Social Media Prospecting: Every Sale Starts with a Conversation

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automotive-social-media-marketingThere are many missed opportunities. I see them everyday. Businesses post their content on Facebook and forget the fact that it’s going out to real people who can respond back. Not like before when you broadcasted to the masses. That was so impersonal. Now we get to have conversations with our prospects using Social Media and when they respond, we need to be ready with the right words and actions.

Have you seen this show, “Car Lot Rescue”? Tom Stuker, seasoned car sales guru, finds dealerships who suck…and helps them not suck.

This week’s episode involved a store where the dealer had hired women as greeters and chose to have no salespeople. He was close to losing his business and that’s when Tom came to do his magic. When Tom quizzed the dealer on why these women weren’t trained to sell, the dealer said, “All they have to do is smile.” Tom replied, “Well, it takes a lot more than a smile to satisfy a customer and sell them a car.”

Tom Stuker’s mission then was to take these gals/greeters and turn them into sales people. To illustrate the importance (and the art) of prospecting, he took them to a local event, gave them prospecting tips and turned them loose. They started out weak but soon gained confidence and became adept at starting conversations with complete strangers.

One of Tom’s tactics needs updating. I suspect (wild guess) it’s because he’s not a regular Social Media user. He said to these women, “There are only 2 ways to prospect. In person or on the phone.” Yikes. Technology has allowed us this wonderful gift of communicating with customers/prospects easily, efficiently, and intimately. Social Media facilitates conversations with people who already know you because they’ve connected with your brand online – much warmer leads. These people are your prospects.

I have a coaching client who’s the Social Media/Digital Marketing manager at the dealership. When she’s off, the sales manager posts on Facebook. It’s a bit dangerous because the sales manager doesn’t generally use Facebook and his posts get scant engagement. He also isn’t part of our Social marketing strategy meetings or campaigns. Everything you share on Facebook is measured and when your posts get no engagement, it works against you.

Here’s where a skill in responding counts: The marketing manager posted an update on their Facebook page saying a local food truck was coming to the store for the day. A potential customer commented on the post asking,

“So if I buy a car, I get free food?”

Folks, it may not look like it, but that’s a lead and responding to it correctly means the difference between making the sale or not. If you had that person on your showroom floor or on the phone, consider what your response would be. The sales manager replied,

“Sure, everyone gets free food.”

Meh. Not a great response. Why? You wouldn’t say that to the prospect standing in front of you on the showroom or service drive. An ideal response is always another question. Keep the prospect engaged, asking questions to help them buy.

  • “Yes, you’re included. What type of car are you looking for?”
  • “Yes, we’d love to have you. When were you thinking of coming down?”
  • “Yep, are you in the market for a new car?”

Tom Stuker had the gals talking with everyone there at the local event. When they were done, they’d managed to get 20 leads between them. How good are you at spotting opportunities to engage? In real life or on Social Media, every sale starts with a conversation.

Kathi Kruse
Kathi Kruse is an Automotive Social Media Marketing Expert, Blogger, Speaker, Coach, Author and Founder of Kruse Control Inc. Born in the heart of Los Angeles to a family of “car people”, Kathi’s passion for the car business spans a 30-year career managing successful dealerships in Southern California. Kathi is the author of “Automotive Social Business – How to Captivate Your Customers, Sell More Cars & Be Generally Remarkable on Social Media”. Her Kruse Control Blog is the leading Automotive Social Media blog in the US.
Kathi Kruse

@kathikruse

Automotive Social Media, Online Reputation Marketing/Coaching/Training. Blogger, Speaker, Author: AUTOMOTIVE SOCIAL BUSINESS. Founder/CEO Kruse Control Inc
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Kathi Kruse
Kathi Kruse