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts: Lease End Call

Dealer Representative: “Hi! This is REP from DEALER”

Customer: RESPONSE

REP: Thanks for jumping on the phone! I work with MANUFACTUROR directly as a lease end representative. It’s my job to keep MANUFACTUROR up to date with your lease end plans and to walk you through your options. Have you an idea of what you want to do with your lease end?

OPTION 1 – IF CUS SAYS: Yes, I plan to drop off the car and will not be purchasing a new BRAND car.

THEN REP SAYS: *Explain lease end drop off process for your dealer, but ask if there was anything that would entice them to stay with brand*

OPTION 2 – IF CUS SAYS: No, I haven’t decided yet.

THEN REP SAYS: No problem. MANUFACTUROR would like us to set up a time to discuss your options, did you have time tomorrow at XXXpm?

For lease end calls, I’ve found that I have the greatest success when I frame the conversation as a requirement of their lease end. Although the lease end is a fantastic opportunity to sell the customer a car, the fact that they have a lease coming due means that you don’t ever need to hard sell. They have to make a decision; you need to sell yourself as the frictionless route.

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts: Appointment Follow Up

Dealer Representative: “Hi! This is REP from DEALER”

Customer: RESPONSE

REP: Thanks for jumping on the phone! We had met last Sunday, where we demo’d the MODEL. You had mentioned that you were still shopping brands. We actually have some new incentives to tell you about, I was wondering if you were still in the market?

CUS: Yes, I am still in the market.

THEN REP SAYS: Great! I’ll be sending this quote via email as well, can I confirm that [email protected] is your correct email?

CUS: Yes/No

EITHER WAY REP SAYS: Ok, sounds great. When we met we had driven the COLOR MODEL with PACKAGE OPTION. You had mentioned that this was a good fit, is that still the case? 

If CUS says: No, that car won’t work for us.

Then REP says: No problem, we have X MODEL in stock. What was it that you were looking for instead?

If CUS says: Yes, that car still works for us.                           

Then REP says: Wow! Generally, the customer has to make a ton of compromises when buying a new car, that is so serendipitous/great/fantastic that we have the exact car you are looking for! Let’s not miss this chance, especially since we SPECIAL OFFER running for SPECIAL EVENT. Can you make it in at XXXpm tomorrow?

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts: Car in Service

Dealer Representative: “Hi! This is REP from DEALER”

Customer: RESPONSE

REP: Thanks for jumping on the phone! I’m the service liaison here at DEALER. We have your CAR here at DEALER in service. There are some things we need to chat about with your vehicle. Do you have a few minutes?

CUS: Yes, I have a few minutes… what’s going on?

EITHER WAY REP SAYS: During the inspection on your vehicle, they discovered that your car needs PROBLEM THAT CAR HAS. The price to get this fixed is $Xk. Since your vehicle is outside of the warranty period, this would be a customer pay option. That being said I do have an option that might be more attractive than fixing this problem. 

If CUS says: Ok? What’s the alternative?

Then REP says: I’ve got my management involved on this one, and they have agreed to take your vehicle in on trade with this problem as is. If we get you swapped into a new model year MODEL, your payment would go from CURRENT PAYMENT to NEW PAYMENT. OPTIONAL: We are able to waive your down payment, so nothing would be due today.

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts: Just Sent Quote:

Dealer Representative: “Hi! This is REP from DEALER”

Customer: RESPONSE

REP: Thanks for jumping on the phone. I wanted to review the lease quote that I sent over via email a few minutes ago. I can offer an extra incentive on top of that quote if you have a minute to review. Did you have some time now?

Cus: Yes, I have a few minutes, what was the pricing?

THEN REP SAYS: Great! I sent over the quote a few minutes ago. Just to review, this car that you had expressed interest in is the COLOR MODEL with FEATURES. Does that sound right?

CUS: Yes.

EITHER WAY REP SAYS: Perfect. The lease quote I sent over is $XXX per month with $Xk due at signing. I’m able to offer you an extra $XXX off of your drive off on top of that quote if you are able to come in today. Did you have some time after work to come by?

What Makes Up a Great Follow Up Email

There a few common threads that run through all of the best follow up email templates:

  1. They don’t look like templates (short and targeted)
  2. They are easy to add personalization (spaces to put in details of the specific customer’s situation)
  3. They don’t end up in spam (very few if any images, very few hyperlinks, no spam phrases)
  4. They provide value (the customer is happy they opened them)

I believe in a relentless email follow up. It’s not an opinion that is shared with everyone, but I think that it’s your job when selling cars online to be consistently appearing in your potential customer’s email inbox until they are out of the market. That means that you need to have a reason to email a customer, every day, for at least the first ten days after they submit an inquiry.

The Spam Trap         

Do you know what doesn’t work? Sending the same email every single day. As soon as a customer sees a duplicate of an email you’ve sent, the gig is up. They mentally categorize you as spam. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if every time a customer opens an email from you they find something different, they mentally categorize you as valuable.

It’s not just the customers who are categorizing you. Email clients, such as Gmail (which has 26%+ of the market share) will categorize your emails into spam automatically if you abuse customer’s inboxes. Gmail is always learning, and saying things like “YOU WON’T BELIEVE THE DEALS!!” or “INCREDIBLE SaVinGS!!!” is going to get you flagged very quickly by the algorithms.

 Here are some basic rules to follow if you want to avoid being filtered into spam automatically:

  1. Be short and direct
  2. Do NOT use shortened URLs (Google punishes these heavily!)
  3. Include the customer’s name using “merge tags” into your template builder
  4. Write the template to mirror a traditional “letter” format

Speaking of spam filters, there are a number of reasons that dealership emails end up in spam. Frankly, I think all dealers will have some of their emails end up automatically sorted into spam. That’s pretty common. The issue arises when all of your dealership’s first response emails always get filtered into spam. The reason for this can be multifaceted, and Google is intentionally vague on the issue. You can even be punished because of your sender reputation (your “SMTP server” and your IP addresses can have the negative rep), your email service provider.

For now, it’s critical you find out if your emails are being filtered. Set up a secret shop and test your own internet department. Do your emails end up in the “spam” folder? That’s pretty catastrophic if they do!

If your dealership is having all of its emails sent directly to spam, it’s time to change up your processes. First thing, turn off all automated emails. Next, strip all templates of all images and hyperlinks. Then, double down on the phones- texting and calling your customers just became your dealership’s bread and butter.

Long term, this isn’t sustainable at scale. Sending every email by hand takes too much time, and it sets you at a severe disadvantage to your competitors. You need to work with your management and your point of contact at your CRM’s company to solve this issue right away!

Spam flagging is a massive topic that I may dive into more if requested to by my readers. For now, just know that your email reputation can have huge effects on your internet departments conversion rates. If your customers don’t see your emails you can assume that they won’t set an appointment.

Review: Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts

Your dealership’s internet department is defined by its follow-up. Ineffective templates, spam filtering, and bad phone voice can all hold back your closing rate.

A good place to start? Secret shop your own dealer. Set up a fake Gmail and send in a lead to your store. See what your automated emails look like in Gmail and on your phone’s email client. When you are on the receiving end of your own follow up you may find some problems glaringly obvious!

Video Message from a Reader

Video Message from a Reader

One of the most satisfying things of building out Car Sales Story and the “Automotive BDC Manifesto” has been the interactions I’ve started having with my readers.

There is the growing Facebook group, in which readers are getting together to tackle the challenges that they face in the Automotive industry. Although early days still, this group is growing into a fantastic resource for Automotive Sales Managers, Internet Managers, and BDC Representatives. 

Yesterday morning I received this video message from one of my readers, Steve, from Canada. 

Check out how professionally he comes across:

In less than a minute, Steve conveyed his professionalism and his dedication to building a business relationship.

I’ve dismissed video messaging before, advocating my readers to use less time-consuming methods. This message, recorded directly into Youtube, is a convincing counter-argument.

Steve’s message is clear and concise. His suit and the framing of the shot speak to his professionalism. His voice is loud and clear, easy for anyone to understand.

Please respond to this email with your thoughts on video messaging for customer follow-up. Do you think that video messaging is a productive way to build relationships with your customers?

Continue the conversation in the Facebook Group!

How to Sell More Cars on the Internet

How to Sell More Cars on the Internet

How can you maximize your internet car sales lead closing rate? In this article, I will address how to sell more cars on the internet.

I’ve been an Internet Manager at one of the largest Audi dealerships in the world for four of my six years, and I’ve sold over 2,000 cars in that time. I’ve developed a set of processes, skills, and strategies that have helped me dominate the hyper-competitive market. On top of my experience doing the job, I’ve been doing extensive research into the topic for the last eight months. 

The amount of quality content written about selling cars on the internet is pretty low, with a catch. If you realize that selling cars online is a lot like selling any other physical product online, the world opens up.

I’ve been loading up on some of that content via Jeff Walker’s “Product Launch Formula.” I signed up for a copy of his book on his website, and I received it a few days ago. Jeff Walker began his career selling things online with a stock market email list for which he charged a subscription. He has since branched into helping other people sell items online with his online courses.

Since I just released my book, his content has been incredibly useful.

What does this have to do with “how to sell more cars on the internet?” Well, in my reading of his content, I came upon his list of eight “mental triggers” that can help you sell things online. The more I thought about those triggers, the more I came back to how applicable this stuff was to my fellow Internet Sales managers and BDC reps. Anyone that sells stuff online can leverage these eight triggers to achieve better conversion rates.

In this article I’ll break down all eight triggers:

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Event-Based
  3. Anticipation 
  4. Social Proof
  5. Proof
  6. Community
  7. Interaction/Conversation
  8. Scarcity

Not a bad list! You may already be thinking about how these eight triggers tie into your emails. If so, consider joining our Facebook group to share your thoughts!

(more…)

BDC Manifesto and More…

BDC Manifesto and More…

If you’ve been around this site at all in the last month, you may have seen some hints that I have a brand new book coming out next week.

Now Available! Click Here to See It!

The book, “The BDC Manifesto,” is a start to finish career guide for automotive BDC representatives. It’s meant to be a comprehensive manual for representatives and managers that work in the BDC (also called “Internet Department” at some dealers).

(more…)