Article

Dr. Frankenstein's Business Development Department

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Maxwell D. Skynard - Also by this author

Frankenstein’s monster looked something like a man. He had arms and legs and a head … but guess what? He wasn’t a man. He was an aberration of nature, created by a weirdo that thought he could create life by starting with dead parts.

Just the same, there are lots of companies stitching together dead tools and calling them BDC solutions.

If you have a flashy site, but it doesn’t convert visitors to prospects, if you have a hard to use ILM/CRM, if you aren’t making money but you’re spending a lot on “cool” technology … then chances are that you have a Frankenstein department.

Don’t feel bad, there are a lot of “mad scientists” running around in our industry selling their poorly crafted monstrosity of a BDC package.

But there is hope…
 
I recently met up with an amazing dealership, Rivergate Toyota. They weren’t seeing the results they needed and it was a time for a change. The owner recruited Tim Pomp, an unconventional, yet very talented, GM from Las Vegas with a proven track record

The first thing that Tim did when he got to Rivergate was set up a BDC. Instead of going with the Frankenstein strategy, he wisely decided to go with a company that offered a high quality, highly integrated bundle of BDC-building services. It makes sense. Going with a group that has an established capability to help dealers increase profits by building turn-key BDCs is a no-brainer. To do otherwise is like going to a dentist for a broken leg or shaman for a flat tire.

Enough metaphors, the proof’s in the pudding…

The most units ever to come out of Rivergate’s old “BDC” was around 35-40/month. Within the first 30 days of execution of the new strategy, the dealership delivered over 105 units from the BDC and averaged over $2,500 front and back. The first month of implementation was a record month for this dealership, for volume and gross! BDC sales are still growing, and recently they rolled over 150 units in a month.

With the help of his vendor-partner, Tim built the department the right way … they customized the program to fit Rivergate’s unique needs and went with a simple “4-P” program:

  1. Product – You’ll need (1) a great website, (2) an easy to use CRM/ILM tool, and (3) a package of good lead providers.
  2. People – Getting the right people on the team is a must.
  3. Process – BDC selling is about consistency working with 100s of leads per month.
  4. Promotion – Don’t just stack the wood, pour some gasoline and strike the match.

Before the training team ever set foot into the dealership, they made sure everything but the process/promotion plan was in place. Rivergate was provided with a killer website (www.rivergatetoyota.com) designed to generate traffic and lots of leads. An easy to use Internet Lead Management (CRM/ILM) system was installed, and the proper 3rd party lead providers were contracted. With the right product in place, it was time to hire the people needed to work and manage the new system. Finally, when the product and people were set, the trainers came in and did a thorough process/promotion-training workshop. Because they had a solid plan, put all the “4-Ps” in place and created a standard operating procedure, Rivergate was able to maximize BDC profits.

The company they chose was a true turn-key solution. They set up everything in the dealership and gave them the help they needed to follow through in setup and on-going execution.

With that said, it’s important to remember that it always starts at the top. If Tim Pomp hadn’t had the vision that his dealership should be selling 100s more cars and if he hadn’t believed that a BDC could be a part of that growth, then Rivergate would be just another poor performing dealership with a Frankenstein BDC.

Vol 2, Issue 2

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