Are you a master or a student?
Do you know everything that you need to know to pass on your knowledge to others?
Recently, I spent four days on site at a dealer group consulting and training a brand new BDC Manager. This BDC Manager is a remarkable individual with many college degrees and a lot of business world experience. He was brand new to the automotive industry but not a stranger to call centers. In fact, one of his experiences stems from being a high-powered call center director where cold calls were being made to sell sports apparel that involved making transactions over the phone. I interviewed him to qualify his skills and knew within a few minutes that he was the right man for the job. Now normally, I am 100% against a dealership hiring a manager with no automotive industry experience for various reasons. However, in this case I realized real quickly that I can help this person become an amazing BDC director as I teach him about CRM, managing a group of sensitive women, automotive sales, internet lead management, and automotive digital marketing.
It was incredible to see how sharp he was and how quickly he picked up the basics of understanding call handling as well as CRM. We reviewed industry statistics and what the problem was in that BDC. We both noticed that the BDC reps are not as productive as they can be because they are focused on sold units instead of appointments showing up. He quickly came up with his own agenda of how to become great in a 30-day span so that he can lead his team to success. We even made a pay plan change to focus on getting the customer in the showroom and less on the sale. We know that if we make the appropriate amount of calls we can set “x” amount of more appointments and “y” amount of appointments will show up.
Here is where the consultant starts to learn from the client:
The BDC Manager started asking about getting headsets with silencers in them. I had not known the difference between silencers and not silencers primarily because it has been a difficult task to get many dealers on board with heading a headset. He also talked about the ability to plug in and listen to a call in real time. From my experience, usually a manager would sit next to the BDC rep(s) and be able to realize based on what the reps are saying if they need help or not. Also, call monitoring is usually what helps train on calls. I learned that in his previous career he had these two abilities and it was a requirement.
But that is not all. I learned that he had a pet peeve about using the words “can” or “but” in a conversation. He says, “It is not good to kick “cans” or “buts”. I actually enjoyed his analogy as it made a lot of sense with regards to how I train phone handlers on how to speak to customers and what to say. It was impressive to see how much he cared about what was going on in the room and had created an agenda.
There were other things and ideas that he shared with me that were “outside the box”. I say “outside the box” because these are things that we as car people do not think about because of the environments that we are accustomed to. I believe that we need to as an industry sometimes take a step back, eat some humble pie and learn from other industries. I think that is where events like Driving Sales Executive Summit, AutoCon, Digital Dealer, and Unfair Advantage Mastermind are doing the right thing by bringing in quality speakers that are marketing experts in other fields.
I know that I learned some great things from my client in addition to teaching him new strategies and I plan to share in his success by being both a master mentor as well as a student. They say, “you are always learning in the business and the day you stop learning you’re done”. This is very true but how many people really practice this preach? So take a step and learn from your surroundings in order to become a better professional.