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Maybe it’s because I’m in the BDC business that it seems like a lot of dealerships are trying to get in to the BDC business. If you are one of them this article is for you.

With tongue in cheek here are my top thirteen ways to make sure your BDC fails.

13. Try it without a dedicated BDC Manager. Want to save some money? Let’s just put a couple of people on the phone and we’ll let the Joe manage them. In between working deals, doing dealer trades, coaching salespeople, trying to get deals cleaned up, talking to customers, working on situations in service, helping the office track down information, going to meetings, reporting sales, keeping up with incentives, keeping the lot straight and the showroom standing tall. Yep, that ought to work.

12. Buy a bunch of leads to get things going. Bombard your agents with third party leads. That way they can spend all of their time leaving voicemails and sending out emails to customers who don’t know who you are, haven’t really got to the point in their process where they are ready to set an appointment and are actually getting annoyed because you are calling and emailing so much. This way the agents will not work a good lead properly nor will they be able to keep up with all the tasks being created in the CRM. They are constantly trying to get their head above water. Quality interaction never happens and your managers can say the BDC manager and agents don’t know what they’re doing.

11. Hire agents, or the manager, because their aunt, uncle, son, daughter, brother, sister, mom or dad work there. Having the right skill sets isn’t important for the people who will talk to more customers than anyone else in the dealership. Anyway, now you can have an employee in an important role that is basically not accountable or eligible for termination.

10. Restrict agent access to information and websites that will help them set more appointments. That way they’ll just get ON THEIR PHONE if they want to check Facebook or their email which is what they’re going to do anyway when it comes to their personal stuff. The desktop would be where they communicate with your customers. If they can access the same information your customer’s access then they’ll set more appointments and your showroom will have to deal with all those pesky customers.

9. Stick ‘em in with the water heater. This will cause them to constantly want out of the room so they can check job listings on their phone out back where no one is watching.

8. Let your agents schedule appointments for salespeople instead of for a manager. What could possibly go wrong? It’s not like a salesperson is going to figure out a way to get an inside track on some appointments. Certainly a little kick back or pillow talk isn’t going to influence an otherwise honest person to cheat, you know, just a little.

7. Keep ‘em in the dark. Don’t keep them updated on specials, promotions, incentives or current inventory. Heck, they can figure it out. Agents can look on the website for the promotions that aren’t there just like your customers do. Keep the agents out of the sales meetings and don’t introduce them to new salespeople or managers. For that matter, keep your salespeople in the dark on what goes on in the BDC and what their processes look like.

6. Pay them more than you pay your payroll clerk for “talking on the phone”. That shouldn’t cause any conflict, resentment or headwind coming form the office. Frontline employees who’ve been with you for years should be happy for them. Performance based pay plans are over-rated.

5. Don’t train your BDC agents or give them any feedback. Answer our phones when they ring and set some appointments. Respond to our Internet leads and see if you can get ‘em on the phone and set some appointments. Print out an OEM conquest mailer manifest and tell them to call these people and set some appointments. JAll you have to do is utter the four stupidest words you can say to a BDC agent: just get them in.

4. Exclude the BDC Manager from all the reindeer games. When you are strategizing, planning and trying to develop more business don’t involve your business development manager.

3. Minimize your BDC Manager’s authority. Don’t give them the empowerment to run their department with the people they choose or enforce BDC process milestones that include sales and service personnel.

2. Penalize the commission on BDC sales. If a salesperson makes a sale to a BDC appointment make the mini smaller or decrease the commission or increase the pack. This will really motivate salespeople to help the BDC and they would probably never think to find a way to make sure this is not a BDC deal. Yea, I’m sure of it, they would probably never think of that.

1. Don’t enforce CRM process in the showroom. What else does a BDC Manager have to do besides chase data, correct mistakes, figure out why a report isn’t accurate, merge duplicates, investigate which appointments showed, who bought, who helped them and why nobody put anything in the CRM?

So there you have it. The top thirteen wasy to make sure your BDC will fail.

You may be wondering where all these ideas for making a BDC fail come from. Is it my experience as a consultant? Is it the stories I’ve heard from traveling and visiting BDC’s.

No my friend, these are ALL mistakes I’ve made. Either my dealer, a manager, or me agreed this was a good idea or through negligence allowed them to happen. But I learned from them. Pretty soon I had eliminated all the bonehead ideas and came to this conclusion.

Everything we do creates chemistry or conflict. Chemistry or conflict with our customers, other departments and even within the BDC team and I learned that chemistry is the way to go.

Business development is big business and when a dealership commits to a BDC it should be taken very seriously. How we do business is changing rapidly and a business development center makes a lot of sense.

Hiring the right people is critical. Putting a good coach in charge is critical.

A cheerful environment is important. Quality computers, phones, headsets and even twin monitors aids production and effectiveness.

Quality leads and the right CRM, calibrated to perfection and non-negotiable CRM practices throughout the dealership are common in great BDC stores.

Training, resources, feedback, coaching and performance standards foster great results and skill development so results continue to improve.

As important as the BDC manager is to the success of business development, the sales and service manager’s role is equally as important. Their support and helpfulness is invaluable.

Be passionate about business development or don’t bother. It’s a lot of work. A BDC requires constant monitoring and if it flops will you will lose a lot of money.

You can be a great BDC dealership. You just can’t wing it.