Best PracticesDealership Operations & Processes

Your Bracket May Be Busted

March Madness should be a holiday. No one is working anyway, so why not go ahead and just make it official

Just Sayin’.

While I was watching my Syracuse Orange completely pull away from Middle Tennessee, I started thinking about how they were able to pull it together. What was giving them the kick in the pants to step up their game when they were not really projected to make it past the first round?


I truly believe that having a coach who knows what she/he wants, knows how to get there, and is dedicated makes all the difference in the world.

If you are in charge of a BDC team, you are their coach and they look to you for insight, assistance, and guidance.

Are you providing it to them?

There are some simple things that great coaches do which not only motivate their teams, but also gives them the tools they need to be successful. Here are some insights I have gathered from studying some of the most impactful coaches.

Three Things Good  Great Coaches Do

Know Your Game Plan:

I love watching coaches who know their game plan and stick to it. The players are confident, they know what has to be done and when, and they execute well. Syracuse University’s Boeheim is the master of this. Zone defense is his language. And even though he is not in the tournament this year (that rant is for another blog), his excellence has never been in question. He knows his game plan and keeps it simple.

Does your BDC have a game plan? Do they know exactly how to respond, who to respond to first, and what they need to say? You are their coach–make sure the plan is understood, implemented, and practiced.

If you are unsure of the plan needed, make sure you consult people who know what they are doing. If you start a BDC or a BDC Culture but do not know exactly what you are expecting, you are destined to either fail or be mediocre. Some may trip and fall into partial success, but it will not be sustainable. If you want deliberate and consistent success, know what you want and map out how you will get there.

Know Who You’re Up Against

Coaches and their coaching staff spend copious amounts of time watching, analyzing, and picking apart game film. How else will you get an understanding of your competition’s defense and offense, their “go to” guys, and coaching. Doing this homework helps uncover what to focus on and how to prepare.

Do you know who your competition is? Even if you are a rural dealership, there is competition for service. My parents live in rural Upstate NY. They have a dealership 15 miles away, but because they did not like how they were treated, they drive further away to another dealership to get their vehicles serviced.

An hour.

And I am sure they are not the only ones who do that.

Know your competition. Know how they respond to leads and make sure yours are faster and better. Make the customer experience as positive as possible so that customers choose to come to you.

Play ‘till the Final Buzzer.

If you saw the Northern Iowa and Texas game, you know every second counts.  Especially in basketball, 5 seconds can be the difference between winning and losing. Every moment counts, and each of the moments can lead you to either an amazing victory or a soul crushing loss.

Do you play ‘till the final buzzer? Do you answer those leads that come in late with a personalized response, or do you send in the second string auto response and think that it is good enough? I know that when I played (long ago) and the game was close, the starters were the only ones on the court. Why do you let an inferior response go out to the customer? Play strong until the end of the game. Send out a personalized response which addresses customer questions and provides valuable information. That is how you win the game.

Be a Coach or Find a Coach

Could you imagine a team making it to the tournament with no coach? It is ridiculous. The players need coaching–they need someone calling the shots and making sure the game plan is executed.

Now think about your BDC. Too often I have heard BDCs talk about lack of training, lack of knowledge and lack of direction. You cannot be a successful team without leadership, direction, and knowledge. Make sure you offer all three to your BDC or Internet Department. I don’t care if your department has two people or twenty, without knowing the game plan, the direction, and the expectations, they will be nothing but a glorified call center.

Control What You Can, React When You Must.

The best coaches and teams control the game. They control the pace, the scoring, and the outcome. There are times, though, when things don’t go quite as planned or scripted. In those moments, the players need to know how to think for themselves and make things happen. Then they know how to think through these situations because they have practiced different situations multiple times.

Does your BDC know how to do this? Scripts are a definite must, but what happens when a customer goes off script? What if they ask questions that requires more than a simple response? The only way to be prepared for these scenarios is to have them practice and practice some more. Think about objections to appointments, how to word responses, and how to seem inviting and friendly over the phone–not pushy and tyrannical. I have avoided dealerships because of poor phone skills and overly pushy appointment setters. Train your department on the art of the question, how to word things in a positive manner, and how to listen.

Let’s Talk About It:

  • Are you a great coach or one who just shows up for games?
  • How are you training your BDC to win?
  • Do you have a BDC for sales and service? Does that matter to you right now?