Good afternoon to you it must be 12 o’clock noon on the east coast, because it’s time for hardison’s tips, i’m your host, brandon hardison.

My students are having lunch and i choose to help you out if you’re a new salesperson.
Maybe you have been around a while and looking for a different wrinkle, maybe you’re a new manager, and you may be able to pick something up that can help you and your team members.
That’s what we do so without any further ado.

Here’s my issue for today, based on nada statistics since covet a whole lot of people, naturally are afraid to come into the dealership.

They go on the website.
Naturally, they go to the phone and everything goes downhill 67 and i’m reading it from nada 67 of the people say they’re too scripty or 92 say that people can’t hold a convert station.

That’s why they hang off the phone and go to your competition.
So today we like to cover all of the united states, we’re going back to the east coast, we’re going back to new jersey, my my home state and we’re proud to have with us anthony allegona, and he is a bdc guru.
So anthony tell us about yourself.

How are you, sir? Thank you for having me it’s uh, be here um.
My name is anthony alagona, i’m a national sales, trainer and motivational speaker for the automotive industry, and i specialize in business development.

I have been doing this for about nine years now and uh before i did this.

I spent about 20 years in hospitality, so i come with a unique approach with the hospitality mindset and what my focus is is to teach people on how to over deliver on the customer’s experience.
We got to identify their expectations, of course, meet their expectations, but at the end of the day, to separate ourselves, we want to over deliver.
So i teach people how to do that through the phones through text message through emails, and i tell people.

Sales is a language and we just have to be able to speak it fluently and the hardest part is getting somebody on the phone and when we do get somebody to pick up the phone, we just want to have a strategy of what we’re going to say And how we’re going to say it? So we can deliver our message effectively and that’s what i’m here to help beautiful uh.
What did you think about the opening as far as what nada statistics as far as people being unhappy calling into a bdc? I believe that, because one of the things i usually do is i mystery shop dealerships quite often and um it’s uh, it’s it’s not usually the best experience.
When you call into a dealership um, you usually get thrown into different extensions um, the the the person answering the phone isn’t usually too too cheerful.

It’s just not a pleasant experience, and it kind of just uh perpetuates the negative stigma that gets attached to our industry.

Unfortunately, gotcha gotcha now here’s my first question to you anthony uh, just for the people that maybe have worked at a couple of dealerships, because you know some sales people just bounce around in their mind.
Is there a difference between internet department and bdc? And if there is what’s what’s the difference? No, i think i think nowadays they kind of blend together.

I think people think internet and bdc and they they um.
They just think the same thing.
It’s just people that are on the computer is answering people that are interested in cars um.

I tell people in the dealership, world business development should be a mindset and not a department right right.
It should be everybody’s job to develop customers, especially if you’re a sales professional, unfortunately um – that’s not usually the case, and this is where we have to create this business development center.
So we can engage people via the internet because, honestly, the the virtual showroom is where all your opportunities at and now the brick and mortar is just a place for experience, and hopefully customer retention, gotcha gotcha on that then so the skill sets there’s no different skill Set for someone in an internet department versus a bdc pretty much both of them do the same thing.

Yes yeah, i mean they’re very, quite similar.
Basically, what you’re doing is you’re engaging people that were either in the market or currently in the market.
Okay, honestly, what i call this is a race to the relationship um.

If i, if i’m engaging somebody, my my first thing, is not to try to set the appointment number one, i got ta lower the defense mechanisms, get them to like me and identify if there’s an opportunity and if there’s not to be able to put them into A different um follow-up process to where we can create an opportunity later on down the road as to oppose to engage in a fresh lead that comes in via the internet, and now it’s just a race to gain their trust and over deliver on their expectations.

Basically doing the same thing, but with just a little bit of a different of a mindset.

Okay, i tell people it’s like being a farmer.
You have crops that come to fruition at different times same thing, with customers: okay, okay, i’ll, take that i like that.

So all right, we had a good conversation.

Customer does commit now in our world.
That needs to go to the next step or escalating, as we call it.
It seems like i talked to a lot of managers and they say that’s where the sales team and the bdc are at odds.

So is it the bdc manager working with the best managers or how should a proper escalation go? Well, honestly, i mean, i think the best analogy is that we’re it’s like running a relay race and the bdc grabs the baton first and and we’re gon na paint a picture of what’s gon na happen when these people get to the dealership and we’re gon na Make it fast, easy and convenient for you, and this is where the communication between this the the business development center and and the sales team and the sales manager team have to be really good.
Because if there’s no notes in the system and and we’re not prepared for these people when they come in, even though that’s why we spend time on the phone with them is to be prepared, then we’re going to drop the baton and not win the race.
So it’s very important that we’re speaking the same language and we’re on the same team.

Okay, so it sounds like bdc managers.
Desk managers need to be doing a little bit more communication uh from from that.
So but you did touch on one thing where you talked about notes.

I was at a dealership yesterday and they had down.

I’m not gon na use the real name they had down anthony on a q7.

Now, if i’m a manager anthony q7, how can i follow up on that? I agree: do people take short cuts and putting in notes – or they just don’t like to put in notes, um help help us out with that.

That’s honestly, the most important thing, the most common problem i see in the industry right now is the utilization of a crm tool and whether i’m talking to a business, development, uh representative or a salesperson, especially a sales person.
I say: listen if i can give you one place to go every day to find a car deal.
Would you go there and they say yes and i said well – go to your crm because that’s where they’re at but honestly, what i see is a lack of accountability for the crm to be utilized effectively or sometimes even at all.

And that’s because it’s it’s usually a request and not a requirement and we’ve got to make it a requirement, not a request.

If it’s not in the crm, it shouldn’t be a deal and that’s what you use to customize the experience.
When you go to a fine, dining restaurant, they use crm tools and that’s why they use your first name and, and they know what you’re eating and who you dined with, and they can customize your experience to you.

This is one of the most expensive things that you’ll buy.
Besides a house, we should be customizing the experience to turn them from a customer which is once to a client which is forever you did mention about the large investment you do have to put up front.

So it is a big decision, so here’s the next thing that i hear from a lot of managers and then salespeople uh, the appointment when’s the perfect time to ask for the appointment.

I know where i’m at i do mystery shopping also, and we still have some old school dealerships after they welcome you to the dealership.
The next thing out of their mouth, let’s run a credit app yeah.
So on the phone.

Are we immediately saying thank you for calling our dealership, let’s set an appointment, or how should that work? No, but i mean no, no, you shouldn’t, because, honestly, those are the appointments that don’t show up in a way.
Sometimes people set appointments just to get you off.
The phone um – i don’t believe that you’re in the right to ask for the appointment until you kind of create some rapport um give some value to the conversation um over deliver on the information that they’re requesting paint.

The picture that you’re there to be there see what i like to tell people is that hey, i tell my people to identify themselves on the phone either as a client care manager or a vehicle concierge.

My job is to give you information about the vehicle and, at the end of the day, ensure that your next car buying experience is your best car buying experience and the way to do that is to identify what’s important to them and look through their lens.
When they’re asking about price or they’re asking about trading and to try to paint the picture, that’s going to appease them and make them feel good about what you’re saying.

Okay, i i like that, and let me stick on that vein because i heard it come out of there, so some bdc managers not saying the ones that you deal with, but some bdc managers and general managers uh.
They don’t want their people giving a price.
If you want the best price you got, ta show up.

If you you got ta ship, is that old school should that go away now or what’s your thoughts? Well, i i i tell dealers, i i say: listen, how would you feel if you called me up for training – and you asked me my price and i said i’ll – give you the invoice after i’m done training.
You wouldn’t feel too good about that.

Um price.

Isn’t an objection is an expectation you would never buy a 50-inch tv without looking for the uh sticker at the bottom, and instead of trying to overcome a price objection realize that they clicked on your lead for a reason, because it was a good price asking that They’ve seen a better price somewhere else, but also paint the picture is that we we use highly intelligent software, that prices our vehicles and takes it in comparison to our competition multiple times a day show them that we, you know that they’re priced.
That way.
For a reason, and that we don’t use our second best price and put it online and and and try to dig into what’s making them usually they’re more worried about the payment and not the price right.

So, let’s kind of have a conversation saying: listen if it’s about price, we use software that prices our vehicles for us if you’ve seen it cheaper somewhere else.

Let me know that i can bring that to my management team.

But out of curiosity, have you seen it cheaper somewhere else, most likely it’s going to be? No, and then you can say: okay! Well, you know.

Is there a price that you would like me to go to my management team with, i don’t mind, bringing an offer to the table and to find out why they’re asking for a better price, because usually it’s just because they have nothing to lose? Okay? Okay, i like that that’s kind of different.
Hopefully, people are taking notes on that one.
That’s that i like that.

How about this – and this happens a lot online at anthony’s dealership, i see a vehicle, i see a price, i keep it in my mind.
I set the appointment, i go through the little bond and rapport and your questions just to confirm it’s the right vehicle and after you’ve done, maybe maybe your walk around or of somewhat decent demo ride.
And it’s time for you to present me with some numbers and i notice there’s some add-ons and paint sealant protect, uh where’d that come from it wasn’t on your website.

Have you ran into that or what’s your suggestion? I do write that and that’s a very uncomfortable situation and that’s where the someone from the management team has to be almost like a um a go between sort of speak with the department, someone somebody that can take the to right away to explain those fees, because I don’t really put that on the bdc to try to break down those fees, especially if they’re kind of hidden um, if they’re hidden on the website, they’re hidden for a reason and um.
I don’t believe it’s the bdc’s per um.
I don’t.

I don’t believe the bdc personnel should have the right to answer those questions so to speak.
I think that should come from a management to explain them or break them down, because they understand that the bdc doesn’t really understand it.

Okay, uh from you working in new jersey, i know you’re close to new york pennsylvania.

So i don’t know you probably go to other states.

Have you seen any dealerships that on their website they also have the addendum.
So the final price is the final price.

Already there does that make it smoother, usually absolutely it’s the expectation of knowing what you’re going to pay remember when people are car shopping, they’re going in with their with their guard up, it’s not a fun process.
Even if you have a lot of money in the bank – and you have a perfect credit score – you’re still usually looking for somebody in the car business to take you there and kind of make the process easy.

So their guard is up and if, if one of the hardest things to do is to find the final price, it just becomes that much more frustrating and that much more to hold harder to hold growth.

Honestly, gotcha gotcha, based on your experience, anthony, is this a place? Maybe if i’m looking for a career change, i don’t know if i want to go on the sales floor.
Let me test it out in the waters with the bdc, or is it better just to have a pure phone expert who came from answering phone in their previous job? Would that be a better fit for a bdc or an internet? Well, i’d say: all the concept of people be good for the bdc um there’s a couple of my really close clients.
What they do is you spend at least 30 to 60 days in the bdc first, because you want to come out with that business development mindset.

You you want to be able to proactively create opportunities for yourself.
That’s the difference between a sales, professional and a sales person um.
But what i’ve noticed as far as working and trying to work with people that become really good in the bdc is that i’ve pulled from the hospitality industry because they deal with people a lot.

But what i’m really looking for is what one of my dealers kind of impressed upon me is: i’m looking for somebody, that’s just a nice person and then has good work ethic and if you have those two qualities, i can teach you everything else, and i say The main thing is, you have to like people.
If you want to be successful with anything in life, you have to be successful with people, because that’s how you become successful and um, i believe in the bdc you have the you have the very best opportunity, because you’re making the first impression for the dealership.

Besides the website and you’re speaking to the customer before anybody else gets to them and if you can earn that trust most of the time they’re going to be disappointed, understanding that you’re not selling the car they’re going to be like.

What do you mean anthony you’re? Not selling me the car, oh you just sent me the appointment.
They you get so much trust and then they become disappointed that you’re not finishing the job for them.

Does that happen a lot, because i know there used to be a model with whoever you talk to on the phone.

They would go on with their talk track and say i will meet you and we will go over.
So that’s pretty much gone.

Usually was there any reason, for that? Was there too much confusion or something with pay or something where they separated it? I i i just think it depends on the dealership.

You know what i usually see is that in most dealerships the bdc and the sales team are like oil and vinegar, almost um.
It takes a while for them to realize that they’re interdependent on each other, which is really the case right.
I mean we feed each other and it’s like being a football team.

You have an offensive defense and a special teams same thing in the dealership.
We have the business development center, the sales team in the finance um.

I i see both models working, it just depends on the management style and and the accountability factor gotcha gotcha uh from your experience, i’m a personable, very nice, but i do have problems with command of the english language and i’m going back to that nada report with That would that rule out someone, or is there some remedial way? Maybe a public speaking class or something to get the person comfortable with the guest understanding, their professionalism and trying to set the appointment.

Because you already said it they’re going to buy a car.

They just want to see, if you’re a professional, to be giving you all that money you talked about at the beginning.
Exactly and honestly, it’s uh it’s about just making sure that we’re all speaking the same language um when we’re picking up the telephone and we’re setting these appointments – and i tell people you got to do three things with the phone process number one you got to memorize It word for word: make it like you’re trying out for a play, and your part is bdc representative.

You, then you got ta, you got ta, um internalize it and you got ta know like it’s, your abcs or like the pledge of allegiance, that you can say without thinking, and then you add your personality and personalize it, and once you do that, it’s like, instead Of a road to the sale, it’s a road to the appointment and no matter who they speak to inside the dealership, we’re all sounding the same and we’re all ascertaining the same information, meaning i’m trying to dig as much about what their what their wants are.

What’s what i hear in the background, if they have kids wha, what got him to that credit score, because the more you know the more i could put into the crm, the better the management team can prepare for when they get here.

An example is, if i have somebody that’s a 450 credit score that wants a 200 payment with no down with no money with no money down.

I want to know that they’re unrealistic, so when they walk in we’re prepared for that unrealistic, correct, it says we want to do our requirements.

I like that.
I like that all right, just just a couple of more because time is up against us.

Here’s one thing that i did some mystery shop on just in my market metro area.
When it comes to certified pre-owned, it seems like whether it’s called internet or bdc rep.
They don’t know their manufacturer’s program that well and they’re scurrying around trying to find some information.

Do you see that also or i do, and unfortunately it’s because a lot of dealerships, their management team are not really into the mindset that they want to teach people about the vehicles because they feel like they’re, going to sell them over the phone, not understanding that All this information can be found on google and if these people are gon na, actually give you their time and talk to you and they don’t feel like they’re, getting an answer, and they can hear in your voice that you’re, unsure they’re gon na hang up and Get off the phone and go back to google and i tell them and one of the things i tell sales people i say: listen, you need to be practicing every day.
Some of the things you should practice is presenting numbers and your walk around presentations, because that’s what it’s about! But if you’re going to practice your presentations go into the bdc and go grab somebody and practice with them, so you can teach them about the vehicles and the programs, because the better you teach them the more opportunity they’re going to provide you.

I i i like that i do something similar we go into the bdc and we mystery shop, their competition and just for certified pre-owned hey.

I just want to hear about the value of your program and, like you said, um, some of the bdc agents, even some of the managers that does they don’t know, they’re certified and, like you said, uh now, let me x you out and go on yeah it Just takes a little bit of practice every day if they just did if they spent five or ten minutes a day, just going over soda fried pre-owned, it’s like how do you eat an elephant one bite at a time you got it, you got it so before We get out of here, what do you got going, or what do you have special, or how can people find out more about what you do? Well, i appreciate the opportunity.

What i got going right now is uh.
I do on-site training for dealerships, so i do go to dealerships and i just opened up an offsite business development center as a off-site solution, and we do everything from handling all your fresh leads to a la carte services like long-term follow-up, 30 days plus um.

You can find me on facebook at anthony alagona or you can give me a call.
732-456-0-753 um i’d be more than happy to answer any questions for anybody.
Okay, so are you in a position to fly or you’d rather have it just virtual yeah? I do both.

I fly i’m back to flying again.
I started travel again last month, um i i am kind of limited to myself how much i travel, because i just opened up my offsite though gotcha with that then so all right then well, we do appreciate it.
Uh good information uh, thank you for that, so anthony allegona from new jersey from little silver right see now the rest of the folks, don’t know what we’re talking about.

Thank you grant it’s pleasure same here, you be safe and for you and your family stay healthy and for the rest of you out there we’re going to let you finish up, because my people are ready to get back to training.
So, as always in parting, you go out and make it a champion day.

About Richie Bello

Richie Bello has a vast knowledge of the automotive industry, so most of his services are faced towards automotive dealerships. He couples all his skills with the power of the internet to render even remote services to clients in need of a little brushing

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