There’s a transformation happening right now in car dealership marketing that 10% of the dealer body is embracing. The next 40% admit they know about it and are peripherally addressing it. That leaves the bottom 50% and those are the stores who will not survive past 2011 if they don’t wake up. Shift happens.
Social Media and the online sales process has rocked the foundational systems at dealerships. I’m callin’ it out here: Dealerships must change the way they operate in order to sell and service cars in 2011. The old mindset, no matter how tightly you hang on, is getting no results. Transition and change are never easy and dealers must overcome the need to stay in the comfort zone if they want to survive and thrive.
Social Media and your online reputation is not something that you can throw money at and say, “Make it happen yesterday”. Immediate gratification is so 2008! You can hire someone who knows the ecosystem, someone who knows how to engage your customer, someone who knows the tools and the technology. But the one thing they can’t help you do is make it happen yesterday.
Everything in Social Media is based on relationships. All relationships take time to build…just like the relationships your top salesperson or service advisor typically have. Social Media is based on your ability to connect 1:1 with your customer. People will always buy from people they know, like and trust. It’s all about positioning your store as a trusted source to your target market so that when they (or someone they know) have the need, they choose you.
I believe that true change only happens when the brave take risks. There’s no time for complacency, no room for fear. Face the fear and do it anyway. It’s all happening at a fast clip. I would like your store to be in that top 10% that’s grasping the Social Media ball and running with it. Do you have the tools you need to win the game?