Guest Post By Sean V. Bradley, CEO, Dealer Synergy
I have been immersed in automotive Internet sales, BDC, and digital marketing for almost 15 years. Needless to say, in this time there have been countless evolutions in social media, lead generation, mobile devices, and every other form of technology.
Through it all, one thing has always remained constant and important – PEOPLE. We have always needed, and continue to need, good quality people. No one has invented robots that sell cars, and no one has eliminated the need for automotive sales professionals, Internet directors, or appointment setters. Through all of the technology upheavals, social media fads and the Google ZMOT craze, the ONLY thing that has not been eliminated or genetically enhanced is the “People” aspect of the department.
People are the backbone of this industry. People sell cars, people conduct product presentations and demo drives. People qualify prospects, identify their wants, wishes and expectations, and then meet them and exceed them. No matter how much technology we have at our disposal, it is the “People” that make everything happen – before, during and AFTER the sale!
That being said, dealers must make sure they have the RIGHT people in their departments, and not settle for anything less than what is needed for success. Too many times dealers take “ANY” “body” that is available. They only recruit when they are desperate and need “bodies.” It is rare to see dealers proactively recruiting for the right candidates.
The scary truth is that this is true throughout the dealership – but it is becoming an epidemic in the Internet Sales Department, the BDC / Call Center, etc. In these departments, many dealers are not staffing correctly. Horrifyingly, they are either hiring the wrong people to run their multi-million dollar department, and / or they do not have the appropriate number of people in their department. It is common to see departments with way too many leads and only one or two BDC reps managing 500, 600, or more leads.
If you’re not staffing these departments properly, know that this practice is just plain bad on many different levels. Here’s why:
- You are BURNING through Internet Ups, only capturing the “low hanging fruit.”
- You are NOT able to effectively communicate with your individual Internet Prospects because you are spread too thin to have the proper amount of e-mail / phone call follow-up protocol.
- You will have prospects slip through the cracks and potentially buy elsewhere.
- It’s NOT just the leads for the current month that are not being handled properly; there is also your Residual Flow Factor to consider. The average buying cycle is 45 – 90 days. So, if there are 500 leads (fresh for the month), there are an approximately 250+ carry over leads that you’re still working.
- Most painful: lost revenue.
Dealerships must have a consistent and proactive recruiting protocol. They must also know which sources are the best for recruiting top talent. Here are a few proven resources:
Here’s another, more creative way to attract qualified candidates for employment: Create a TV / Web Commercial. That’s right, a commercial for HR. Here’s an example of a commercial we created for one of our dealer clients, Bill Dube Hyundai (Scott Dube is the President of the Massachusetts State Auto Dealers Association):
Whether you create your commercial in-house or outsource the job is up to you. No matter how you do it, my strong advice is to produce one.
Once you have a Web / TV commercial created, I recommend you syndicate widely for maximum visibility through resources including the following:
- Facebook and Facebook ads, sponsored posts, etc.
- Google Ads and Video Pre-Roll ads
You can even create a “We are hiring” button on your website!
Remember: you are only as strong as your weakest link. And if your weakest link is your people, you need to – and CAN – do something about it immediately.
If you have any questions about this article, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to give me a call at (267) 319-6776.
Sean V. Bradley is the founder and CEO of Dealer Synergy, a nationally recognized training and consulting company in the automotive industry.