Advice From the Field
You have heard the phrase, “words matter.” After spending years in the dealership, I agree. The words we use do matter! There are the 3 words every BDC agent or rep needs to stop saying immediately: Manager, Discount, and Price. These words could be costing you appointments and, ultimately, sales!
We are all familiar with the word track: “Let me check with my manager and see what we can do on the price.” You’ll notice 2 of the 3 words not to say are manager and price. Discount, however, is synonymous with “see what we can do.” Going forward, use these replacement words instead.
- Manager = Colleague
- Discount, or “see what we can do” = Market Adjustment
- Price = Affordability
Let’s look at how to use these new replacement words to your advantage in the following example:
BDC Rep: “Sounds like everything makes sense. So when can you come in? We have times available tomorrow and this weekend. Which do you prefer?”
Customer: “Well, I’d like to know the lease payment before I come in.”
BDC Rep: “No problem; I understand. However, when you come in, we will be sure to provide you with the best payment available once you pick out the vehicle you want. So which day works best?”
Customer: “As I said, I need to know the payment before I come in.”
BDC Rep: “No problem. Let me check with my manager and see what we can do to get you the best payment. Would you like to hold or have me call you back?”
Customer: “Please give me a call back.”
Typically, this plays out with your manager waiting a few hours to give you a payment since the customer isn’t in the showroom. Maybe your manager even tells you to call them back and ask them to just come in. We eventually call the customer back and are sent to voicemail. You leave a message to either have them call you back, or you leave the pricing info. Either way, you never hear from them again. Let’s try the replacement words next.
Customer: “I need to know the payment before I come in.”
BDC Rep: “No problem. Let me consult with my COLLEAGUE in our sales department and see if this vehicle is due for a MARKET ADJUSTMENT to help make it more AFFORDABLE for you. Do you have time right now so you don’t have to wait?”
Customer: “Yes! That would be great!”
BDC Rep: “Wonderful! Give me a few minutes, and I’ll be right back. In the meantime, I’m sending you a link to your phone/email that shows you some benefits of doing business with us. I think you’ll find it helpful. Be right back!”
You’ve created some sense of urgency for your manager by having the customer wait on the phone. Now timing is critical. The goal now is to provide the pricing/payment info you promised and ask for the appointment. Remember, the idea here is to follow through on your promise because you’ll have a greater chance they will continue to work with you and give you an opportunity.
BDC Rep: “I had a chance to consult with my sales colleague, and that vehicle was due for a market adjustment of an additional $759, which will come to a more affordable $XXX per month. Isn’t that great news?”
Customer: Yes, ask for the appointment/No, move on and get back in the game!
BDC Rep: “I understand. Let me try something else for you. Since we price all of our vehicles based on market price, I may have something similar or close to this vehicle that we can further market adjust. Are you open to another color or perhaps go without an option to make it more affordable for you?”
As you can see, you may not get the appointment in the end, and you may even have to get your manager involved in a negotiation. That is not what we want to happen but consider this. By changing the word from manager to colleague, you do not lose credibility. By changing the word discount to market adjustment, a singular person does not make pricing decisions, becoming something more practical. And by changing the word from price to affordability, there’s a value to something being affordable versus lowering a price just to lower a price. And by keeping them on the phone, there’s less of a chance for the customer to vanish.
The good news is that instead of losing the customer, we are still in the game, flushing objections out, and creating more opportunities to ask for an appointment. And that’s if you get push back. The customer may have already agreed to your strategy, and you were able to make an appointment!
Practice, role-play, and repeat. Good luck!
Maddie Kendall Myers started her automotive career in 2001 selling Volkswagens, and then consulting career with ADP Dealer Services in May of 2014, which eventually became Sincro Digital. Maddie is currently the Nissan Digital Marketing Consultant serving the Philadelphia Area. With 13 years of experience in automotive retail, Maddie understands the needs and expectations of today’s modern dealership culture. Her retail career includes positions as Internet director, digital marketing director, F&I manager, and sales consultant.
When not helping dealers, Maddie enjoys spending time with her son, Harrison, and daughters, Capella and Charlotte, and they currently reside just north of Philadelphia. Maddie holds a B.A. in music business and business administration from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania and is Google Analytics and AdWords certified.