Im starting a BDC department and I need some advice on some different techniques i can use to make this operation successful. any advice?

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Comment by Todd Vowell on April 4, 2013 at 8:18am

Atta boy Frank Jr!

Comment by Stan Sher on April 4, 2013 at 6:17am

Thank you Kevin!

Comment by Kevin "Friend Me" Bradberry on April 4, 2013 at 2:54am
stan, this is great content! a true pro as always!
Comment by Jason Mickelson on April 4, 2013 at 1:09am

Mr. Bradberry, feel free to call me Jason.  You and I haven't met yet and so I like to be formal until we have had the opportunity to meet or at least speak.  I appreciate the clarification.  The advice wasn't clear to me so I was curious what your recommendation was for Frank.  It appeared that you believe he should seek professional help based on the advertisement you posted, but I just wasn't quite sure.  


side note: I know there are lots of people trying to sell their services on here.  Hopefully we can keep a balance of advice and self-promotion to ensure people enjoy coming back for education and entertainment.  

side note #2: the youtube video posted by Mr. Bradberry is well done and worth watching.  Several people believe testified about their training services.  Congrats on your accomplishments. 

Comment by Stan Sher on April 3, 2013 at 11:29am

Great thread.  I am playing a little catch up.  In your situation I would suggest taking a look at what you are currently doing and what you believe your true potential is.  You have to go into understanding that success will not happen overnight.  In fact if you want to really measure it the right way you need to give yourself 1 year.

Take a look at your marketing plan.  Are you working with an Ad Agency?  How closely do you work with them?  Are you going to have a manager running the BDC?  They need to be involved with your Ad Agency 100% of the time.  They need to know what campaigns you will be running.  You need to develop strong processes for whatever you decide to tackle in the BDC.  First and foremost it is Internet Leads and Phone Ups.  You might want to dive in unsold follow up, lease retention, service, equity, and even community marketing (this is one that I got that I never hear anyone talk about).

I notice you are a Mazda dealer.  I know Mazda does not have a real strong tracking method on your closing ratios.  At least they did not as of August of 2012 when I last visited my client that has a Mazda store.  Unlike other OEM brands like Subaru, Ford, and plenty of others Mazda focuses on your closing ratios with MDOL leads.  Your district sales manager will come in to talk to your management about sales in the district and the store's performance and will come in and praise or complain about your closing ratio.  Here is the flaw that I found.  You might be closing at 12% but they clock you at 6%.  They only go by RDRs and new car sales.  So if you sell used cars and CPO cars to those same leads Mazda does not count it.  I teach a whole workshop and consultation on how to use those reports to create a benchmark of internet sales success.  You need to know where you stand with the OEM.  From there focus on your website simultaneously followed by third party leads. Mystery shop competitors and compare processes.  Also, look at where competitors rank in performance in your OEM performance.  Just this past February I had a Subaru dealer have a closing ratio of 9.1% where in February of 2012 they closed at 1.8%.  In the whole 12 months they never closed better then 5%.  I did it through benchmarking.  The same internet department that delivered 32 units per month was on track to do over 50 as of March 16.

You need to also focus on phone skills and campaigns.  The call monitoring solution that you have in place needs to become your best friend.  In fact, I have a whole workshop on call monitoring that I recently did for KPA by webinar as well as present it at the Internet Sales 20 group back in October on call monitoring.  30 minutes per day of using the system and you will know how to prepare your team to handle phones.  Create your own scripts and find what works with your marketing efforts.  Try to avoid regurgitated typical phone scripts while learning and implementing some best practices from them.

In 2009-10 I did everything I mentioned here and along with a strong management team took a brand new dealership that failed miserably under previous ownership and built a powerhouse. 

Comment by Kevin "Friend Me" Bradberry on April 2, 2013 at 10:19pm

Mr. Mickelson,

my advice is embedded in my call to action. The call the action has 3 options.  Frank can respond to me on this thread and ask for more information, or he can call me directly and establish dialogue with me about this topic, or he has the ever apparent option of ignoring me completely. Thank you for inquiry. 

Comment by Jason Mickelson on April 2, 2013 at 9:08pm

Where is the advice Mr. Bradberry?

Comment by Kevin "Friend Me" Bradberry on April 2, 2013 at 6:23pm


Here is how you create the perfect BDC. Watch this video before, or after you read this, or BOTH!

Relative to the volume of sales a dealership has and in my experience, dealerships have two types of BDC: Ones that operate with efficiency and ones that operate without efficiency but we all have to process leads in SOME way. And if they have incoming leads (phone/internet) they need to have some form or process/procedure/verification/measurement whether they are getting 100 leads a day or 100 leads per month the dealership personnel need to be able to process those leads in a cost effective and efficient manner respective to their profitability. That is to say, they need to be in the black and stay in black from the word "GO" in order to maintain, stabilize and grow that department. Nurturing stabilizing and growing that department in many instances can more than double the dealership's sales and profitability in both fixed and variable operations.


Outbound calls and lost opportunity calls are only a part of our definition of a BDC. A small example would be, if Kia Motors is sending their dealerships internet leads (which the factory pays heavily for), they need to be able to track and measure those leads, or the dealership won't know where they stand until the OEM is already warning them about their lack of efficiency. This basically means that their national BDC closing ratio of 7.74% (actual) through March 2013 is a the number "leading" the dealer, and leading from behind (i.e. chasing the number 7.74%) without any true system of measurement, or realization of their potential is waste of precious time, profitability, and growth opportunity.


Basically the way we view the BDC that it is a place where ALL the profit centers of the dealership come together (in one place) so that revenue traffic can be quantified, validated, measured, and levels of accountability can be assigned. The BEST thing about today's BDCs are that almost every single one of them contains large quantities of already accessible pent up revenue generating energy. Those leads are already coming in SOME capacity. Once that energy is realized the dealership will EXPLODE with growth and forward momentum.

Once the dealership's leadership team realizes and witnesses this potential to it's fullest (much the same way Fuccillo Kia and others have already-Video Testimonial attached) a kinetic reaction created by our team transforms their dealership department into a self sustaining growth mode, like a hungry monster that consumes leads and transforms them into revenue generating sales. I'm sure you've seen this a time or two in your tenure. There's a reason you are where you are in your career, so I know you know what I mean! In fact you might be one of the few!


Anyways, different sized stores need different sized solutions. We can help with all that.


When can we talk?  I look forward to speaking with you live.

Kevin Bradberry

TK Worldwide, Inc.


Comment by James Bunting on March 30, 2013 at 4:30pm

Lizelle, what you say brings to mind a question that I've been mulling for a few months, as my BDC/Internet team gets more seasoned and, arguably, more salty. How can I keep them motivated, and keep them feeling like they are on a track to real and lasting success? Their day consists of tedious, monotonous work that (cruelly) requires a lot of finesse, diligence, and insight. On a bad day, it's the worst of all worlds: flipping burgers, doing your taxes, and telemarketing, all at once.

Where is the incentive to give 110%?

Most dealerships offer a pay plan for floor salespeople that ruthlessly punishes mediocrity and hugely rewards excellence, but the BDC structures that I've come into contact with tend to be more middle-of-the-road. Say, a base salary with a small spiff based on appointments.

I think that this has enough to do with Frank's question to post here: does anyone here have any strong feelings about the proper pay and incentive structure for a BDC team? Does anyone have a great strategy for retaining top producers in the BDC?

Comment by Lizelle Landino on March 28, 2013 at 11:11pm

It is Critical to invest your future successes with your initial hiring process. It is the most important foundation you lay down. Not sure why this has become such an oversight across the country. Spending the time , effort to each person that you consider to potentially represent your name brand and quality to the world. Much time and headaches to be avoided if s hiring strategy is in place. Seems like becoming a "high employee turnover" statistic is acceptable.  Each business has its unique success to customer engagements, that is unique only to your business . CRITICAL to hire the right staff that has the training and the personality type that amplifies excellence in a new social engagement industry. Social engagement and employee reach to the inner circles of what matters to your customers. Training and employee types that has EXCELLENT phone skills. Solution oriented individuals that can set themselves apart the same way with the same affect as a phone call, one email, and a social out reach. The competition is only growing daily since the Digital world has become so "small" . Buying a car in FL or NY will be no big deal in the near future and so your competition grows. You have only one shot to create an initial excellence shopping and the client solution experience---- Hiring employees, make sure your efforts and time are well placed here.

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