Best Practices

To Script or Not to Script – Using phone scripts in your Dealers BDC

Guest post by Mike Keesee

With the right phone process and practices the BDC is your #1 weapon.

When I first took on my position as the Business Development Center (BDC) Manager at my dealership, one of my goals was to develop this stellar, non stoppable phone script that no customer could ever object to. My eyes were quickly opened when I found myself modifying script after script and re-training my BDC Representatives through every change.

Sounding like a stereotypical car dealer is hard to overcome. Consumers have a perception of “car salesmen” already. The best practices for a BDC department are, roll-playing and defining skills. Fact is the more you practice these skills and overcoming objections the more confident BDC representatives become.

A Business Development Center should be able to adapt and make people feel comfortable, at ease and excited to do business with the dealer. At the frustration of not wanting to sound robotic consider (Human Instinct). Often the script would cause conversations that almost feel confrontational with the customer. It leads to an appointment that have NO intention of showing up. They tend to agree to avoid resistance.

There have been other BDC Departments that praise scripts. I’m not saying to scratch the whole method to script. I am simply suggesting changing the process. BDC representatives should use a guide and fine tune their skills. Focus on transition phrases. “It really depends” and “By the way” are a few that I practice. For example if the customer asks “How much would I need for a down payment?” I would simply reply:

“It really depends on other factors such as which financing options you choose and if the terms meet your budget. We will do our best to ensure that you get the lowest down payment that we can offer”.

Also focus on obtaining the customers contact information and making them feel comfortable with directions to the dealership. Your goal is to always make an appointment that will show up. Another tip that I have found is before ending the call simply tell the customer that

“as a courtesy, we will call you to remind you of your appointment.”

You will be surprised in your show ratios.

Effective communication weather you are taking an inbound or making an outbound sales call is the key to any successful BDC department. The more you roll-play and train your BDC representatives the easier they feel on the call. Let their personalities shine through; it will change the perception of your dealership as being “typical”. With the right process and practices the BDC process is your #1 weapon.

About the Arthor: Mike Keesee is the BDC Manager &
Internet Manager for Little Joe’s Autos

  • M
    Mel Bayo
  • November 3, 2008

You're dead on. Scripts are crucial in both ensuring consistency in process and that proven principles are used in successfully moving customers through their purchase cycle.

The challenge is that most dealerships have had access to virtually the same information for years and customers can come away from an interaction with them feeling as if the whole thing was canned and insincere.

Once proven principles have been drilled into those performing the process, it is just as critical that scripts and process be personalized to fit the market, product, store and individual being served.

The challenge comes in ensuring that the effectiveness of process and scripts isn't diluted (mangled) due to a focus on personalization. Repetition and experience are the keys.
  • J
    Jeff North
  • November 4, 2008

Right on! Good insight, wish this was around 2 years ago. I struggle with the idea of scripts. I gave up on them a little over a year ago. Glad to see that I am not the only one. What tips do you use when you do your roll playing? Most of the dealers I try to learn from are New Car dealers. It's easier to predict the customer situation. I certainly see that the hardest situations are the customers who are the least educated about what options that are available to them. Thanks for the Tips.

Keep them coming! Jeff
  • R
  • November 5, 2008
I like for salesmanagers to take the phone calls because they know everything,rebates,rates,etc. i take all the calls in used cars,i know all the cars like my kids because i do all the advertising.i get them in the door and whoever ups them gets the deal.

also all my salespeople post 15 cars a day each on these sites and put their cell phone numbers on them, they get 3 to 7 calls a day each.and it is free!!!!!!!!!yes free!

just to name a few
Good luck all
  • S
    Stan Sher
  • November 15, 2008
I like to use scripts as a guide to pick out phrases and wording. However, I believe in finding out what works best for me through trial and error and go from there. You will never see me with a script in my hand. I might type up things that should be said and give the list to my employees. At the same time we can role play. But I never want them to copy my wording. People need to be original, that is what sells car. Be genuine, be original, and do not be fake. The customer will see it and they will opt to buy from you.