The service business development center Sarah Vantine built from scratch at Scott Clark Auto Group became quite a draw for fixed ops directors and other dealership personnel from around the country — and even from Canada and Australia.
They were curious to learn from Vantine's successful BDC at the three-rooftop group in the Charlotte, N.C., area that handled thousands of customer calls, made service appointments and solicited maintenance and repair business.
After a while, Vantine realized dealership service departments were desperate for her expertise and experience. She also was becoming more interested in life "outside my fishbowl."
"There just wasn't that much information out there in this space," Vantine says. "So I thought I could impact, instead of three stores, hundreds of stores."
Last June, she joined Quantum5, an emerging dealership training company in Scottsdale, Ariz., as its vice president of business development strategy. Two months ago, she took the wraps off her People-First BDC program that she will take on the road to dealerships this year.
The program is divided into three stages. A design phase will assess skills and note problem areas. Next, three days of hands-on learning about inbound and outbound calls with active coaching will take place. And finally, participants will receive sustained teaching through the Quantum5 app and frequent check-ins from a company manager assigned to the dealership.
Vantine piloted the BDC program at her previous employer, Scott Clark, in 2021 and was pleased with the results. She says the goal of the BDC program is to get customers excited about visiting the dealership.
"I put in the program what I felt were the best practices to succeed," she says. "To turn my experience into this has been so enjoyable. It's so fulfilling.
"I'm getting to stretch my wings."
First car: 1991 Volvo 240 wagon. Went from 0 to 60 mph in about 22 seconds downhill and couldn't merge onto an Atlanta freeway without almost causing a collision. (Ask me how I know.)
First concert you attended: My parents took me to see the Righteous Brothers when I was in elementary school.
Most thrilling/adventurous thing you've done: Being an equestrian. It is especially thrilling to do a hunter jumper course or gallop in the open.
First job: I worked at Men's Wearhouse as a part-time sales consultant.
Something on your bucket list: I've always wanted to go to Italy.
One thing you learned on the job that you never forgot: Grit. Sometimes it isn't about the skills you have, it's how bad you want to succeed.
If you could pick up a new skill, what would it be? To sing opera
3 people you'd invite to dinner, living or dead: Mark Hamill, Eleanor Roosevelt, American equestrian Beezie Madden
What did you want to be when you were a kid? A pilot. I thought it would be an opportunity to eventually be an astronaut.
What's your Netflix binge show? "Dead to Me"
You're queen for a day. What's your first order? Pack your bags, let's all go on a long beach vacation!
First CD you bought: NSYNC. It was the first time I used my own money to buy something I wanted.
Favorite comfort food: Shrimp and grits
Favorite line from a movie: "I don't believe in the no-win scenario." — Adm. James T. Kirk, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Who's on your Spotify playlist? Lady Gaga, Metallica, Skrillex, Celtic Woman, Linkin Park, Dolly Parton, Counting Crows