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My owner has committed to starting a BDC, something the dealership has never had. I have been out of the business for 4 years and I'm looking for your thoughts on staff. The stores combined sell between 250 and 275 currently. From what I can tell the internet leads are 180-200 with just as many phone ups. Should I start with myself and 1 bdr and build staff as I go? We are just tackling the sales side to start and will add service later. Thoughts or suggestions?

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Hey! I'm in about the same boat. Starting a BDC by myself initially and looking to add someone as soon as we can. Are you guys handling any of the service leads?
I'd love to hear any suggestions or advise from anyone out there :)

Hi Ruth! I just got out of a conference call with my owner and the company that is going to set up our BDC. We have 3 locations that we are going to run from 1 BDC. Total leads from internet and phone ups with recent figures will be in the area of 600 combined. the consensus is that we will start with myself and 2 bdr's with plans to add a 3rd within a few months. Our BDC is going to get started in stages so at first it will just be internet and phone ups. By the end it will be all incompassing. If you havent done so yet, you should download Ralph Paglia's BDC packet, LOTS of good information in there for someone starting from scratch. Hope this helps!! You can always call to compare notes as things progress, 217-972-2009. Best of luck! Rich

Thanks Rich! I didn't download that packet yet! I'll be looking for that :)
Good luck with your new adventure!


Good luck to you too! A suggestion on my other post was to hire receptionists for the bdr position, although I've seen other discussions on here recommending people with some knowledge and experience on the floor. Let me know if you end up hiring someone with sales experience and if so how it works. :-)

If you got 600 opportunities you need to start with you and three other people.  You need a set process for handling internet leads with a proper amount of phone calls and quality emails.  Once you get that squared away, you want to build on that by implementing a process for unsold showroom traffic, and equity opportunities (retention).  In which case you may build up to as many as 5 people plus you. 

Your biggest need is to setup a proper process and to have your people trained on the phones.

Thanks Stan, we have a company coming in next month to set us up and get the ball rolling, I've had phone training and feel confident in training in that respect. My concern is starting up with the right size staff and moving forward from there. The company setting us up has processes to train us on so it should go smooth as long as I hire the right people. You are right on the other posts, its a huge challenge but a huge opportunity as well. I will keep ADM posted on my trials and tribulations!

Rich, do you mind sharing what company you are using for your training? I've been doing some research into programs out there. Lot of them seem pretty excited about BDC's

Hi Richard,

As you already discovered, ADM and Ralph Paglia in specific has many proven business models to set up and manage a BDC.  Relying on the processes that you will learn from ADM posts on the subject and the outsourced BDC company that you referenced should get you on the right road so I won't presume to suggest any specific solutions since every dealership is unique and the consultant you engaged should provide the hands on directions that you will need.

There is one universal issue however that you should address and that is the people and the politics side of the equation.  The "buy-in" for you and your new BDC must start from the top and be communicated in a positive constructive manner to the other department heads and their sales staff or the conflicts over deals and commissions will sink your ship before you get out of port.

Similarly, you must be sensitive to the needs and issues of other sales departments or you risk them smiling through their sharpened teeth at you and the dealer while you are being introduced only to bite you in the back whenever possible.  Human nature dictates the jealousy and greed that motivates the less professional members of your extended dealer team so don't take it personally.  Just be prepared to understand why they feel threatened by your success and be sure to share it.


After all, what are friends - and a professional team player BDC manager for!


PS:  One fundamental solution to starting on the right foot is to make sure that your job description, areas of responsibility, compensation plans and definition of a "deal" is clearly defined and communicated.



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