There is no question that digital advertising has changed the way your customers are purchasing cars and trucks. Social media is changing the way we consume information, make buying decisions, and interact with the world around us. Despite this fact, there are still many dealers that have not fully embraced these tools into their workflow. Ask yourself, is your team integrating social media in the sales process? If not, here are some quick stats to back up why you should be:
North America has the highest penetration rate of social media networks, with 70% of the population has at least one social media account.
According to Forbes, 80% of salespeople that use social media outperform their peers.
If you’re looking to stay ahead of your competition, social media is a great way to get the attention of buyers before other dealerships do.
Social Selling 101:
What is social selling? Social selling is a way to generate more sales by using social media to promote yourself, and your role as a salesperson, in the automotive industry. Any online self-promotion effort would fall underneath this umbrella, including posting about your career on Facebook or uploading photos of vehicles from your dealership onto Instagram. The motivation behind this activity is obviously to sell more vehicles, as well as creating an online community and cultivate raving fans of your product, your dealership, and ultimately, of you.
If you are looking to get started social selling yourself, or as an organization, here are a few things to keep in mind as you get started.
The Wow Factor
Luckily for those of you who are new to this idea, the barrier to entry is relatively minimal. Generations of automotive salespeople who came before us have set a low standard for what clients expect of us. Many customers tend to stereotype car salespeople as chain-smoking, plaid jacket wearing lowlifes with low ethical standards.
Social media is an excellent tool in combating this stereotype! Surprising potential customers with a professional online presence, while using social media to give them better service is incredibly powerful. When social selling is done right, clients can be WOWed by the process and can be the ultimate differentiator with whom they chose to purchase.
As you share relevant content on your product and valuable insight into the car buying process, you will stand apart from all the competition. Think about it, would you rather work with a professional via social media channels or a salesman who never even called you back after the test drive.
Social selling is also a huge factor in gaining early trust with your clients. These platforms allow you to connect with them beyond the average phone call or stiff email. Social media will enable you to personalize your message, show your clients you’re committed, and give them an opportunity to get to know you before they ever walk into the dealership. By posting valuable information on your feed, you’re also showing them that you care and are available to make the car buying process easier. By interspersing professional and personal posts, potential buyers will feel a connection beyond the showroom, and your job will become a lot easier once they feel that they know and trust you.
This is huge! Repeat buyers are the best result of social media. Utilizing social media channels properly will cultivate loyalty amongst your sold clients. Once you sell that client a vehicle and connect with them online, you’ll often find that they posted a photo of their new ride, raving about how much they love it and will often tag you with a nod to the excellent service they received. You will also get the added benefit of having your name associated with a positive experience, that is now being shared with your client’s social network. Plus, your connection to that client is beneficial as time goes on and that new car smell fades.
Additionally, you will get to know that client on a personal level and have the ability to be friendly with them in a more personable environment. You may learn when their first grandbaby is born, the progress on their kitchen remodel, or the lasagna they just pulled out of the oven. Regardless, when these people that you’re connected with come in for their next service, your conversations will be much more meaningful. Your clients will begin to view you as a friend, and guess who clients like to buy from most? That’s right, friends. They will also become some of your biggest digital cheerleaders when you post new content. The more they engage with your content, the more their online network will see you, and the more connections you will make. Your growth can be exponential. As time goes on, your relationships will become stronger; you’ll build trust, repeat business, and referral traffic.
Social selling provides you the opportunity to stay connected with your client base to demonstrate how committed you are to them and their automotive needs. It’s a powerful tool that will only grow over time and will not only help you improve your visibility, but build trust, cultivate loyalty and ultimately sell more cars.
Learn more from NCM moderators, consultants, and instructors through 20 Groups, in-dealership consulting, and automotive management training.