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10 Easy Changes You Can Make To Increase Your BDC's Show Ratio W/out Spending Any More On Advertising

Since I’ve moved over to installing dealer owned insurance agencies full time for Atlas Dealer Services, I’ve been hesitant to write about BDC, the main reason is because there are so many other companies out there who are teaching everyone the wrong way and confusing even the most savvy dealership operators. I’m not trying to pick a fight here. Everyone needs a something to sell, but many vendors are helping to perpetuate an already overwhelming problem by picking the remaining meat off the bones of the dealer’s front end variable gross with too much smoke, mirrors, and confetti. This hurts the dealer beyond comprehension as it affects the dealer’s very ability run a healthy and profitable business. 

Any dealer should be able to take a “bucket” of leads (any leads) and dump the into the top of their “BDC funnel”, and finally measure the ROI in ad dollars as the leads are converted from LEAD to SET to SHOW to SOLD. Then they should be able to easily determine the efficiency and productivity of their BDC based off those conversion rates. Is that too much to ask? Apparently in 90 % of the nation’s dealerships answer is a resounding YES!

Here are some process changes that will significantly improve your dealership’s BDC conversion rates, but keep this in mind. You can’t fix what you can’t measure, and you can’t measure what you can’t see. You need to be getting accurate reporting and that seldom comes directly from your CRM. Your lead to set to show to sold ratio as well as your true viable lead count can only be calculated by a competent Business Development Manager. 

1.Stop the clock – First, look at your “stop the clock” method. Is it an auto-responder? If so, what sort of template are you sending out? Auto-responders can be a deathblow to the lead if you’re not monitoring them properly. Also, if you’re being shopped by the factory, they need to comply to the grading standards set forth by the OEM. Make sure you know which auto-responders are going when.

2. Overnight leads are HOT! It’s important to have someone first thing in morning responding to ALL leads that came in over night and early in the morning. These leads are smoking hot and need immediate and urgent attention.

3. You MUST escalate every electronic lead to a phone call. Voicemail, live chat, emails, website inquiries, must all be escalated to a phone call as soon as humanly possible. There are many techniques you can use to convert a lead to a phone call, just remember that there is always a reason to call the customer who reached out to you in any other format. 

4. Pound the phone until you talk with the customer. – Winning the appointment is EVERYTHING! He/she who gets the customer on the phone first is the one who is in fact most likely to win the appointment. A very talented BDM will tell you that if the customer doesn’t answer the first time you call it’s because they are on phone with your competitor. If they don’t answer the second time it’s because they are on the way to your competitor, and if they don’t answer the third time you call it’s because they are inside the dealership of your competitor. A good BDM will be willing to call the customer up to 10 times on the first day. I know you’re thinking about all the reasons why that is so wrong, but there are even more reasons why it’s right. And customers get over being angry very quickly when you tell them the reason why you made some many attempts.

5. Ask for the appointment multiple times. – 80% of the nation’s BDC reps only ask for the appointment one time, and 20% don’t even ask for it at all. Yet, 60% of the yeses comes after the 3rd “NO”. There are script techniques you can use to work through the basic objections.

6. Give them a reason to come to the dealership. Everyone is having a huge sale, and everyone has the best prices, and everyone has a VIP sales process, and everyone has special internet pricing.

7. Gift Cards, Mr. Customer, I know your time is valuable, I’m going to give you a gift card when you get here for you to put towards your gas, or tolls, or lunch. Whatever you want. So, when can you be here to look at that ________?

8. Give them options ONLY! – Does today, or tomorrow work for you? Morning of afternoon? Don’t ever ask a customer if they can come down to look at this, or that. They need options, and they need them repeated. Don’t be afraid to revisit those options. Here is an example. BDR: Mr. customer, when can you be here? Does today or tomorrow work for you?


Customer: I can’t come today or tomorrow.

BDR: No problem, how about Wednesday, or Thursday? Which one works better for you?

Customer: To tell you the truth, I have another issue, I don’t think my credit is that great.

BDR: I understand, and we have many lender who do as well. If anyone can get you approved, we can – So does today or tomorrow work or is Wednesday or Thursday better for you?

Customer: It’s an awfully long drive. Your dealership is 45 minutes from my house.

BDR. Mr. Customer if I didn’t think we could help you, I wouldn’t ask you to make that drive. Which day works better for you? and stay after it in a professional non-confrontational way

9. Eliminate your overdue tasks, as they are killing your morale. – You do this by setting so many appointments, that there’s nothing left for you do except to mark it as an appointment. When you’re overdue tasks get marked as an appointment, the follow-up tasks become much lighter. Once you power through your overdue tasks, and get more assertive on your lead to set ratio, your overdue task load lighten up. This will significantly reduce those moral killing daily grind workload bull crap calls and emails you’re making to your 90 day old unsold, no-show follow-ups you’re having to do every single day.

10. Find a phone grinder because unsold follow up is a huge thing. – Unsold follow up usually ends up being passed on to the salespeople, and I’m sorry, but they’re not going to make those calls most of the time. So, keep them in your workflow, but under an automated workflow so they don’t kill moral. A phone grinder will comb through them over and over again and thin them out. You have more fresh leads coming in every day that aren’t being managed at all, so why choke your salespeople, or your BDC with pointless calls. A good phone grinder comes from the background of businesses like debt collection companies, or brokerage offices. They don’t mind making 200 to 300 calls per day at $12.00 to $15.00 per hour plus commissions or bonuses and they can always pass the golden nuggets back the BDM/BDR or salesperson.

If you have any question, please feel free to call, text, or email me at 813-477-0297 or Kevin@Atlasdealer.com 

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