A Bird Dog Program in Car Sales Has These 5 Advantages

Your dealership’s advertising budget can be transformed with a bird dog program and referral rewards.

“Birds? Dogs? I don’t work at a pet store; I sell cars. Why the sudden focus on animals?


If the topic of a bird dog program is brought up at a car sales meeting, people who are unfamiliar with the auto business or automobile sales may be perplexed. However, you may have only heard these applications referred to by other names in the past.


An example of a referral incentive is a bird dog program. Hunting dogs, which are used to find and recover birds, inspired the name. Don’t think too much about the awkwardness of comparing some clients to hunting dogs and others to birds. The key idea is that you want satisfied customers and brand ambassadors from your dealership to actively seek out suitable leads that will convert for you.


You can’t rely on these top consumers to carry your dealership’s referrals, even though some prior customers don’t need any encouragement to sing the praises of a company they’re delighted with. Your dealership will be in a better position for increased sales, customer retention, and general customer happiness if you spend some time and money developing a true bird dog program.


Why is a Bird Dog program needed by your dealership to boost sales? Here are five of them.

1. Existing consumers continue to be active while attracting new ones.

Maintaining prior customers’ interest in your dealership until they finally need a new car or any service work is difficult, even when you’re utilizing automotive CRM software. By providing a bird dog program, these folks are more likely to remember you and recommend your company to others than they otherwise would.


2. It might entice rival dealerships to give you hot leads.

Although BHPH shops are more likely to engage in this technique, your rivals might not always offer what a prospect is seeking. They can let them go away and purchase from a rival dealership, or they can phone you, suggest the customer come to your store, and profit right away from the introduction.


3. A little one-time cost could secure you a devoted client.

Compared to other forms of promotion, referral programs have lower customer acquisition costs and higher closing rates.


4. In a cutthroat industry, a bird dog program can provide you with an advantage.

Every little perk counts in the cutthroat world of auto sales today. Someone in your bird dog program might be the tie-breaker that persuades a customer to give your dealership the sale if they find the automobile they want at two different dealerships for the same price.


5. The best kind of advertising is word-of-mouth promotion.

Nielsen claims that, over all other forms of advertising, 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family. You can spend all of your advertising budgets on eye-catching billboards and television advertisements, or you can allocate a small portion of it to using the influence of your happy customers to spread the word.


Create a new referral scheme or revamp an old bird dog program

When the “bird” they’ve brought in purchases a car, the “dog” in the majority of bird dog programs will receive a set fee, typically between $50 and $250. Consider these options if your current program isn’t providing you with the results you’d like to see:


1. Refresh your bird dog program just a bit.

Uncertain of the cause of your existing program’s failure? Make a few quick tests to determine the location of the disconnect. Increase the amount to $100 if you’re only paying $50 for each sale to see what happens. If you’re already paying a respectable cost, consider your program’s marketing strategy and make any necessary messaging changes.


2. Keep in mind that not everyone is motivated to leave with money in hand.

You could design a referral program that caters to certain demographics in various ways. Give them the option of receiving a VISA gift card, three months of free oil changes, or even the payment of their subsequent auto loan.


3. Continue to track.

If you don’t measure the outcomes, you can’t be certain that a referral program or bird dog is a success. Create a mechanism in your automotive CRM that enables you and your salespeople to keep track of referrals, identify top customers that refer business, and calculate overall referral sales.


Keep this in mind as you develop a new bird dog program for your dealership or just update an old one: referrals are rarely driven primarily by bird dog programs. Making sure your clients have a great experience at your dealership should be your top goal since, after they do, they are far more likely to promote your brand and serve as your top referral source.

No leads were lost. reduced overhead.
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