Guys and gals having fun in training at Autoproductos Mexicali, B.C. Congratulations to Autoproductos for becoming the number one volume Chrysler brands dealer in Mexico.
In visiting and consulting with hundreds of dealerships over the last 40 plus years I've come to the realization that success boils down to four things...
See you soon.
I am sometimes asked by dealers to train their receptionists. Although I will, (in order to keep the client happy), I always inform them that if they are unhappy with the receptionist they should put him/her in a position that does not involve dealing with the public. After all, how hard is it to answer the phone? Thank you for choosing _________, how may I direct your call, my pleasure, one moment please, etc. Maybe four or five word tracks and that's about it.
The receptionist position is very, very important. Imagine a money faucet coming into your store. If there is a problem the money stops flowing. You want to hire the best personality you can find, someone who has grace under pressure and can push buttons and take a message if needed. Personality cannot be trained, and the few word tracks that there are can fit on a 3x5 card. There's an old saying: hire personality, train skill. I recommend you hire the brightest person you can and give them a decent wage. They're worth it.
"I often get the question on what to pay a BDC manager and the BDC reps. The answer is to pay them a reasonable small salary in line with your local market but the majority of their pay should come from performance. The reason for the salary is to attract talent. If you pay commission only it will scare away some of the talent who fear the job is a scam. However at least 75% of their pay should come from performance based only on sold units. Paying on show appts. is a mistake because your reps will bring in customers over and over to milk the system. Some dealers still pay on shows and swear that they are able to eliminate paying on duplicates via auditing but I question how they audit, and whether or not the time spent on the audit is worth it when paying on sold units is the best pay plan. To summarize; when the dealer makes money pay the people. The amount paid on sold units will vary depending upon prevailing pay scale in your area but you can back into it. Here's an example...
Let's say you have a BDC staffed by 4 people- one manager and three reps and your store receives 400 inbound calls per month. A decent sold to call percentage is 20% or 80 units in this example. To keep it simple let's say your manager and your 3 reps all sell equal amounts - 20 units per month. If you pay your reps 800 per month salary and 80 per sold unit your cost per rep is 2400 x 3 equals 7200. If you pay your manager 1200 per month salary, 20 per unit sold by his or her reps- 60x20 equals 1200 and 80 per sold by him or her -20x80 equals 1600 - total to manager 4000. Total cost to run the 4 person BDC is $11,200 before benefits and contributions. 80 units for 11,200 is a pretty good return.
Obviously there are many different pay systems depending upon the dealer but one constant that I believe in is to pay ONLY on sold units."
– Dave Neighbors
After almost 40 years in this business I’ve watched the customer interaction experience evolve from the salesperson doing everything to the many systems and processes we have in modern dealerships today. There’s some amazing stuff out there.
I learned a long time ago that hiring staff and letting them loose on your customers without training and most of all, tracking, is a good way to burn through customers. Having processes in place and holding people accountable for hitting measured goals is the way to go. Incredibly there are still a few dealerships who have no idea how many ups, sales calls or e-mail leads they receive. I believe those days are over.
Now, most dealerships have at least three separate departments for handling the common ways the customer chooses to contact the dealer; walk-ins, internet and phone. As it is today some customers just drive to the dealership, some choose to handle everything online and some choose to use the phone or in some cases they combine these actions in order to make the most informed decision possible. Over time many dealers have realized that the floor salesperson may not be the best at handling the e-mail leads or the inbound /outbound sales call. So most dealers have addressed these issues in different ways including separate Internet departments, floor sales and Business Development Centers which take and make phone calls. Currently this seems to be the best way to maximize sold to lead ratio on lot-ups, e-mail leads and sales calls.
I look forward to what the future holds for this business of ours.
Welcome to the Ironstorm Corporation Blog – all comments will be reviewed prior to posting. This blog is an open forum to discuss anything related to the automobile business. From opinions on automobiles to best practices in retail or service departments of dealerships. Feel free to use this forum to voice your opinion, ask questions, receive feedback, etc.
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